The Sun Belt champion Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (12-4) will meet the Marshall Thundering Herd (7-5) in New Orleans, LA. this weekend for the New Orleans Bowl.
The Ragin’ Cajuns were blown out on the road by the Texas Longhorns to kick off the season and went on to win 12 straight games and ultimately a Sun Belt conference championship over Appalachian State. Boasted by a scoring defense that is 11th in the country and a powerful offense, Louisiana-Lafayette averaged 30.7 points per game, which included 54 touchdowns on more than 5,277 total yards of offense.
On the flip side, the Thundering Herd showed a streaky side to them while losing three straight to go 2-3 to start and then winning four straight only to finish 7-5. Marshall averaged 34 points per game, which was more than Louisiana-Lafayette but gave up 22.8 points per game, which was 40th in the country.
Let’s dive into this game and see who takes the New Orleans Bowl this weekend.
All NCAAF gameday odds are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook and current as of 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday, December 15.
Louisiana-Lafayette vs Marshall Prediction
Louisiana-Lafayette enters this one as the clear favorite -5 on Caesars and rightfully so, as they will also be playing in their home state for this game against a team that lost four more games than them. It almost seems as though they got stiffed a bit by the bowl committee.
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Louisiana-Lafayette may not have played the toughest schedule but they took care of business after the first game of the season, winning 12 straight games. I expect Louisiana-Lafayette’s stout defense to shut down a big-time offensive attack from Marshall. Expect the Ragin’ Cajuns Chauncey Manac, who nearly has half of the sacks the team has total all season, to make an impact in this one.
New Orleans Bowl Prediction: Louisiana-Lafayette 33, Marshall 23
New Orleans Bowl Game Best Bets
Best Bet: Louisiana-Lafayette -5 (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 2 units
This team is 12-1 on the season paired against a 7-5 team? They weren’t taken as seriously as I’m sure they feel they should have been. That is, simply put, one of the best defenses in the country. I think Louisiana-Lafayette in Louisiana comes out and makes a statement in this one with a 10-point win, so I’ll take the favorites here.
Best Bet: Over 55 Total Points (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 unit
I have this game going over 55 with my prediction, but even as great as Louisiana-Lafayette’s defense has been this year, both of these games are averaging more than 30 points per game. Marshall has an offense that could explode if they are able to exploit the Cajuns’ tough defense. I feel way more comfortable with the spread but I will take the over in this game as it’s just 55.
For more college football picks, check out our NCAAF bet of the day.