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Coastal Carolina at Louisiana-Lafayette Odds & Pick: Back the Ragin’ Cajuns in Undefeated Sun Belt Battle (Wednesday, Oct. 14)

Coastal Carolina at Louisiana-Lafayette Odds & Pick: Back the Ragin’ Cajuns in Undefeated Sun Belt Battle (Wednesday, Oct. 14) article feature image

Todd Kirkland/Getty Images. Pictured: Louisiana-Lafayette QB Levi Lewis.

Coastal Carolina at Louisiana-Lafayette Odds

Coastal Carolina Odds +9.5 [BET NOW]
Louisiana-Lafayette Odds -9.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline +255/-335 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 59 [BET NOW]
Time 7:30 p.m. ET

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A pair of undefeated Sun Belt teams meet Wednesday night at Cajun Field, as Louisiana-Lafayette hosts Coastal Carolina.

The Ragin’ Cajuns followed up their season-opening win over Iowa State with back-to-back conference victories and are currently ranked No. 21 in the AP poll. They enter Wednesday’s matchup with the Chanticleers favored by more than a touchdown.

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Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns

Another season of Ragin’ Cajuns football has quarterback Levi Lewis leaving defenses in the dust. A 3-0 record with an upset over Iowa State is fresh in the mind of bettors, but a closer examination may reveal troubles in the near future. Louisiana escaped Georgia State with just a 68% postgame win expectancy after Lewis threw two interceptions.

A narrow two-point victory over Georgia Southern had Lewis picked off again, as the defense allowed the Eagles to put up 4-of-9 explosive drives. Billy Napier’s team needed a last-minute field goal to stay undefeated.

The advanced stats show that UL-Lafayette has issues ranging from Havoc to finishing drives. A rank of 59th offensively and 70th defensively in points per opportunity are keeping opponents close, while a defensive sack rank of 68th allows opposing quarterbacks to pick up chunk yards. A rank of 61st in defensive Havoc accentuates the trench play, as the Ragin’ Cajuns have just 13 tackles for loss this season.

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Generating offense is nothing new for Coastal Carolina. Jamey Chadwell took over as head coach in 2019 and continues to lead an offense that ranked in the top 30 in success rate. Quarterback Bryce Carpenter has moved on, but Grayson McCall has filled in admirably with an offense that ranked third in passing success rate and second in finishing drives.

Grayson McCall (RFr.), Quarterback, Coastal Carolina

Skill Sample – Hole Shots

— Felix H. Sharpe II (@sharpereview) October 5, 2020

McCall has been close to perfect in blitz downs. Through 19 dropbacks, the freshman has completed 83% of his passes with five touchdowns and no interceptions. A mixture of 11 and 12 personnel with pre-snap motion has kept defenses unprepared for McCall’s quick-strike talent.

The difference in the Chanticleers’ season has come on the defensive side of the ball. Last season, Coastal Carolina ranked 126th in defensive passing success rate. Currently, the Chants are 27th in defensive passing success rate and 15th in preventing the explosive pass. These numbers are complemented by a sack rate of 14th in FBS.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

The public infatuation with Coastal Carolina off a memorable prime-time victory over Kansas lingers in the minds of bettors, but there are a few stats that should worry Chanticleers investors. Louisiana is top-10 in rush explosiveness, specifically averaging 1.43 expected points per rush. The Coastal defense is 73rd in rushing explosiveness, as the Chants allow 1.29 expected points per rush. Coastal’s defensive rushing success rate of 47th must improve after Campbell went 5.4 yards per carry earlier this season.

With an Action Network projection of UL-Lafayette -6, the value may come on the total. Per the Week 7 Pace Report, Coastal Carolina has one of the slowest offenses in the nation at 30.2 seconds per play. Nothing in the Louisiana offense could be considered brisk, as it averages 26 seconds per play.

The Ragin’ Cajuns have had issues converting opportunity to points, with a Finishing Drives rank of 70th. The Louisiana defense has excelled in limiting explosive plays, ranking seventh in opponent plays from scrimmage exceeding 20 yards. For this undefeated Sun Belt clash, the best bet is to go under on two offenses that do not run tempo, while Louisiana will lean on the ground game to shut out the Chants.

The Pick: Louisiana -7 or better; Under 58.5 or better.

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