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Western Kentucky vs South Alabama Prediction, Stream, Odds & Picks

New Orleans Bowl: South Alabama Eyeing First Bowl Victory

Departures Could Hurt Western Kentucky

South Alabama had made two bowl games since the program debuted in 2009 and lost both. This is the first bowl appearance for the Jaguars since 2016. Only a one-point loss to UCLA and a four-point loss to Troy kept the Jaguars from a perfect regular season. The defeat to Troy cost South Alabama a spot in the Sun Belt title game.

Western Kentucky is playing in a bowl game for the eighth time in the last nine years. However, the Hilltoppers could be a much different team from the one that posted an 8-5 record.

Western Kentucky vs South Alabama Prediction, Stream, Odds & Picks
Ronald Cortes/Getty Images/AFP

Receiver Daewood Davis and Khalef Hallassie are headed to the NFL draft while starting offensive linemen Rusty Staats and Gunner Britton entered the transfer portal.

Tight ends Joshua Simon and Joey Beljan, who combined for 30 catches and 10 touchdowns, led the tight ends with 18 catches, as well as safety Talique Allen are also in the transfer portal. Leading tackler JaQues Evans was in the portal but recently took his name out.

Keep an eye on the Western Kentucky players in the portal to see if they will suit up one last time for the Hilltoppers.

South Alabama receiver Devin Voisin suffered an arm injury in the regular-season finale.

The NCAA football odds list South Alabama as the 4½-point favorite.

Let’s check the latest college football odds, stats, injury reports and college football lines for Western Kentucky vs South Alabama. We’ve plenty of NCAA football odds for you to consider.

Change of Heart

When Austin Reed entered the transfer portal, the line for the bowl game went from the Hilltoppers being the slight favorite to being a significant underdog. However, when Reed decided to pull his name out of the portal and play in the game, the line shifted back to Western Kentucky being listed as a 4.5-point underdog.

Reed is second in the nation with 4,247 passing yards and fourth with 36 touchdown passes as he replaced Bailey Zappe, now a rookie quarterback with the NFL’s New England Patriots. Reed has 26 touchdowns and five interceptions in the eight wins compared to 10 TDs and five interceptions.

Malachi Corley is seventh nationally with 90 receptions with all nine of his touchdowns coming in wins.

The Las Vegas odds total has gone under in six of Western Kentucky’s last eight games.

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Transfers Lead South Alabama’s Turnaround

Former Florida State running back La’Damian Webb has made quite an impact at South Alabama as he has 1,017 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns even with missing the win at Southern Mississippi.

He had 247 yards and four touchdowns in a win at Georgia Southern.

Webb will be facing a Western Kentucky team that was fourth in Conference USA in rushing defense. Western Kentucky allowed 183 rushing yards in the five losses and 139 in the eight wins.

Webb has teamed with quarterback Carter Bradley, a Toledo transfer, to lead the turnover for the Jaguars. The defense is led by sophomore safety Yam Banks, who tied for the Sun Belt lead with five interceptions.

Something to consider for those who bet online: South Alabama is 10-1 in its last 11 games when listed as the favorite..

Western Kentucky vs South Alabama Injuries

Western Kentucky vs South Alabama Head-to-Head

This is the first meeting between the teams since 2013 when South Alabama won 31-24 as a seven-point underdog.

Western Kentucky has lost three of its last four games against Sun Belt teams, including a 34-27 loss to Troy on Oct. 1. Each of the last meetings with teams from the Sun Belt went over the total.

South Alabama has won three of the last game matchups with Conference USA teams. The Jaguars rolled to a 38-14 win over Louisiana Tech on Sept. 24 in the only contest of the season against a Conference USA program.

Four of South Alabama’s last five games against Conference USA teams finished under the total.

Western Kentucky vs South Alabama Information

  • Game: Western Kentucky (8-5) vs South Alabama (10-2)
  • When: Wednesday, Dec. 21, 9 p.m. ET
  • Location: Caesars Superdome, New Orleans
  • Western Kentucky vs South Alabama Live Stream: NCAAF

Western Kentucky vs South Alabama Betting Lines

Western Kentucky vs South Alabama Picks & Prediction

South Alabama has its first winning season since 2011 and now the Jaguars are favored in the bowl game so it has been quite the turnaround.

Western Kentucky has gone from allowing 436 yards per game a season ago to 381 yards this season. The Hilltoppers lead Conference USA with 30 takeaways and a +10 turnover margin. South Alabama has committed the third-fewest turnovers in the Sun Belt.

Five of Western Kentucky’s last seven bowl games finished over the total with the Hilltoppers scoring at least 45 points in four of those contests.

The Hilltoppers and Jaguars were a combined 9-4 against the spread away from home this season. With so much uncertainty surrounding the Western Kentucky players in the transfer portal, it is not a surprise to see South Alabama listed as the favorite.

The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers are listed at +165 in our Vegas college football lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Hilltoppers, you have a chance to win $165. The South Alabama Jaguars are -195, offering a chance to win $51 on a $100 wager.

The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives Western Kentucky. a 37.74% chance to win, with South Alabama at 66.10%.

Western Kentucky vs South Alabama Edge

Western Kentucky vs South Alabama Results

Western Kentucky vs South Alabama Game Summary

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