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BYU UTEP Betting – New Mexico Bowl Features Teams Heading In Opposite Directions

Posted by Washington Tucker on 12/7/2010 4:06:00 PM
byu utep betting

The Brigham Young Cougars and the Texas-El Paso Miners have had very different seasons. BYU started poorly and finished strong while UTEP did just the opposite.

NCAA football betting: BYU Cougars vs. UTEP Miners

Online Betting Odds: BYU -12

Why To Bet On BYU

For one thing, the Cougars are a relatively hot team despite a tough 17-16 season-ending loss to Utah on the final weekend of November. Coach Bronco Mendenhall’s boys have played much better football over the past month. They overcame a 2-5 start to their season and gained bowl eligibility in the process. Quarterback Jake Heaps, only a freshman, used a bye week to gain a much better understanding of coordinator Robert Anae’s offense late in October. Heaps is now on the same page with his receivers, who are in turn making plays for their quarterback. This was not the case in the first half of the season. Heaps has controlled his emotions, made proper reads, and chosen the safe short pass over the risky long ball.

BYU lost 31-16 at Utah State in the first half of its season. That BYU team is long gone. The Cougars are now a much more mature team that understands what it has to do, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Moreover, BYU – after that 2-5 start – will be genuinely happy to play in any kind of bowl. This would have been a great disappointment in 2008 or 2009, but for the 2010 Cougars, the New Mexico Bowl is a reward and will be seen that way. Motivation means a lot in bowl games, and BYU should have a lot of inspiration going forward.

Why To Bet On UTEP

The one thing that the Miners can count on in this game is that they will be supremely jacked-up to compete and fly around the field. UTEP frankly got a gift in this game. A Temple team that went 8-4 did not receive a bowl bid, but the Miners did at 6-6 in a lower-tier conference (Conference USA). UTEP lost five of its last six games in 2010 and plummeted in terms of its overall quality, especially on offense. UTEP is not the better team in this matchup, but because the Miners were given a generous bowl invitation, they might surge in Albuquerque and take advantage of the opportunity they’ve received. This is something that happens in college sports, especially the NCAA basketball tournament: Teams that get in the tournament in a controversial fashion play with extreme confidence because they know they got a break. UTEP could very well compete with that kind of mentality, and if the Miners make just a few big plays in the first quarter, they could sustain a confident outlook throughout this game and steal it in the end.

How The Game Will Play Out

BYU has improved far too much for UTEP to stand much of a chance. BYU should treat this game as an opportunity, and that will minimize UTEP’s mental edge. Take BYU in what should be a blowout.

BYU UTEP Betting Pick: BYU

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