A couple of teams that prefer to feature their running games, Head Coach Matt Viator and the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (-5.5) are gearing up to face off against their SBC counterpart South Alabama Jaguars at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The game is scheduled to get going at 5:00 p.m. ET and ESPN+ has the TV rights.
Betting Preview: Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks at South Alabama Jaguars
In this Saturday Sun Belt game, Louisiana-Monroe is projected as the favorite and is currently giving up 5.5 points. The Warhawks are also receiving -235 moneyline odds while the Jaguars are +185. If one team gets out in front in the early stages it’ll generate a nice betting opportunity in-game. Vegas has placed the over/under (O/U) at 61.5 points.
Early action has moved in favor of the Warhawks. The opening line was 4 and the game’s total hasn’t moved after it was initially posted at 61.5.
The Warhawks are 3-6 against the spread (ATS) and have gained 4.2 units this season. They’ve been a decent under bet and have posted an O/U record of 3-5.
The Jaguars are down 3.0 units for moneyline bettors in 2018. They’re 3-5-1 ATS and seven of their games have gone over the total.
The Warhawks have gone 5-4 straight up (SU), including 3-2 SU against conference opponents. The Jaguars are 2-7 SU overall and 1-4 SU in conference play.
Louisiana-Monroe enters this contest on a zero-game losing streak while South Alabama has won zero in a row. The Warhawks are coming off a resounding 44-25 win over Georgia Southern last week. The passing game was messy as Caleb Evans completed 13 passes for 337 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Derrick Gore (114 yards on 19 rush attempts, one TD) and the signal-caller Evans (102 yards on 15 carries, two TDs) led the ground attack in the win. RJ Turner (four receptions, 86 yards) and Markis McCray (three catches, 57 yards) handled the receiving duties.
South Alabama most recently fell 38-14 to Arkansas State. The defense allowed the Red Wolves to pass for 354 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 155 yards and two scores. Justin McInnis was outstandingfor the Red Wolves, putting up 177 yards on seven catches. As a group, the Jags collectively completed 12-of-23 passes for 93 yards and two touchdowns. Evan Orth went seven-for-15 for 63 yards and one touchdown while Cephus Johnson was five-of-eight for 30 yards and one touchdown. Tra Minter carved up the opposing defense in the loss. Along with 81 yards on 16 rush attempts, Minter also reeled in four receptions for 9 yards.
Louisiana-Monroe has run the ball on 51.1 percent of its offensive possessions this year while South Alabama has a rush percentage of 57.8 percent. The Warhawks have rushed for 181.3 yards per game (including 206.4 per game against Sun Belt opponents) and have 17 scores via handoffs this year. The Jags are logging 132.4 rushing yards per game (121.0 in conference) and have 13 total rush TDs.
If the results so far this season can translate to this game, then it appears the Warhawks ought to have an advantage in all aspects of the ground game, as their running backs has generated 5.2 yards per carry while their defense is allowing 4.7 yards per rush attempt to opponents. The Jaguars have registered 3.4 yards per carry and given up 5.1 yards per rush attempt to opponents.
The Warhawks offense has averaged 241.7 yards through the air overall (222.4 per game against conference opposition) and has 12 passing scores so far. The Jags have recorded 206.0 pass yards per outing (211 against SBC competition) and have 13 total pass TDs.
Defensively, Louisiana-Monroe has allowed 189.4 rush yards and 264.1 pass yards per game. The South Alabama defense has given up 231.3 yards per game to opposing passers and 217.7 yards per game to opposing runners. Both teams allow similar adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) to opponents, as the Warhawks have given up an ANY/A of 8.12 to opposing QBs, while the Jags are allowing an ANY/A of 7.69.
Offensively, Evans has put up 1,959 passing yards on the year. The signal-caller has completed 61 percent of his 261 attempts with 10 scores through the air and eight interceptions. He has a 6.36 adjusted net yards per pass attempt overall, although that number is 8.04 over the past two games.
We expect the Louisiana-Monroe offense to mix it up in this one. Marcus Green (47 rushing yards, 652 receiving yards, seven receiving touchdowns this season), Caleb Evans (187 rush yards, seven rush TDs, 0 receiving yards) and Derrick Gore (518 rush yards, six rush TDs) have all played significant roles lately.
For the home team, Evan Orth has connected on 124-of-189 passes for 1,429 yards, eight TDs and three INTs. Orth’s ANY/A stands at 7.06 for the season and 4.20 over his last two outings.
Tra Minter, Jamarius Way and Kawaan Baker have combined for 403 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns over the last two outings.
When these two teams faced one another last year, South Alabama emerged victorious by a score of 33-23.
Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks vs. South Alabama Jaguars NCAA Tip
SU Winner: South Alabama, ATS Winner: South Alabama, O/U: Under
Team Betting Notes
- The Louisiana-Monroe defensive unit has twice as many sacks as South Alabama this year (28 to 14).
- Both offenses have lost nine fumbles this year.
- The Warhawks offense has tallied eight pass plays of 40 or more yards, while the Jaguars have put up six such plays.
- The Louisiana-Monroe defense has allowed six pass plays of 40 or more yards, while South Alabama has given up 10 such plays.
- The Louisiana-Monroe offense has created 13 rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while South Alabama has created five such runs.
- The Warhawks defense has allowed 18 rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while the Jaguars have given up 20 such runs.
- The Over/Under for South Alabama’s last game was 62. The under cashed in the team’s 38-14 defeat to Arkansas State.
- Over its last three matchups, South Alabama is 1-2 ATS and the under cashed in two of those three.
- In its last three contests, Louisiana-Monroe is 2-1 ATS and the under cashed in two of those three.
- South Alabama has dropped six of its last seven games SU, with a 38-point win over Alabama State on October 13th accounting for the one victory over that stretch.
- The O/U for Louisiana-Monroe’s previous game going into it was 60.5. The over cashed in the team’s 44-25 victory over Georgia Southern.
- Louisiana-Monroe, as a team, has rushed for 5.9 yards per attempt across its past three games and 5.5 over its last two.
- South Alabama has averaged 3.4 yards per carry over its last three outings and 3.1 over its past two.