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Jacksonville State Pick to Win New Orleans Bowl

The college football bowl schedule kicks off with one of its first matchups featuring arguably one of the most intriguing teams and also the toughest to gauge in terms of the NCAA football betting lines for the coming weeks. Jacksonville State is bowl-eligible in its first season at the FBS level due to a lack of teams that were bowl eligible, but its 8-4 record proves the Gamecocks are more than deserving.

Jacksonville State finished third in Conference USA this year, posting a 6-2 record in conference play, behind only Liberty and New Mexico State. The Gamecocks averaged the fifth-most rushing yards per game in the entire country, checking in at 232.3 and averaging 29.8 points per game.

Jacksonville State Pick to Win New Orleans Bowl
Jacksonville State Pick to Win New Orleans Bowl

As for Louisiana-Lafayette, it had some tough competition in the Sun Belt conference this season. Across the two divisions, there were eight teams that finished at .500 or better in conference play. The Ragin’ Cajuns finished at 3-5 overall against conference opponents and 6-6 overall.

While Louisiana boasts a balanced attack and can air it out, it averaged an impressive 183.5 rushing yards per game, potentially setting this up to feature two teams utilizing their rushing attack often.


Jacksonville State vs Louisiana-Lafayette Best Bet

Jacksonville State has been in a “prove it” type of mindset all season after jumping up to the FBS and it put up some impressive performances. While Louisiana has flashed glimpses of its own upside, I think the Gamecocks come out and make a statement here.

Louisiana-Lafayette allows over 160 rushing yards per game to opponents while Jacksonville State has managed to keep opponents in check on the ground, giving up just 113.1 per game. That’s a huge advantage for Jacksonville State, and if the Gamecocks can carry that into the start of college football bowl game season, they should walk away with a postseason victory as well.

College Football Pick: Jacksonville State -3 (-115)


Buying Stock in Both Offenses

While Jacksonville State’s impressive jump to the FBS is worth praising, it’s impossible to overlook the fact that Louisiana’s balanced offensive approach worked well this season and averaged 32.3 points per game. That’s a great sign for the over in this game potentially, along with the fact that the Ragin’ Cajuns also gave up 28.2 points per game on average

Jacksonville State’s defense has the potential to be the difference in this game, allowing 20.3 points per game and having the upside to change momentum quickly. The total in this game is set at 59½, and while I do like Jacksonville State’s defense, I think we’re going to see some points early and often between these two teams and the over should be good.

College Football Pick: Over 59½ points (-110)



Jacksonville State vs Louisiana-Lafayette Predicted Score

Jacksonville State 34 Louisiana Lafayette 31


Jacksonville State vs Louisiana-Lafayette Betting Lines


Jacksonville State vs Louisiana-Lafayette Game Information

  • Game: Gamecocks (8-4) vs Ragin’ Cajuns (6-6)
  • Date/Time: Dec. 16, 2:15 p.m. ET
  • Location: Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, LA
  • Gamecocks vs Ragin’ Cajuns Live Stream: ESPN


Questions Of The Day

Which team will have the most points at halftime?

I think Jacksonville State comes out on fire for their first bowl game after moving to the FBS this year, and should hit the ground running offensively.

Which Louisiana player will score a touchdown?

Quarterback Zeon Chriss has been a great dual-threat option for Louisiana this season, throwing for 11 touchdowns while rushing for six more, so he’s the player to target for touchdowns on the Ragin’ Cajuns.

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