Some programs would be underwhelmed with a Monday afternoon bowl game the day after Christmas, but the 2022 Quick Lane Bowl betting matchup is a great opportunity for Bowling Green (6-6) who hasn’t been in a postseason game since 2015 and has just one bowl win since 2004.
New Mexico State (6-6) doesn’t exactly have a ton of postseason honors on their mantle, with the 2017 Arizona Bowl win being their only bowl appearance since the 1960 Sun Bowl. That 57-year drought was the longest in NCAA history. The Aggies still find themselves as +3.5 underdogs at Ford Field in Detroit, with the betting public split nearly 50/50 here.
Aggies QB Will Play
A bowl game seemed like a long shot when New Mexico State started off the season 1-5, but they rallied to win five of their last six to get bowl eligible at 6-6. That’s a remarkable mark in Jerry Kill’s first season with the program, especially considering six wins is more than the Aggies had in their last three years combined (5-21).
New Mexico State was an offensive juggernaut over the last month of the season, posting wins like 51-14 over Lamar, 49-14 against Liberty, and 65-3 over Valparaiso. Granted the Aggies were -22 and -31.5 favorites against Lamar and Valpo respectively, but their 35 point win over Liberty came as a +24 point road underdog.
Obviously when you score that many points down the stretch the QB has a lot to do with it, and Diego Pavia had 7 TDs and 0 INTs the last two games of the year. That being said NMSU should by no means be confused as a passing team, as their 139.7 ypg against FBS opponents is 8th worst in the country. Pavia also injured his hamstring in the Valpo game, but has had over three weeks to recover and is expected to go in the Quick Lane Bowl betting matchup.
Bowling Green Limping Into the Postseason
The Falcons don’t exactly head to Detroit with momentum, losing two of their last three including a 40-6 defeat to Kent State and a 38-14 defeat at Ohio to close out the regular season. The problem with Bowling Green is that those two offensive performances are not an anomaly, as they had the 2nd worst rush offense in the MAC and ranked 8th in scoring in the conference.
One of Bowling Green’s strengths is their pass rush, as Karl Brooks tallied 9.5 sacks this year and is drawing some NFL draft interest – and the senior is a Lansing, MI native playing in his last collegiate game in his home state. Overall though the Bowling Green defense was 10th in the MAC in pass defense, not great when playing a NMSU team that has had the hot hand throwing the football.
New Mexico State put up good defensive numbers this year, ranking 14th in the country against the pass and 33rd in total yards allowed. The Falcons were one of the worst rushing offense not just in the MAC, but in the bottom 10 in the entire country so this game really comes down to how well Bowling Green QB Matt McDonald (61.2% completion, 21 TD, 8 INT) plays.
Free Quick Lane Bowl Betting Pick
Monday afternoon’s game is important for both programs as bowl wins are rare for each. This crowd should be decidedly pro Bowling Green considering the campus is just an hour South of Detroit on I-75 and it’s the day after Christmas. Having the crowd behind you is nice, but the Aggies have something going down the stretch so you can take the points here.
Free Pick: New Mexico State +3.5