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New Mexico Bowl betting preview

The 2012-13 college football bowl season kicks off with a Western regional match-up as 7-5 Nevada out of the Mountain West takes on 7-5 Arizona of the Pac-12 in the New Mexico Bowl Saturday, Dec. 15 in Albuquerque (1 pm ET, ESPN).

The early New Mexico Bowl betting odds list the Wildcats, back in a bowl in their first season under Coach Rich-Rod, as nine-point favorites over the Wolfpack, who are playing in a bowl for the eighth straight season.

The past four New Mexico Bowls have played OVER the total. [ More New Mexico Bowl odds, matchup and trends data ]

View Nevada vs Arizona Odds and Stats.

Betting Line: Bettors going with the Wildcats in this game found them listed as 8-point favorites on the betting line at Sportsbook.ag earlier in the week. The total was 75 earlier over at Bovada.

Arizona Bowl History

YearBowlTeam1ScoreTeam2ScoreTeam2 LineATS win
1997Insight BowlNew Mexico14Arizona20-9NEWMEX
1998Holiday BowlNebraska20Arizona233.5ARIZON
2008Las Vegas BowlBYU21Arizona31-3ARIZON
2009Holiday BowlNebraska33Arizona02NEBR
2010Alamo BowlArizona10Oklahoma State36-4.5OKLAST

Nevada Bowl History

YearBowlTeam1ScoreTeam2ScoreTeam2LineATS win
1996Las Vegas BowlNevada18Ball State15 Push
2005Hawaii BowlNevada49Central Florida484UCF
2006MPC Computers BowlNevada20Miami21-4NEVADA
2007New Mexico BowlNevada0New Mexico23-2NEWMEX
2008Humanitarian BowlNevada35Maryland422.5MARYL
2009Hawaii BowlSouthern Methodist45Nevada10-11SMU
2010Kraft Fight Hunger BowlBoston College13Nevada20-8BOST.C
2011Hawaii BowlNevada17Southern Miss24-9NEVADA

How They Match Up:
Offensively, the game matches up Arizona's No. 17-ranked offense (37.2 PPG) against a Wolf Pack defense that ranks No. 96 at 32.5 PPG. The Wildcats passing attack has averaged 291.4 yards per game, more than the Wolf Pack give up through the air (218 YPG on average).

Defensively, the Wolf Pack feature the league's No. 104-rated road run defense, allowing 221.8 yards per game. Arizona, meanwhile, ranks No. 8 in rushing offense at home.

Nevada lost its last outing, a 27-21 result against Boise State on December 1. Nevada covered in that game as a 7.5-point underdog, while the 48 combined points took the game UNDER the total. In their last game, Nevada got a 139-yard performance from Stefphon Jefferson, but Boise State prevailed 27-21.

Last time out for Arizona, they were a 41-34 loser as they battled Arizona State at home. Arizona failed to cover in the match as a 2.5-point favorite, while 75 combined points moved the game OVER for totals bettors. Ka'Deem Carey ran through the Arizona State defense for 172 yards in Arizona's last game, but the Wildcats still lost a 41-34 decision at Arizona Stadium.

Nevada Wolf Pack Trends:
When playing in December are 4-6
When playing on grass are 7-3
After being outgained are 8-2
When an underdog on the road are 3-7

Arizona Wildcats Trends:
When playing in December are 5-4
When playing on grass are 6-4
After outgaining opponent are 4-6
When favored at home are 7-3

A few Wolf Pack at Wildcats trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Nevada's last 6 games
Nevada is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games
Nevada is 1-7 ATS in its last 8 games
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Arizona's last 8 games
Arizona is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games