UL Monroe vs Army Odds, Picks | Saturday College Football Betting Guide

UL Monroe vs Army Odds, Picks | Saturday College Football Betting Guide article feature image

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Chandler Rogers (UL Monroe)

UL-Monroe vs. Army Odds

Saturday, Oct. 22
12 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
UL-Monroe Odds
-112o / -108u
Army Odds
-112o / -108u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Two teams with mirroring two-win seasons meet at scenic Michie Stadium on the Hudson River on Saturday afternoon.

Terry Bowden’s UL Monroe Warhawks have a 2-5 record, but as one of the traditional FBS doormats, they have to feel decent about being competitive in many of their games. They also already sport a huge rivalry win over Louisiana.

Jeff Monken’s Army outfit has lost a number of close games on its way to a 2-4 campaign. But it still has time to salvage its season with a busy upcoming slate, including both service-academy rivals looming.

This midseason meeting might be overlooked, but offense could carry the day in a game between two struggling defenses.

Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks

It’s a good sign that the Warhawks are achieving some functionality on offense. A year after finishing 127th in offensive SP+ under coordinator Rich Rodriguez (yes, that Rich Rodriguez), the same outfit is currently 91st — a leap of almost 40 spots.

Those numbers are just for the first half of the season, which include their predictably limited efforts against Texas and Alabama.

The attack is balanced — the Warhawks rank 71st in rushing in Beta_Rank and 78th in passing.

Quarterback Chandler Rogers has been hot in the last two contests against Coastal Carolina’s porous secondary and South Alabama’s sturdier unit. In those two games, he was 47-of-58 passing for 648 yards combined, with six touchdowns and one interception.

That hot streak coincides with the emergence of Kansas State transfer Tyrone Howell at wide receiver.

Howell started slowly, perhaps getting acclimated to his new system and perhaps struggling to get open against Texas and Alabama defenders.

But he has been on fire in Sun Belt play, as he's up to 505 yards and four touchdowns on the season at 21.0 yards per catch. That production is almost entirely in just the last month.

The rushing game is nothing to write home about, as the Warhawks rank 102nd in Rushing Success Rate.

Rogers has been sacked 22 times on the season and 25.6% of his pressures become sacks, an alarmingly high number. And those aren’t all from Alabama and Texas; he's been sacked four times apiece in the last three games against conference foes.

The Warhawks' offense is solid at capitalizing on its opportunities — they are 45th in Points Per ECKEL, Parker Fleming’s stat that measures how teams create quality possessions and what they do with them.

Unfortunately, they are 122nd in creating ECKELs, and Army is solid at standing you up in the end zone — 23rd in points allowed per ECKEL.

The defense has remained near the bottom of the FBS, checking in at 115th in SP+. However, the Warhawks do have a strong split in limiting Success Rates on the ground, checking in at 35th in that metric. They are vulnerable almost everywhere else, though.

ULM forces very little Havoc (106th), which means it rarely takes the ball away or puts you behind the sticks. That does not bode well for its chances of slowing down a ball-control academy offense.

Army Black Knights

This has been a frustrating season for the Black Knights, who sit at 2-4. They have blown out their two FCS opponents (Villanova and Colgate) and have been blown out by their top-25 FBS opponent (Wake Forest).

The three games against peer Group of Five programs — Georgia State, UTSA and Coastal Carolina — were all frustrating close losses.

The loss to the Roadrunners came in overtime and they were within one score in the fourth quarter in both Sun Belt games before late insurance scores widened the final margins.

Hosting ULM represents a “get-right” opportunity for Monken’s outfit before the bye week and Army's final five games, which include a tough trip to Troy and its two rivalry contests.

Unfortunately, the Black Knights enter this crucial stretch with terrible injury luck, as many key players missed the Colgate game. Some, like fullback Tyson Riley, were healthy scratches against an FCS opponent.

Others, like both rotation quarterbacks Tyhier Tyler and Cade Ballard, were unavailable, as were both leading rusher slotback Tyrell Robinson and leading receiver Isaiah Alston.

Impact defensive starters Andre Carter II (a potential first-round NFL edge rusher) and top corner Jabari Moore were also out.

It’s hard to imagine a more impactful list of Army players.

With a full complement of starters, Army will score against ULM’s defense. The rushing attack is excellent, of course, and Ballard and Tyhier have combined to power a pass offense that strikes rarely, but when it does, delivers a knockout blow.

Army’s passing offense is second nationally in Explosiveness, but 123rd in Success Rate.

Army’s ball-control offense does its job. It's 19th in ECKEL Rate at 64% — as almost two-thirds of its possessions become scoring opportunities — and ranks 30th in points per ECKEL.

ULM’s defense is accommodating — it's bottom-100 in FBS in both allowing ECKELS and points allowed per ECKEL.

Army’s defense has really struggled on the season, ranking 118th in SP+. It’s hard to find a metric where the Black Knights are not near the bottom of FBS — Explosiveness, Havoc, Success Rate, EPA, you name it.

The defense does perform better in the red zone, as mentioned in the previous section with its above-average points per ECKEL.

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UL-Monroe vs. Army Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how UL-Monroe and Army match up statistically:

UL-Monroe Offense vs. Army Defense
Rush Success102130
Line Yards100131
Pass Success90116
Pass Blocking**124107
Finishing Drives8186
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Army Offense vs. UL-Monroe Defense
Rush Success3135
Line Yards938
Pass Success123124
Pass Blocking**129110
Finishing Drives5191
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling12994
PFF Coverage12394
SP+ Special Teams13142
Seconds per Play29.2 (119)29.7 (122)
Rush Rate59.9% (21)84.7% (2)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

UL-Monroe vs. Army Betting Pick

ULM’s passing attack is on fire recently thanks to Howell's emergence. Army's undersized (and potentially undermanned) defense won't slow the Warhawks down.

With a full complement of Army offensive starters, I would consider playing the over. Both teams will be able to score and academy games can turn into shootouts when they play defenses that have no ability to stop them.

If Army plays most of the key pieces of its first-string veteran offense, I’ll play the over. But even if those key players are active, I believe ULM will stay with Army, and that task will be only easier with Army’s backups in.

I’ll take ULM and the points.

Pick: UL Monroe +6.5 (Play to +4.5 based on Army’s health)

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