Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Arkansas State Betting Picks & Odds: Can Red Wolves Get Enough Stops?
Derick E. Hingle, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Levi Lewis
- The betting odds for Thursday's Louisiana-Arkansas State matchup opened with ULL as a 6-point favorite and an over/under of 65 (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU).
- Our experts give their favorite bets for the game below.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Arkansas State Betting Picks & Odds
- Spread: Louisiana-Lafayette -6.5
- Over/Under: 68
- Time: Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPNU
Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Arkansas State Line Movement
The movement on this point spread has been nothing out of the ordinary, as sportsbooks look to simply be limiting their monetary liability on Louisiana. The Cajuns have drawn 61% of bets and 62% of money and have moved slightly from -5.5 to -6.5.
The total has been a bit more interesting, as a significant discrepancy between bets (53%) and money (85%) on the over has pushed this number from 66 to 68. — Danny Donahue
Wilson: Two Very Different Offenses Meet
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette provided bettors with one of the more frustrating losses of the season against Appalachian State in Week 7.
The Mountaineers got the ball back with a 10-7 lead and essentially killed the game with a 19-play scoring drive that lasted over 10 minutes. Louisiana is not a quick-strike offense, so that left Levi Lewis in a tough spot, needing to put up points in a hurry.
Arkansas State will not be putting together those kind of drives on Thursday night. The Red Wolves rank 75th in offensive success rate and 123rd in time of possession.
This game’s biggest question is if Arkansas State can stop the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns on the ground. UL Lafayette ranks 7th in success rate. It’s not a good matchup for the Red Wolves as they’ve been decimated by injury and rank 116th in power success and 88th in stuff rate defensively.
The Cajuns should have their way on the ground, assuming Billy Napier has learned from his play-calling mistakes against Appalachian State.
Our Action Network power ratings make Louisiana a 2.5-point favorite, which indicates this line is inflated by Arkansas State’s injuries and its inconsistencies.
Our Action Network power ratings make the game Cajuns -2.5, which indicates the line is inflated by Arkansas State injury and inconsistencies. That makes sense considering the Red Wolves recently gave up 722 yards to Georgia State and 526 yards to Southern Illinois. Even worse news is half of those yards came on the ground,
However, Arkansas State’s defensive line will get a huge boost with the return of Kevin Thurmon and nickel-back Darreon Jackson. This defense should be better equipped to handle a terrific run defense.
Assuming the Arkansas State defense will regress towards the mean and post average results, its passing attack should keep them in this game. Quarterback Layne Hatcher, an Alabama transfer, has struggled with interception issues, but he should be able to move the ball on Thursday night. The offense ranks 22nd in passing explosiveness and that should expose Louisiana’s biggest weakness on defense. The Cajuns rank 118th in opponent pass explosiveness, which suggests Arkansas State should get some quick strikes to keep this game in range.
The Pick: Arkansas State +7 or better
Stuckey: Is This Total Too High?
Thanks to roster turnover and a litany of key injuries at every level, the Arkansas State defense is an absolute mess.
The Red Wolves are allowing 6.4 yards per play (116th in the nation) and a whopping 537 yards per game, which ranks second-to-last in the country, trailing only lowly UMass.
The numbers are bad no matter where you look, especially against the run, which matters the most against Louisiana’s prolific rushing attack, which averages 6.9 yards per carry.
The Ragin’ Cajuns should carve up this defense at will. And I’m expecting Trey Ragas, who leads the country with an average of 9.1 yards per carry, and Raymond Calais, who ranks fifth in that same category, to put up gaudy numbers.
Arkansas State features a fast-paced aerial attack that ranks in the top 10 in pass rate this year. Led by star wide receiver Omar Bayless, the Red Wolves are tied with UCF for the most pass plays over 30 yards with 19.
Bayless leads all of college football in receiving yards (843) and is tied at the top of the leaderboard with Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb with 10 receiving touchdowns. Arkansas State lost quarterback Logan Bonner for the year earlier this year but Alabama transfer Layne Hatcher has filled in admirably and actually taken the passing offense to another level, completing almost 10% more passes and averaging over four yards more per attempt than Bonner.
Louisiana has only allowed three completions of 30-plus yards all year (tied for third-fewest) but still ranks 118th in pass explosiveness — which is only a marginal improvement from a unit that ranked 125th in defending pass explosiveness last year. Arkansas State will hit a few big plays to Bayless through the air.
I can’t emphasize enough how bad the Arkansas State defense has been this year. It’s one of seven teams allowing over 38 points per game. I’d be surprised if Louisiana doesn’t get there. Both offensive lines should control the line of scrimmage and we should see an abundance of explosive plays throughout.
I’m not scared off after last week’s failed Over with Louisiana. I played the over 68 (which I like up to 70) and will be hunting for Louisiana live at a PK or better in what should be a solid live-betting game.
The Pick: Over 70 or better