NCAA Football: New Mexico Lobos vs. Texas A&M Aggies Preview, Prediction & Odds -- Sept. 18, 2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: Noon ET, September 18, 2021
Venue: Kyle Field, College Station, TX
Where to watch: SEC Network

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Texas A&M -28; O/U 51; Moneyline -- A&M -3800, New Mexico +1600
BetMGM: Texas A&M -28.5; O/U 51; A&M -5000, New Mexico +1600
Caesars: Texas A&M -28; O/U 50.5; A&M -10000, New Mexico +2000

Season record
New Mexico: 2-0
No. 7 Texas A&M: 2-0

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New Mexico - Texas A&M preview and analysis


Recent form
New Mexico: won 34-25 vs. New Mexico State on Sept. 11
Texas A&M: won 10-7 at Colorado on Sept. 11

Well, how about that for a scare for the Texas A&M Aggies?

Lose your starting quarterback, nearly lose a disaster of a “road” game, and a partridge in a pear tree.

The No. 7-ranked Aggies will have to go at least the next month without starting quarterback Haynes King after he cracked his tibia during last week’s 10-7 victory over the Colorado Buffaloes at Mile High Stadium.

All eyes turn to Zach Calzada to start for A&M and he’ll likely get the call for the Aggies’ final non-conference game Saturday against the New Mexico Lobos at home.

King lasted all but two series against Colorado before Calzada made the relief appearance. A sophomore from Sugar Hill, Georgia, Calzada went 18 of 38 for 183 yards and the game-winning 18-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Spiller with 2:41 remaining, avoiding what would’ve been a disastrous loss for head coach Jimbo Fisher’s team.

Amidst all that quarterback uncertainty, one thing that’s for sure is A&M’s defense. The Aggies held Colorado quarterback Brendon Lewis to only 89 yards on 13 of 25 passing -- he did run for 76 yards on nine carries -- but the Buffaloes turned into a one-dimensional act that almost paid off.

But nonetheless, the Aggies are 2-0 with a New Mexico team that has lost many games in the Mountain West over the past number of seasons. But the Lobos are coming into this week off a 34-25 victory over the in-state rival New Mexico State Aggies in what was a more competitive college football game that was anticipated.

New Mexico took a 24-20 lead into halftime, and even allowed a safety less than three minutes into the third. But a 58-yard touchdown pass from Terry Wilson to Mannie Logan-Greene was the dagger for a rare 2-0 start for the Lobos.

It was an easy non-conference slate for New Mexico in the first half, but the Lobos have two tough Texas matchups to end the slate with A&M and UTEP. Then the Lobos will begin the conference slate with a home game against Air Force, then the San Diego State Aztecs on the road. You think of the easy games like UNLV, Utah State, Colorado State and Wyoming, it might be a bowl year for the Lobos based on that football schedule.

Prediction


Texas A&M is going to win this game, but will the Aggies cover? Calzada did not look great in Mile High last week, but a home game should make the transition to starter for the next month and a half easier. Based on the defense alone, the Aggies should win and just cover. Texas A&M by 31.

Betting trends


New Mexico is 8-13 against the spread in its last 21 games.

Texas A&M is 16-1 straight up in its last 17 games.

Players to watch


New Mexico: Normally known for its run game, the Lobos have gotten outstanding quarterback play from Terry Wilson. He’s completed 73 percent of his passes and thrown six touchdowns to no interceptions. If there was ever a Hoosiers moment, Wilson will need to be at his best for the historic upset.

Texas A&M: Expect Ainias Smith to see a lot of attention from the defense, which should open things up for receiver Jalen Wydermyer. He has 102 yards (51 YPG) this season.

Statistical leaders


New Mexico:
Passing: Terry Wilson -- 556 yards, 6 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: Bobby Cole -- 144 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Mannie Logan-Greene -- 116 yards, 1 TD
Defense: Tavian Combs -- 17 tackles

Texas A&M:
Passing: Haynes King -- 300 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: Devon Achane -- 174 yards, 2 TD
Receiving: Ainias Smith -- 119 yards, 2 TD
Defense: DeMarvin Leal -- 10 tackles, 1 sack

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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