Louisiana vs Southern Miss Odds & Picks: College Football Betting Preview (Thursday, Oct. 27)
Bobby McDuffie/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Southern Miss quarterback Zach Wilcke.
- The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns (4-3) travel to Hattiesburg, MS to face the Southern Miss Golden Eagles (4-3) on Thursday, Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
- The point spread for tonight's college football matchup opened at Louisiana -2.5, but it's been a wild ride since then. Earlier this week, the point spread was steamed all the way to Southern Miss +1.
- Then on Thursday morning, another major steam moved pushed the line back to a consensus of Louisiana -1.5. Read on for updated odds, picks and predictions for Louisiana vs. Southern Miss, including how our CFB betting analyst is betting Thursday's game.
Louisiana vs Southern Miss Odds
The Ragin' Cajuns head to Hattiesburg for a Sun Belt West showdown on Thursday night. And while 2022 marks the Golden Eagles' first year in the Sun Belt, these teams have a considerable amount of history between them.
Southern Miss leads the all-time series 40-11-1, a matchup that dates back to 1923. However, Thursday night's meeting will mark the first game in the series since 2016.
The Golden Eagles are riding a nine-game win streak in the series, own a 22-1 all-time series record at home and haven't lost in Hattiesburg since 1989. They'll look to extend their streak on a national stage Thursday night on ESPN2.
Meanwhile, Ragin' Cajuns' first-year head coach Michael Desormeaux is looking to spice up the conference in his first year. Louisiana is on a two-game conference win streak with a backup quarterback who is playing well.
Can he stay hot against the Golden Eagles, or will the heat be too much?
Things looked bleak for the Ragin' Cajuns after they lost their first two conference games and their starting quarterback. But in came Ben Wooldridge, who had been splitting time with Chandler Fields before he got hurt.
Wooldridge has thrown for 546 yards in the past two games. He's also thrown seven touchdowns without recording a single interception.
In their last game against Arkansas State, he set career highs in passing yards, attempts, completions and threw his longest pass. He also tied the school record with five touchdowns in a single game and completed passes to 10 different receivers.
His numbers have been astounding, but the most important one has been his ability to limit turnovers.
Louisiana will likely be without two of its best backs this week, as Chris Smith is questionable and Terrence Williams is out for the year. However, Wooldridge gives this offense its best chance to win the game if he puts up numbers like last week and limits turnovers.
ULL will be up against a defense that's tied for fourth in the Sun Belt in interceptions. Turnovers could be a deciding factor in this game, and the Ragin' Cajuns defense is set to have the upper hand against a Southern Miss offense that has thrown 11 interceptions.
Defensively, Louisiana matches up well with the Golden Eagles, but so does nearly every other team. Southern Miss ranks outside the top 100 in Offensive Success Rate, Offensive Finishing Drives and Offensive EPA per Play.
Despite a lackluster offense, the Golden Eagles are finding ways to win games. Southern Miss sits 2-1 in conference play and 4-3 overall despite being among the worst teams in the conference offensively.
Southern Miss averages 25 points and 334 yards per contest. Its offense relies heavily on star running back Frank Gore Jr., who ranks sixth in the conference in rushing yards, averaging 84.8 yards per game and 4.9 yards per carry.
The defense has led the Golden Eagles to four wins in their past five games. Southern Miss comes in ranked 32nd in Defensive Havoc, making them one of the few teams that match up well against a Ragin' Cajuns team that ranks 37th in Havoc Allowed.
Southern Miss also ranks 14th in Defensive Success Rate against a Louisiana team ranked 31st. I expect few scoring opportunities in this game.
Louisiana vs Southern Miss Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Louisiana and Southern Miss match up statistically:
Louisiana Offense vs Southern Miss Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Southern Miss Offense vs Louisiana Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||103||52|
|Seconds per Play||26.2 (61)||27.0 (82)|
|Rush Rate||50.5% (82)||57.6% (36)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Louisiana vs. Southern Miss Pick
As crazy as it sounds, I think the return of Louisiana's starting quarterback could put this game in jeopardy. Fields struggled earlier this season, and Wooldridge has had the hot hand.
Desormeaux said Wooldridge would get the start, but if things get tough against a solid Golden Eagles defense, I think they could go from bad to worse with Fields coming in.
The Southern Miss defense has frustrated teams week in and week out, and that's precisely what it'll do here against the Ragin' Cajuns. It'll also be able to control the clock against a middle-of-the-pack rush defense in the Sun Belt.
Louisiana has been one of the worst teams in the conference in red-zone defense. Despite their Finishing Drive numbers, the Ragin' Cajuns allow opponents to score on 90% of red-zone trips.
As a bonus, sharps are all over the Golden Eagles. Southern Miss is catching just 47% of bets but 91% of the money.
Bet the Golden Eagles to extend their series win streak.