SMU vs. BYU Prediction and Odds for New Mexico Bowl (Will Jaren Hall Play for BYU?)

Nov 26, 2022; Stanford, California, USA;  Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jaren Hall (3) throws
Nov 26, 2022; Stanford, California, USA; Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Jaren Hall (3) throws / John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

SMU and BYU are set to do battle in the New Mexico Bowl, but opts out have dominated the pregame headlines.

BYU quarterback Jaren Hall has been rumored to be out for the New Mexico Bowl against SMU, which has showed in the betting market with SMU becoming a considerable favorite despite opt outs of their own.

How should we handicap this matchup with question marks on both sides? Let's first check out the odds:

SMU vs. BYU Odds, Spread and Total

SMU vs. BYU Betting Trends

  • BYU head coach Kelani Sitake is 2-3 against the spread (ATS) in bowl games
  • BYU is 4-8 ATS this season
  • BYU has gone OVER in eight of 12 games this season
  • SMU is 4-2 ATS as a favorite

SMU vs. BYU Prediction and Pick

After this game sat inside of a field goal since open, the line shot out to SMU favored by 5.5 against BYU, which leads me to believe BYU quarterback Hall will be sitting, a 2022 NFL Draft prospect. While it hasn't been confirmed, Hall has been battling an ankle injury suffered in the regular season finale and many around the program have been discussing other options under center for the Cougars in this one.

It's worth noting that BYU's backup quarterback Jacob Conover hit the transfer portal, so it will likely be Cade Fennegan, who hasn't appeared in a game since 2020 at Boise State. SMU's defense leaves a lot to be desired but this is a mismatch for the Cougars offense.

However, the SMU defense will be shorthanded with Rashee Rice opting out of the bowl game, the team's favorite target, who hauled in 96 passes for 1,355 yards and 10 touchdowns. The Mustangs will likely have Tanner Mordecai available, but this offense will be limited without Rice.

Now that the market sits with SMU as a considerable favorite, I have no interest in getting involved in the side, I'd rather look to the under. Both defenses are below average, but both offenses are going to be far from their best.

This total has droppde from an opener to 71, but I'm not sure it's dropped enough if Hall is out, now at a key number of 65.5. I'll grab the under in what that should continue to fall heading into this one.

Track all of Reed's bets at Betstamp HERE!

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.