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Old Dominion vs South Alabama Odds & Picks: Bet Jaguars Early

Old Dominion vs South Alabama Odds & Picks: Bet Jaguars Early article feature image
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Photo by Bobby McDuffie/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Carter Bradley (South Alabama)

Old Dominion vs South Alabama Odds

Saturday, Nov. 26
12 p.m. ET
ESPN+
Old Dominion Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+14.5
-112
47.5
-114o / -106u
+540
South Alabama Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-14.5
-108
48
-114o / -106u
-800
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Old Dominion is limping to the finish line in 2022 — both literally and figuratively. The Monarchs are without their top two pass catchers and have lost five in a row.

South Alabama is the class of the Sun Belt. The Jaguars have only dropped two games, to Troy and UCLA, by a combined five points. If the Trojans slip in their game later Saturday afternoon, South Alabama can steal the Sun Belt West crown with a win over Old Dominion.

South Alabama is the significantly better side, both on paper and in current form. Do the Monarchs have the matchups or the motivation to keep this game close?


Old Dominion Monarchs

The Monarchs season peaked after six games. At that point, they had split their games against in-state Power Five schools, having beat Virginia Tech and lost a close game to Virginia. They had dropped a pair of tough non-conference games to ECU and Liberty, but were 2-0 in conference and had just dominated Coastal Carolina.

The offense was generating big plays, the defense was efficient and wide receiver Ali Jennings was a breakout star.

It has been a nightmare for the Monarchs since. They have lost five games in a row in conference play, will miss out on a bowl and are likely finishing the season last in the Sun Belt East.

Jennings had season-ending ankle surgery, joining star tight end Zack Kuntz on the shelf. The team went 13 straight quarters without scoring a touchdown.

When the Monarchs offense was working, it eschewed efficiency to create big plays. Without Kuntz and Jennings, that big play spigot has dried up entirely.

The details are ugly. In Week 10 against Marshall, the Monarchs were shut out and gained 209 total yards. The next week, James Madison held them to a single field goal and 227 yards. Last week, even Appalachian State’s forgiving defense held them to 216 yards.

There is some competency on defense despite the offensive struggles. However, it’s not a good defense, and it’s particularly porous to the pass, ranking 89th in EPA against the pass. It also doesn’t create much Havoc (76th in FBS).

But it can stand teams up in the red zone, ranking 13th in opponents’ points per opportunity.

Linebacker Jason Henderson is one of the breakout stars in college football. His 161 tackles lead FBS by a significant margin. The Monarchs defense is 62nd in Successful Rush Rate Allowed and 44th in explosive rushes allowed.

Unfortunately, that is a bad matchup for this South Alabama team which prefers to pass the ball.

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South Alabama Jaguars

Senior day in Mobile will be a victory lap for Kane Wommack and his Jaguars. Last year, he built a promising squad in his first year at the helm, starting his career with a 5-3 record. But his team went oh-fer against a brutal November schedule and missed a bowl game.

This year’s team also started hot, despite a quarterback change. The Jaguars replaced Jake Bentley with Toledo transfer Carter Bradley.

They almost upset UCLA in the Rose Bowl and started 3-0 in Sun Belt play. If there were any worries of another late-season swoon following the heartbreaking 10-6 Thursday night loss to Troy, the Jaguars put those fears to rest by winning their next four in mostly dominant fashion.

The Jaguars are balanced, ranking in the top 30 in EPA/Pass and EPA/Rush on defense, and 28th in EPA/Pass on offense. The running game is the weakest category — 78th in EPA/Rush on offense.

Bradley has been a revelation, completing 64.8% of his passes for 2,786 yards and 22 touchdowns. He’s thrown just nine interceptions. He leads an offense that has averaged 33.5 points in the four games since that fateful Troy contest.

The Jaguars offense is a poor matchup for the Old Dominion defense, which struggles against the pass but is competent against the run.

South Alabama’s defense is excellent, ranking 26th in SP+. Defensive backs Yam Banks and Darrell Luter Jr. are NFL prospects. The front is also strong, and strong at preventing rushing attacks from being either efficient (31st in Success Rate) or explosive (26th).

The defense is also good at forcing negative plays (36th in Havoc) and stout in the red zone (15th in Finishing Drives). Wommack’s pedigree is on defense, and you can see his success on that side of the ball.


Old Dominion vs South Alabama Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Old Dominion and South Alabama match up statistically:

Old Dominion Offense vs. South Alabama Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 119 31
Line Yards 111 25
Pass Success 121 13
Pass Blocking** 82 22
Havoc 104 39
Finishing Drives 107 15
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

South Alabama Offense vs. Old Dominion Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 114 62
Line Yards 69 77
Pass Success 28 103
Pass Blocking** 87 85
Havoc 24 76
Finishing Drives 56 13
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 11 21
PFF Coverage 61 20
SP+ Special Teams 96 1
Seconds per Play 23.9 (21) 26.7 (71)
Rush Rate 42.6% (122) 54.3% (64)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Old Dominion vs South Alabama Betting Pick

Wommack’s team should take care of business against Old Dominion and might find themselves in the Sun Belt title game if they get a little help.

Even if that help doesn’t arrive, a bowl game and a 10-win regular season will be celebrated. 

South Alabama is a big favorite in this game, and for good reason. The Jaguars are the better team, hosting Senior Day and will be celebrating the best team in school history. They are healthy, playing great football right now, and have more to play for. They should cruise to a comfortable victory.

… And that’s why I’m scared of the 16-point spread.

Old Dominion just played to the whistle last week and earned a backdoor cover against App State. That would certainly be in play if South Alabama wants to get more players involved in its final home game. 

That’s why my favorite play is South Alabama 1H -8.5. I trust the Jaguars to cover that number in the first half, even if the second half becomes a celebration of the seniors — and a watchful eye on the out-of-town scoreboard.

Pick: South Alabama 1H -8.5 (Play to -10)

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