Louisiana vs Old Dominion Odds, Picks: Bet the Ragin’ Cajuns
Photo by Bobby McDuffie/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Ben Wooldridge (Louisiana)
Louisiana vs Old Dominion Odds
The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns hit the road to visit Norfolk, Virginia and get a look at Old Dominion’s new veer-and-shoot offense. Head coach Ricky Rahne is hoping the friendly confines will be, well, friendlier for his offense after things went poorly last week against Virginia Tech.
Louisiana opened as a seven-point favorite, but the line has teetered down a touch. Does Louisiana have the matchup advantages to cover? Or do the Monarchs have what it takes to make it a game?
Louisiana has been losing star talent since Billy Napier left for Florida. However, it rallied to make a bowl last season and opened its 2023 campaign with a dominant win over FCS Northwestern State.
The Cajuns have lost some Napier-era talent to the portal and graduation, but still finished middle of the pack in our TARP returning production metric. The offense was average for a Group of 5 team, and the defense was legitimately good (29th in defensive SP+ in 2022).
Quarterback Ben Wooldridge is back after taking over the job in the middle of last season. He was inefficient in the opener, but did sling a trio of touchdowns. He also ran for another.
Also, Dre’lyn Washington is a budding star at running back.
This team isn’t explosive on offense, but it plays complementary football with a solid running game.
The defense is Louisiana's bread-and-butter. Sonny Hazard and K.C. Ossai are excellent in the front seven, and the team finished 14th overall in PFF Coverage grading.
They lost some starters in the secondary, but the track record and the pedigree are there.
They should be able to handle an Old Dominion offense that's among the worst in FBS.
Last year’s Monarchs team finished on a six-game losing streak. The offense could create big plays, but there was no down-to-down consistency, and a run of injuries and poor offensive line play eventually caught up with them.
They lost almost every important starter and did little to replace them with proven pieces.
Instead, they opted for a complete offensive overhaul. Rahne hired Kevin Decker — the offensive coordinator at Fordham — to run the uptempo veer-and-shoot offense.
Grant Wilson, who was previously the backup at Fordham, will start at quarterback. Wilson had a nightmare outing against Virginia Tech, as he went just 13-of-25 for 97 yards.
Wilson was under siege all game and was forced into five scrambles. He was also sacked five times.
The only thing that worked offensively was the designed QB run game (nine called runs for 71 yards, according to PFF charting).
The Old Dominion defense is sabotaged by its offense. Linebacker Jason Henderson is a star — and one of the best tacklers in college football — but the offense’s poor play hangs the defense out to dry, hurting its performance.
Louisiana vs Old Dominion
Betting Pick & Prediction
The line has moved in Old Dominion’s favor, but the play is still Louisiana.
The Cajuns have an identity, a good running back and a veteran quarterback.
They have the advantage over a team that is undergoing a complete rebuild and has one of the most barren rosters in the nation. This new offense will undergo some serious growing pains as Decker learns how to call it at the FBS level.
Collin Wilson’s power ratings make Louisiana a 10-point favorite on the road. When you’re even getting the better side of the key number of 7, the Cajuns are the play.