College Football New Orleans Bowl Betting Picks: Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns vs Tulane Green Wave

2013 R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns vs Tulane Green Wave
Mercedes-Benz Superdome – New Orleans, Louisiana
Opening Line: Tulane pick
Current Line: Tulane -2 1/2
Opening Total: 49 1/2
Current Total: 49
Opening Money Line: Tulane -118 / Louisiana -102
Current Money Line: Tulane -140 / Louisiana +120

Tulane is a 2.5 point favorite against Louisiana in the New Orleans Bowl Saturday night.
Tulane is a 2.5 point favorite against Louisiana in the New Orleans Bowl Saturday night.

Since 1975, the Tulane Green Wave have played their home games in the Superdome. However, next year they will move into an on-campus stadium. Their last game in the Superdome was supposed to be November 23 against UTEP. However, the 7-5 Green Wave will get one more game in the Dome and it will be against a familiar opponent. Tulane will take on the 8-4 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns in Saturday’s New Orleans Bowl. This is the 27th meeting between the in-state rivals and Tulane has dominated the series 21-5. The Ragin’ Cajuns won the last meeting in Lafayette 41-13 in 2012 to snap a four game losing streak to the Green Wave.

Louisiana tied with Arkansas State for the Sun Belt Conference title at 5-2. The Ragin’ Cajuns won the tiebreaker by beating the Red Wolves 23-7 earlier in the season. Louisiana is 2-0 all time in bowl games. The Ragin’ Cajuns have won the New Orleans Bowl two straight years, beating San Diego State 32-30 in 2011 and East Carolina 43-34 in 2012.

Tulane went 5-3 in the Conference USA West division. The Green Wave are 4-7 all time in bowl games and are playing in their first bowl  since 2002. Tulane won the 2002 Hawaii Bowl 36-28 against Hawaii to cap off an undefeated season. Tulane hasn’t played in a bowl game in their home city since the 1940 Sugar Bowl.

Louisiana is coached by Mark Hudspeth. The Ragin’ Cajuns opened and closed the regular season with two game losing streaks sandwiched around an 8 game winning streak. Louisiana has road losses at Arkansas 34-14, Kansas State 48-27, and South Alabama 30-8 to close out the regular season, along with a home loss to Louisiana-Monroe 31-28. The Ragin’ Cajuns have home wins over Nicholls State 70-7, Texas State 48-24, New Mexico State 49-35, and Troy 41-36, along with road wins at Akron 35-30, Western Kentucky 37-20, Arkansas State, and Georgia State 35-21. Louisiana is 4-8 ATS and the total is 7-5 this season. The Ragin’ Cajuns were 3 point underdogs against South Alabama and the t0tal was 59.5.

Louisiana is outscoring teams 35-27 this season. The Cajuns are #30 in scoring nationally. Louisiana is averaging 424.4 yards per game including 216.8 passing and 207.6 rushing yards. The Cajuns are #25 in rushing nationally. On defense, Louisiana is allowing 394 yards per game including 239.2 passing  and 154.8 rushing yards. The Cajuns are even in turnovers with 20 giveaways. Louisiana is averaging 47 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 45. The Cajuns are 85/172 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 82/197. Louisiana has forced 19 sacks and allowed 23. The Cajuns are 42/49 scoring in the red zone with 35 touchdowns, and opponents are 33/41 with 21 touchdowns. Louisiana has allowed 3 kick returns and 3 interceptions for touchdowns and the Cajuns have 2 pick sixes and, a punt return and  a kick return for touchdowns.

Louisiana quarterback Terrance Broadway has completed 62.4% of his passes for 2,276 yards with 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, along with 117 carries, 421 yards and 8 touchdowns. He missed the South Alabama game with a wrist injury and is questionable for the bowl game. The Ragin’ Cajuns used three quarterbacks against South Alabama and none of them were really effective. Brook Haack has thrown for 224 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Jalen Nixon has thrown for 94 yards with a touchdown and an interception. D’Shaie Landor has only thrown for 9 yards this season.

Running back Alonzo Harris has 186 carries, 868 yards and 13 touchdowns, along with 3 catches. Elijah McGuire has 92 carries for 818 yards and 7 touchdowns, along with 15 catches for 290 yards and 3 touchdowns. Torrey Pierce has 40 carries, 188 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Receiver Jamal Robinson has 50 catches for 812 yards and 8 touchdowns. Darryl Surgent has 29 catches for 398 yards and 5 touchdowns along with a kick return and a punt return for touchdowns. James Butler has 26 catches for 363 yards and a touchdown. Devin Figaro, Jacob Maxwell, Effrem Reed, and Ian Thompson will also get some catches.

Tulane is coached by Curtis Johnson. The Green Wave have home wins over Jackson State 34-7, North Texas 24-21, East Carolina 36-33 in overtime, Tulsa 14-7, and UTEP 45-3, along with road wins at Louisiana Tech 24-15, and Louisiana-Monroe 31-14. Tulane has road losses at Syracuse 52-17, Florida Atlantic 34-17, UTSA 10-7 and 17-13 at Rice to close out the regular season, along with a home loss to South Alabama 41-39. The Green Wave have lost 3 of their last 4 games after a 4 game winning streak. Tulane is 9-3 ATS and the total is 4-7-1 this season. Tulane was a 10 point underdog at Rice and the total was 49.

Tulane is outscoring teams 25-21 this season. Tulane is #20 in points allowed and #89 in scoring. The Green Wave average 304.2 yards per game on offense, including 176.1 passing and 128.1 rushing yards. Tulane is #103 or worse in all three categories. Tulane is giving up 353.1 yards per game, including 233.4 passing and 119.7 rushing yards. The Green Wave are #26 in total defense and #16 in rush defense. The Green Wave is +12 in turnovers as they have forced 33 turnovers. Tulane is 71/192 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 84/208. The Green Wave are 31/38 scoring in the red zone with 23 touchdowns and opponents are 34/47 with 20 touchdowns. Tulane has allowed 30 sacks and forced 34 this season. The Green Wave average 61 penalty yards and opponents average 64. Tulane has 5 defensive touchdowns and have allowed 2 punt returns for touchdowns.

Quarterback Nick Montana has completed 53.1% of his passes for 1,654 yards with 14 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. He is probable Thursday with a shoulder injury. Back-up Devin Powell has thrown for 458 yards with 5 touchdowns and 4 touchdowns. He usually gets a few snaps a game, bit did not play against Rice.

Aptly named running back Orleans Darkwa has 172 carries for 780  rushing yards and 9 touchdowns, along with 8 catches. Rob Kelley has 97 carries for 422 yards and 3 touchdowns, plus 17 catches for 148 yards and a touchdowns. Josh Rounds has 48 carries for 158 yards, plus 12 catches for 65 yards. Little used running back Lazedrick Thompson is out for the season with a knee injury.

Receiver Ryan Grant has 70 catches, 926 yards and 9 touchdowns. Justyn Shackleford has 34 catches for 356 yards and 5 touchdowns. Xavier Rush, Kedrick Banks and Josh Rounds will also get some catches. Devon Breaux has only 5 catches for 59 yards but has 2 touchdowns.

Louisiana is 5-1 ATS after scoring less than 20 points, 4-1 in December, 11-3 against teams with winning records, 9-3 after rushing for less than 100 yards, 17-6 after a straight up loss, 17-7 on turf, 11-5 after passing for less than 170 yards, 2-5 after accumulating less than 275 total yards, 1-4 in non-conference games, 0-4 after failing to cover, 0-5 after a straight up loss of more than 20 points, and overall.

Tulane is 5-0 ATS after rushing for less than 100 yards, 4-0 after a straight up loss, against teams with winning records and after gaining 275 yards or less, 11-1 on turf, 7-1 overall, 6-1 after scoring less than 20 points, 5-1 after a cover, and 9-3 after passing for less than 170 yards.

Without Broadway, against South Alabama, Louisiana had only 212 total yards with 4 turnovers. The Ragin’ Cajuns didn’t score until just under 5 minutes to go in the game. Tulane has a much better defense, and should dominate if Broadway can’t play. Tulane has a much better defense than USA, and they should dominate if Broadway doesn’t play. However, if he does play, Louisiana can score in bunches. I like the Green Wave to leave the Superdome with a  win before going to their new stadium next year.

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