SMU Mustangs vs. BYU Cougars Pick – New Mexico Bowl December 17, 2022

The Southern Methodist Mustangs and Bringham Young Cougars are scheduled to meet in the New Mexico Bowl this weekend. The game takes place at University Stadium in Albuquerque on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. EST. We have our SMU vs. BYU predictions and New Mexico Bowl best bets for Saturday evening.

Both teams are entering the bowl game with a record of 7-5. BYU is hot after losing four straight games. They flipped things around toward the end of the regular season. Entering the New Mexico Bowl, BYU has won three straight after a 35-26 win at Stanford.


The best win for the Cougars was a 31-28 victory at Boise State on November 5. They won as 8.5-point underdogs, and then followed up with a 52-26 win over Utah Tech and the win over Stanford. This looks like a good team to back as an underdog in the New Mexico Bowl?

There is a big problem for BYU to explain why they are an underdog against SMU. The heart of the offense, Jaren Hall, is not expected to start for the Cougars on Saturday. With Hall unlikely to play, BYU does not have a clear backup to go behind him.

The Mustangs are going into the New Mexico Bowl with wins in four of their previous five attempts. In their latest outing, SMU edged out the Memphis Tigers in a 34-31 final at home on November 26.

Head below for our SMU vs. BYU betting pick and New Mexico Bowl predictions for December 17, 2022.

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SMU Mustangs vs. BYU Cougars New Mexico Bowl Live Betting Odds:

SMU vs BYU Odds Courtesy of Bovada:
SMU Mustangs-3.5 (-110)-175Over 64 (-110)
BYU Cougars+3.5 (-110)+145Under 64 (-110)
Team DataSMU MustangsBYU Cougars
Overall Record7-57-5
ATS Record5-7-04-8-0
Yards Per Game479.8440.5
Yards Against Per Game446.2410.0
Passing Yards Per Game324.9266.6
Rushing Yards Per Game154.9173.9

SMU vs. BYU Predictions

There are going to be many key players opting out of bowl games again this year. In the case of Jaren Hall, he wants to play in the New Mexico Bowl. However, Hall is dealing with an ankle injury.

There was some optimism that Hall was going to play, but it looks like he is leaning towards doubtful. Head coach Kalani Sitake did not sound confident when he was discussing the status of Hall.

via@Mitch_Harper & kslsports

Along with Hall injured, BYU will not have their second-team quarterback from this season. Backup Jacob Connover entered the transfer portal, so he will not be available for the New Mexico Bowl.

Backup Situation Unclear For BYU

The Cougars will have to put a quarterback on the field, but they do not know who it will be. Behind Hall, BYU has Cade Fennegan and Sol-Jay Maiva-Peters. Fennegan is listed behind Hall on the depth chart this week.

Fennegan was dealing with an ankle injury of his own recently. The freshman is fine now and is the most logical choice for Sitake against SMU. Fennegan was a member of the Boise State Broncos two years ago.

He appeared in three games, with his most playing time against BYU. Fennegan passed for 182 yards with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception on 57.7% completions. Now, he is on the other side playing for BYU.

As a collegiate quarterback, Fennegan has passed for 182 yards on 53.6% completions. He was dealing with an ankle injury a month ago, though has recovered. SMU does not have a tough defense, but the offensive situation is unsettled for the Cougars.

Former Sooner Looking At Big Numbers

This matchup is setting up well for SMU quarterback, Tanner Mordecai. Mordecai spent three years as the backup in Norman with the Oklahoma Sooners. He’s been the starter at SMU for two years.

In his first season as the starter, Mordecai passed for 39 touchdowns and 12 interceptions on 67.8% completions. He is going into the New Mexico Bowl, with 31 touchdowns and 9 interceptions on 64.3% completions.


Most NFL prospects are taking the bowl game off, though Mordecai is opting in to play on Saturday. This looks like a nice spot for him to go out against a shaky BYU secondary. The Cougars have allowed 410 yards per game and 100th with 30 points against per game.

SMU vs. BYU Betting Pick:

This matchup was set up to be a good old-fashioned shootout. The New Mexico Bowl had the potential to be the highest-scoring bowl game. Hall sitting on the sidelines and not taking a snap derails those plans, though.

There is going to be a quarterback lighting up the secondary in this one. Mordecai is likely in for a standout performance in New Mexico. He should be the MVP and go out a winner in college on Saturday evening.

For our SMU vs. BYU prediction, we’re looking at a 40-28 win and cover for the Mustangs. Note that the game was moved from an afternoon to an evening game.


SMU vs. BYU Best Bet
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Kyle Eve
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Kyle Eve is a seasoned pro of The Sports Geek. Since joining the team in 2012, Kyle, has covered some of the biggest sporting events in the world. From the Super Bowl and World Series to March Madness, the NBA Finals, Kentucky Derby, and many more, Kyle has provided reliable analysis for millions of readers. After dedicating himself to hockey and football in high school, Kyle placed his first sports bet on his 18th birthday. Since then, he has spent his entire adult life devoting himself to becoming the best sports bettor and casino gambler possible. Kyle is from Windsor, ON, Canada

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