JEFF'S NCAA FOOTBALL HIGH ROLLER SHOCKER
Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns (2-2) vs South Alabama Jaguars (3-1)
Saturday, October 01, 2022 at 5:00 pm
Former head coach Billy Napier posted a 40-12 record during his four-year tenure in Lafayette before taking Florida’s top job at the end of last season. Michael Desormeaux served as an assistant under Napier prior to being named Louisiana’s new head coach at the end of the 2021 regular season and won his head coaching debut in last year’s New Orleans Bowl, a 36-21 win over Marshall. Desormeaux has spent almost his entire professional career at his alma mater and has coached almost every position on offense, including serving as the Cajuns’ co-offensive coordinator last season. Continuity within the coaching ranks was important since Louisiana entered the 2022 campaign ranked 122nd in returning production (46%). Louisiana enters off back-to-back upset losses to Rice (33-21) and Louisiana-Monroe (21-17), whereas the Jaguars are 3-1 after beating Louisiana Tech 38-14 last week. The team’s disparate results provide us with excellent line value as my math model only favors South Alabama by 2.2 points and the Cajuns have won six consecutive meetings in this series. South Alabama is 2-8 ATS in its last ten trips to Lafayette and 3-7 ATS in its last ten conference road affairs as a favorite. Louisiana quarterback Chandler Fields leads the nation’s 14th-ranked passing offense, per Pro Football Focus (PFF), and already has ten big-time throws through four games. Louisiana ranks 23rd in explosiveness and should have success against a South Alabama defense ranked 72nd in EPA/Pass Allowed and 84th in passing explosiveness allowed against subpar competition, including Nicholls State, Central Michigan and Louisiana Tech. South Alabama boasts the 29th-best scoring offense in the FBS but will be challenged by an elite Louisiana stop unit ranked 8th, per PFF. The Cajuns have the third-best coverage grade in all of college football, per PFF, and rank sixth in EPA/Pass and 24th in Finishing Drives Allowed. Finally, Louisiana has one of the best running backs in Chris Smith, who operates behind an offensive line with PFF’s 49th-best run blocking grade. Grab the inflated number with Louisiana and invest with confidence.
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