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Louisiana vs UAB Picks and Odds

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in College Football

Oct 21, 2020 · 6:00 AM PDT

Billy Napier
Louisiana-Lafayette head coach Billy Napier speaks to a member of the media following an NCAA football game against Coastal Carolina in Lafayette, La., Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Kieu)
  • The UAB Blazers are 1.5-point home favorites over the University of Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns on Friday, October 23rd (8:00 pm EST)
  • UAB has won three straight, while Louisiana is fresh off its first loss of the season
  • See below for analysis, odds and a betting prediction

It’s a Friday night mid-major showdown as the 4-1 UAB Blazers host the 3-1 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns at 8:00 pm EST. UAB enters play fresh off its third straight victory, while Louisiana is coming off its first loss of the season against 25th ranked Coastal Carolina.

Prior to last week’s loss, the Ragin’ Cajuns were ranked inside the AP Top-25. They knocked off number 23 Iowa State in their season opener, and followed that up with narrow wins over Georgia State and Georgia Southern.

Louisiana vs UAB Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Louisiana +1.5 (-109) -106 Over 50.0 (-110)
UAB -1.5 (-112) -115 Under 50.0 (-110)

Odds taken Oct. 20th at DraftKings.

However, it’s UAB, not Louisiana that opened up as a 1.5-point favorite. The Blazers have won each of the four games they’ve been favored in so far, but have covered just twice.

Defensively Sound

UAB actually boasts a below average offense, but have been excelling thanks to a strong defensive unit. Last week, they took down Western Kentucky by 23 points, despite gaining only 358 yards on offense. The Blazers forced four turnovers which led to 17 points, plus they returned a block punt for a touchdown.

They’ve won 21 straight home games, but don’t expect an aerial show from QB Bryson Lucero. The Freshman may be 3-0 as a starter, but UAB ranks 52nd out 77 FBS teams in passing offense, averaging a measly 217.2 yards per game, and 6.9 yards per attempt.

Instead, expect another strong does of the Blazers run game. Fuelled by a three-headed monster (Spencer Brown, Jermaine Brown Jr, and DeWayne McBride), UAB ranks 19th in yards per carry (5.0) and 33rd in rushing yards per game (175.2).

The ground and pound approach should work well against the Ragin’ Cajuns, who boast a bottom-25 FBS rush defense.

Looking to Rebound

Louisiana is giving up 196.2 rushing yards per game in 2020, as opponents are running on over 60% of their snaps against them. The Ragin’ Cajuns have fared much better against the pass, holding enemy quarterbacks to a 56.9% completion rate and just 199.5 yards per contest.

Like UAB, Louisiana is much better equipped to lean on its ground game. The Ragin’ Cajuns average 186.5 rushing yards per game and 5.7 yards per carry, which ranks seventh in the Nation. They also operate a three-man committee out of the backfield led by Elijah Mitchell, while QB Levi Lewis is just as dangerous on the ground as he is through the air.

Keeping the offense on the ground seems like the prudent move, as UAB allows 172.4 rushing yards per game and is full of playmakers in the secondary. The Blazers have already generated 11 takeaways this season, including five interceptions.

The Verdict

With both of these teams showing a strong tendency to favor the run, the total becomes an interesting line to attack. Rushing plays eat up much more clock time than passing plays, and both of these teams boast solid overall defensive units.

UAB is holding enemy offenses to just 4.7 yards per play, while Louisiana is keeping opponents in check to the tun of 5.2 yards per play. They rank 34 and 21 respectively in defensive efficiency by ESPN’s FPI metrics, and Louisiana in particular has a tendency to play lower scoring games. Three of the Ragin Cajun’s four games have stayed under the total, including each of the last two.

Pick: Under 50 (-110)


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