South Alabama vs. Troy Odds & Pick: Trojans Not The Sun Belt Power They Once Were

South Alabama vs. Troy Odds & Pick: Trojans Not The Sun Belt Power They Once Were article feature image

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Khalil McClain

  • South Alabama plays Troy in a Sun Belt showdown on Wednesday night, and the latest odds list the Trojans as a heavy favorite -- and the line is only getting bigger.
  • Troy has covered just once this season under new coach Chip Lindsey, so can it get outside the number against the lowly Jaguars?

South Alabama vs. Troy Odds

  • Odds: Troy -17
  • Over/Under: 55.5
  • Moneylines: Troy -875, USA +575
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN2

Odds above as of Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. ET and via PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).

This week’s midweek Sun Belt tilt may not pack the same punch as last week’s, but that doesn’t mean bettors are shying away — it’s the 12th most-bet game on the board as of Wednesday morning.

Bettors haven’t done much to sway the opinions of oddsmakers in the short time this game has been available, though. After opening at -14.5 and drawing 59% of the money on 64% of bets, Troy has inched up only to -15 — a very minor move considering the line was already past the important two-touchdown mark.

The total has seen an equally boring lack of movement. With a slight majority of bets (57%) and dollars (54%) hitting the under, most sportsbooks have been comfortable enough holding their initial line of 55. — Danny Donahue

Wilson: Troy Isn’t the Troy of Old

On the surface, this would be perceived as a Sun Belt power against a dweller. The assumption about South Alabama and the cellar would be correct, but a closer look at Troy shows a team that has struggled through the transition with new head coach Chip Lindsey.

Our Action Network projections have this game at Troy -16.5, but consider the Trojans schedule to this point. Through five games Troy, has won and covered just once (against Akron, the 129th-ranked team in our power ratings).

The biggest story of this game is the status of Troy quarterback Kaleb Barker, who has been injured but is expected to play.

Barker’s status is critical for Troy, as the rushing attack is just 81st in yards per attempt and 102nd in rushing success rate. The offense relies on him to hide a lot of inefficiencies.

Troy HC Chip Lindsey announces Kaleb Barker as questionable for the South Alabama game following this play at Missouri.

— Adam Prendergast (@AdamP_TROY) October 8, 2019

Troy QB Kaleb Barker is expected to start against South Alabama on Wednesday.

Troy set to host South Alabama in 'Battle for the Belt' grudge match via @dothaneagle

— College Fantasy Football (@FBSFantasyFoot) October 16, 2019

As bad as South Alabama can be, the Jaguars may have success against the Troy defense. The Trojans are dead last nationally in opponent pass yards per attempt. Troy is 91st in opponent third-down conversions and dead last in opponent explosive passing.

The Jags have covered in two straight losses to Georgia Southern and Louisiana Monroe. Nebraska needed two defensive scores to get past South Alabama in the season opener.

I expect plenty of steam on Troy given the news of Barker’s health, so wait for a +17 if you want to back South Alabama. As for the total, our projections make this total 50 based on yards per play differential and snaps per game.

Look for South Alabama head coach Steve Campbell, a former Troy State player, to exact revenge after a 38-17 loss in 2018. This is not the same blue blood Troy team on either side of the ball, as points have become much harder to get on the board. Collin Wilson

Picks: Pass until South Alabama +17 or better, Under 58

Miller: Why I Like the Under

With Barker, this Troy offense has been very solid, ranking 49th in points per game, 52nd in explosiveness, and 54th in efficiency. There’s no doubt that this Troy offense has been very good so far this season but with a banged up QB, they may play it a bit conservative against a Sun Belt bottom dweller.

Since I’m not seeing much value on the side, I’m looking at the total for this Wednesday night Fun Belt tilt. South Alabama’s offense ranks 11th in rush play percentage and moves at a slow pace. The only way the Jags can move the ball is through chunk run plays.

Unfortunately for the Jagaurs, the only area on defense that Troy excels at is limiting big running plays.

As long as we can avoid South Alabama quarterback Cephus Johnson completing bombs against a susceptible Troy secondary, this one should land under the number. If Johnson hits some long throws early, it’ll keep Troy’s faced paced offense in score mode.

I’m looking to play the under in this game if it gets to 56 or higher. — Kyle Miller

Pick: Under 56 or better

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