Your free college football selection for Saturday, September 17th takes us to Piscataway, New Jersey. It’s a noon Eastern start time as the New Mexico Lobos visit the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. I recommend a play on New Mexico +6.
After drilling South Dakota at home, 48-21, the Lobos took to the road to face their in-state rivals at New Mexico State. That trip didn’t go as planned. The Lobos were double-digit favorites, yet lost outright to the Aggies, 32-31. New Mexico was minus two in turnovers in that one, which usually spells doom.
Rutgers opened their season as 26-point dogs at Washington. The Huskies drilled the Scarlet Knights, 48-13. Rutgers returned home and hammered Howard, 52-14. They failed to cover the 44-point spread.
What interests me is that Rutgers was only even in the turnover battle against lowly Howard. They were minus two in turnovers the week prior in Washington.
Turnovers have a huge impact in these games. New Mexico was minus two last weekend against their rivals, but plus two the week prior. I expect them to do a better job of protecting the football in this one.
Rutgers also has a much bigger home game on deck against Iowa. Off the drubbing of Howard, the Knights may get caught looking ahead to the Hawkeyes.
I also think this line is an overreaction to last weekend’s results when Rutgers pounded lowly Howard and New Mexico lost outright as double-digit chalk.
The Rutgers defense will have its hands full with New Mexico’s option attack. Lobos leading rusher Teriyon Gipson will miss this game, as he is currently in the concussion protocol. But New Mexico has several other able-bodied backs, plus a dual-threat quarterback in Austin Apodaca.
The Lobos will be hungry and focused after losing last weekend, while Rutgers may be in “fat and happy” mode and looking ahead to the Iowa game. I’ll gladly back NEW MEXICO +6 as your free college football selection for Saturday, September 17th.