- The South Alabama Jaguars and Troy Trojans square off on Wednesday night (8:00 PM ET, Oct. 16)
- The Trojans are 15-point favorites and the total is set at 55
- Five of South Alabama’s six games have gone under this season
Raise your hand if you’re ready for some mid-week Sun Belt football. The South Alabama Jaguars (1-5, 0-2 Sun Belt) clash with the Troy Trojans (2-3, 0-1 Sun Belt) on Wednesday Night (8:00 PM ET, Oct. 16) in the annual Battle for the Belt.
The Jaguars enter this game riding a four-game losing streak, while the Trojans are fresh off a lopsided loss to #22 Missouri.
South Alabama vs Troy Odds
|South Alabama Jaguars||+475||+15.0 (-110)||Over 55.0 (-110)|
|Troy Trojans||-750||-15.0 (-110)||Under 55.0 (-110)|
All odds taken 10/15/19.
The Jaguars vs Trojans odds and stats currently show Troy as 15-point favorites, up a half-point since it opened, with a game total of 55. Neither team has been particularly impressive against the spread, however five of the six South Alabama games have gone under the total and this game has under written all over it.
The Jaguar Offense Lacks Bite
The Jaguars rank 127th out of 130 FBS teams in offensive efficiency and have scored just 44 points during their four-game slide. For context, National Championship favorites Alabama have scored more than 44 points in all but one of their games this season. The Jags have eclipsed 21 points just once and rank bottom-two in the Sun Belt in points for, total yards, passing yards, and first downs.
Cam Taylor absolutely crushed Cephus Johnson, setting up Alex Davis for the easy touchdown. pic.twitter.com/grlwMHsp3x
— Jacob Padilla (@JacobPadilla_) August 31, 2019
They’ve averaging a conference-worst 2.2 turnovers per game and starting quarterback Cephus Johnson is completing just 54% of his passes. Their run game has been slightly better, but has been plagued by inconsistency. Leading rusher Tra Minter has exceeded 150 yards on the ground twice this season, but has been held to 45 yards or fewer in the Jags’ other four contests.
The strength of Troy’s defense is their front seven, and if South Alabama is forced to rely on Johnson’s arm, scoring will be tough to come by.
Will Kaleb Barker Return?
As it stands right now, Troy starting quarterback Kaleb Barker is questionable for Wednesday’s tilt. Barker has been one the few bright spots for Troy this season, throwing for 1,476 yards and 14 touchdowns. He left Troy’s previous game in the first half with a leg injury, and if he can’t go, it will be freshman Gunnar Watson under center.
Troy HC Chip Lindsey announces Kaleb Barker as questionable for the South Alabama game following this play at Missouri. pic.twitter.com/bwLnTNz1sZ
— Adam Prendergast (@AdamP_TROY) October 8, 2019
Watson has thrown just 11 passes at the collegiate level and the potential loss of Barker could force the Trojans to lean more on the run. South Alabama ranks 106th against the run this season, and is fresh off allowing 310 yards to Georgia Southern two weeks ago.
2Q | ⚔️ 14, ? 14
— Troy Trojans Football ⚔️⚔️ (@TroyTrojansFB) September 14, 2019
Troy’s rushing attack may not be its strength, but it’s more than capable of racking up yards against the Jags. A run-heavy approach will take the pressure off Watson and also help bettors looking to wager on the under.
Attack the Total
If Barker sits, the under is a smash play; but even if he suits up, I’d still lean under 55. South Alabama is considerably better against the pass than the run (35th vs 106th) and the Trojans would be wise to expose that weakness. The Jags offense has struggled to put up points all season and the current spread and total predict roughly a 36-21 final score.
If South Alabama doesn’t hang three touchdowns – which it hasn’t since Week 1 – there’s a great chance the game stays under.
Pick: Under 55.0 (-110)
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