Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tuesday Night Sun Belt Preview: UL Lafayette @ Arkansas State

Ragin' Cajuns! Red Wolves! Tonight on ESPN2!

My goal with this post is to absolutely nail two bets: the point spread is currently Ark State -9 (looking like it might move to -8.5), and the over/under is a hefty 63 (looking light it might move to 63.5). In the interest of full disclosure, my gut says take the Ragin' Cajuns because that's the best nickname in all of sports.

Ragin' Cajuns Summary

  • Junior QB Brooks Haack stinks. He's thrown 0 touchdowns and 4 interceptions on his 66 attempts for the season, and he seems to getting gradually phased out.
  • Haack's replacement has been fellow Junior Jalen Nixon. On his 86 attempts, he's totaled 5 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions. Nixon has also rushed for 99 yards in the past two games. 
  • ULL does more damage on the ground, totaling 1156 yards and 15 touchdowns through 5 games. They are led by Junior Elijah McGuire's 585 yards (on 6.0 yards per carry) and 7 touchdowns. 
  • The Cajuns have a balanced receiving group, with 5 receivers between 12 and 22 receptions on the year. Four of those five have scored a touchdown, and there are 8 receivers who have caught at least one pass of 20+ yards this year. 
  • The ULL defense has been all over the place. They gave up 40 at Kentucky (23.4 ppg since), 17 versus Northwestern State (26.6 in other games), 35 versus Akron (26.2 in other games, but they either blow the other team out or get blown out), 43 at Louisiana Tech (35.7 in other games), and 27 versus Texas State (35.8 in other games, but got killed by FSU and Houston). 
  • One sentence summary: Hamstrung by interceptions and the lack of a defense against Akron and La Tech, but overall about as solid as you could expect a Sun Belt team to be. 
Red Wolves Summary
  • Ark State have been splitting quarterback time between Senior Fredi Knighten (63 attempts, 302 yards, 4 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 45 rushes, 90 yards, 0 touchdowns, has been a successful runner in the past) and Freshman James Tabary (102 attempts, 788 yards, 4 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, not a rushing threat at all). 
  • Similarly productive on the ground, they've totaled 1190 yards and 15 touchdowns. The three-headed beast of Michael Gordon, Warren Wand (A+ porn name), and Johnston White have combined for 1035 of those yards on 6.0 yards per carry, and have scored 14 of the team's rushing touchdowns. 
  • JD McKissic leads the team in receptions and yards, and Tres Houston (A+ rap name) leads the team with 4 receiving touchdowns. 
  • The Wolves have held just one opponent under 27 points this year: Missouri State, who have gotten absolutely obliterated in 5 of their 6 games this year, with their other game being an 8-point win against Chadron State, who do not have a team page on ESPN. USC scored 55 (average 35.0 in other games), Mizzou scored 27 (17.8 in other games), Toledo scored 37 (34.2 in other games), Idaho scored 35 (23.4 in other games), and South Alabama scored 31 (22.6 in other games). 
After looking at those summaries, how the FUCK can you think Ark State is going to cover a 9 point spread? (Checking Bovada again, the spread have moved all the way down to 7.5 since I started writing.) That's a #shoutout to my fellow sharp bettors, because 9 is a laughable line and even 7.5 is a joke. Tbh I kind of like the Ragin' Cajun moneyline at +265. Forget the over/under, I'm not going to review that. Take whatever money you were going to bet on the over and bet it on the Ragin' Cajuns. #LetsRage

If you're looking for a counterpoint, here's a link to an article on Athlon Sports that basically undermines everything I think about this game.)

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