New Orleans Bowl Odds
The East Carolina Pirates (8-4, 7-1 C-USA) are set to do battle with the Louisiana-Lafayette Rajin’ Cajuns (8-4, 6-2 Sun Belt) in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. Tune in to ESPN at 12:00 EST on Saturday, December 22nd to catch this game live. Oddsmakers have installed LA-Lafayette as a 6-point favorite over East Carolina with a total set of 64 points.
Why LA-Lafayette Covers
The Rajin Cajuns come in red hot having won three straight and four of their last five. Three of those wins came by 14 points or more. Their only loss came at Florida 20-27 as a 27-point underdog. The Gators will be playing in the BCS, and this team nearly beat them on the road to really show what they are capable of.
Louisiana-Lafayette’s strength is an offense that averages 34.8 points per game behind a balanced attack. It ranks 33rd in the country in total offense at 443.6 yards per game, averaging 187.3 yards on the ground and 256.3 through the air.
It should have no problem moving the football and scoring points against an East Carolina stop unit that gives up 30.7 points per game while ranking 78th in the country in total defense at 417.3 yards per game.
This play falls into a system that is 40-13 (75.5%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. It tells us to bet against underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (E CAROLINA) – off 2 straight wins against conference rivals against opponent off a double digit road win.
Lafayette is 7-0 against the spread in road games when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 3 seasons. East Carolina is 0-5 against the spread in its last 5 vs. a team with a winning record. The Pirates are 1-8 against the spread in their last 9 games following a win.
Why East Carolina Covers
The Pirates come in playing their best football of the season. They have won their last three games overall, including a 48-28 home victory over Houston as a 3-point underdog. This is a team that is scoring points in bunches of late, averaging 47.0 points per game during their winning streak.
East Carolina features an explosive offense that is averaging 31.2 points and 407.5 total yards per game, which ranks a solid 56th in the country. Its strength is a passing attack that ranks 35th at 272.8 yards per game.
Quarterback Shane Carden, who is completing 66.8 percent of his passes for 2,838 yards with 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions, should be in line for a big game. That’s because LA-Lafayette ranks 110th in the country against the pass, allowing an average of 283.9 yards per game.
The Pirates tend to bounce back from a bad defensive performance last time out. They are a perfect 6-0 against the spread after allowing 37 points or more last game over the last 2 seasons. They are winning in this spot by an average of 11.7 points per game, limiting opponents to just 17.5 points.
East Carolina is 6-1 against the spread in its last 7 games following an ATS loss. The Pirates are 5-2 against the spread in their last 7 neutral site games. The Ragin’ Cajuns are 6-13-2 against the spread in their last 21 vs. Conference USA opponents.
I have picked LA-Lafayette to win this game straight up in my college bowl predictions, which can be found here. You may also be interested in who Vegas Top Cappers, Carolina Sports, Brandon Lee and Jimmy Boyd have selected in the New Orleans Bowl.