South Alabama vs Tulane Odds & Prediction: Green Wave on Upset Alert?
Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images. Pictured: Carter Bradley (South Alabama)
South Alabama vs Tulane Odds
This non-conference matchup between South Alabama and Tulane has to be one of my favorite matchups on the entire Week 1 slate.
The Tulane Green Wave are coming off of a historic season in which they finished 12-2 and knocked off USC in a thrilling Cotton Bowl.
On the other side, South Alabama is looking to keep the momentum going in Kane Wommack’s third season after racking up 10 wins in 2022.
Both of these teams rank inside the top 50 in terms of Net TARP and have a ton to be excited about on both sides of the ball.
So, let’s take a look at the odds and make a betting pick and prediction for South Alabama vs. Tulane.
Jaguars fans should be optimistic after South Alabama won seven of its final eight regular-season games in 2022. The team has a plethora of returning talent on both sides of the ball and should continue to build upon that success.
The Jaguars rank eighth in Net TARP and are returning 18 starters, including quarterback Carter Bradley, their top-three rushers, five of their top six receivers and each of their top-six tacklers.
Love this play from South Alabama and Carter Bradley standing in that pocket as long as he can to let it develop pic.twitter.com/KAJRjYNZCx
— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) September 10, 2022
Additionally, South Alabama boasts four returning starters on the offensive line and added RG Dontae Lucas from Florida State and LG James Robinson from Tennessee. This bolstered offensive line is critical for an offense that ranked 101st in Rushing Success Rate in 2022.
The Jaguars will pair their rushing attack with a passing attack that ranked 26th nationally in Success Rate in 2022 and returns virtually all of its key contributors.
South Alabama's offensive experience will be an immediate advantage against a Tulane defense that ranked 104th nationally in Defensive Finishing Drives and 104th in points per opportunity a season ago.
On the other side of the ball, third-year defensive coordinator Corey Batoon returns nine starters from a unit that ranked inside the top 25 in Success Rate and points per opportunity.
This is arguably the most talented team in the Sun Belt and is more than a formidable opponent for a Tulane team that has a few questions that need to be answered.
After a two-win season in 2021, Tulane turned in a historic 12-win season — including a Cotton Bowl victory over USC — in 2022.
College Football Game of the Day!
Cotton Bowl: #16 Tulane Green Wave vs. #10 USC Trojans (2023)
– The Trojans gave up a 15-point lead with under five minutes to play
– Tulane RB Tyjae Spears rushed for 205 yards and 4 TDs
– The Teams combined for 1,133 yards of offense and 91… pic.twitter.com/cHuY1g7asx
— JWP Sports / CFBAlerts (@JWPSports) July 4, 2023
Unfortunately, that success made Tulane’s coaching staff a hot commodity and the Green Wave enter 2023 with three new coordinators.
Much of the success was attributed to a Tyjae Spears-led rushing attack. Spears racked up nearly 1,600 yards on the ground, but departed to the NFL and will need to be replaced.
Spears absence will be felt by a Tulane offense that ranked 27th nationally in Rushing Play Rate. Although the Green Wave will have 130 career starts returning on the offensive line, replacing Spears will be a tough task.
Without Spears, there will be increased pressure on second team All-AAC QB Michael Pratt to pick up the slack through the air. Pratt has plenty of talent to work with, but he did lose his top two receivers in Shae Wyatt and Duece Watts.
On the defensive side, new defensive coordinator Shiel Woods has multiple holes to fill, as the Green Wave lose their top-five tacklers from last season and will have to learn on the fly against an experienced South Alabama offense.
South Alabama vs. Tulane
Betting Pick & Prediction
This is a perfect spot for South Alabama to capitalize on having one of the most experienced rosters in the country.
I believe Tulane will continue its winning ways this season, but there will be a learning curve early in the year.
Meanwhile, South Alabama will pick up right where it left off after winning its final five games of the 2022 regular season.
Give me the points in a game I believe the Jaguars have a legitimate chance to win outright on the road.