Sun Belt College Football Betting: Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks at Arkansas St Red Wolves

Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks at Arkansas St Red Wolves
Thursday, November 8, 2012, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU
Liberty Bank Stadium – Jonesboro, Arkansas
Opening Line: Arkansas St -4
Current Line: Arkansas St -7
Opening Total: 61 1/2
Current Total: 59
Opening Money Line: ASU -250 / ULM +210
Current Money Line: ASU -275 / ULM +235

Arkansas St and Louisiana-Monroe are tied for the Sun Belt lead at 4-1 with Middle Tennessee. ASU and ULM meet Thursday night in Jonesboro. The Red Wolves are 7 point favorites at home.

The Lousiana-Monroe Warhawks and Arkansas St Red Wolves are tied for the Sun Belt Conference lead with Middle Tennessee. All three teams are 6-3 overall and 4-1 in conference. ULM and Arkansas St meet Thursday night in Jonesboro. The Warhawks have already beaten Middle Tennessee and Arkansas St plays the Blue Raiders in the season finale next month.

This is the 34th meeting between ULM and Arkansas St. The Red Wolves lead the series 19-14. ASU has won two straight in the series including 24-19 last yea in Monroe.

Louisiana-Monroe is coached by Todd Berry. The Warhawks have losses at Auburn 31-28 in overtime, and at home to Baylor 47-42 and last week against Louisiana-Lafayette 40-24. It was the first Sun Belt loss for the Warhawks. ULM was an 8.5 point favorite against ULL and the total was 60. ULM has road wins at Arkansas 34-31 in overtime, Tulane 63-10, Middle Tennessee 31-17, and Western Kentucky 43-42 in overtime, along with home wins over Florida Atlantic 35-14, and South Alabama 38-24. The Warhawks are 6-3 ATS and the total is 7-2 this season.

ULM is averaging 458.4 yards per game on offense including 291.1 passing and 167.3 rushing yards. The Warhawks are outscoring teams 38-28. ULM is in the top 30 nationally in total offense, passing, and scoring. The Warhawks are +1 in turnovers with 18 giveaways. ULM averages 48 penalty yards and has allowed 14 sacks. The Warhawks are 89/172 on third and fourth down conversions and 32/39 scoring in the red zone with 29 touchdowns. On defense, ULM is allowing 391.7 yards per game including 263.9 passing and 127.8 rushing yards. The Warhawks have forced 19 turnovers and 18 sacks this season. ULM opponents are 67/150 on third and fourth down conversions and 26/31 scoring scoring in the red zone including 22 touchdowns. The Warhawks have 3 defensive touchdowns this season.

ULM quarterback Kolton Browning has completed 196 of 317 passes (61.8%) for 2,288 yards with 23 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, along with 97 carries, 426 yards and 5 touchdowns. Leading rusher Jyruss Edwards is out for the season with an upper body injury. He had 99 carries, 438 yards, and 6 touchdowns along with 12 catches for 157 yards. Monterrell Washington takes over as the feature back. He has 52 carries, 263 yards and 5 touchdowns. Centarius Donald is also out for the season with a knee injury. He had 26 carries, 135 yards and a touchdown, along with a touchdown catch. Receiver Brent Leonard has 62 catches, 717 yards and 8 touchdowns. Je’Ronn Hamm has 35 catches, 563 yards and 4 touchdowns. Tavarese Maye has 37 catches, 439 yards and 3 touchdowns. Colby Harper is out indefinitely with a leg injury. He had 29 catches, 303 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Arkansas St led by first year coach Gus Malzahn. The Red Wolves have losses at Oregon 57-34 and Nebraska 42-13, along with a home loss to Western Kentucky 26-13. ASU has home wins over Memphis 33-28, Alcorn St 56-0, and  against South Alabama 36-29, along with road wins at  Florida International 34-20, ULL 50-27, and last week at North Texas 37-19. ASU has won 4 straight games. The Red Wolves are 5-4 ATS this season and the total is 4-4. Arkansas St was a 4 point favorite in the North Texas game, and the total was 59.5.

Arkansas St is averaging 460.1 yards per game on offense, including 245.9 passing and 214.2 rushing yards. The Red Wolves are outscoring teams 34-28 this season. ASU is +2 in turnovers and they have 12 turnovers. The Red Wolves have allowed 13 sacks and average 53 penalty yards. ASU is 59/133 on third and fourth down conversions, and 38/45 scoring in the red zone with 28 touchdowns. On defense, Arkansas St is allowing 387.1 yards per game, including 208.9 passing yards and 178.2 rushing yards. ASU has forced 14 turnovers and 13 sacks. ASU opponents are 72/149 on third and fourth down conversions and 29/37 scoring in the red zone with 23 touchdowns.

Arkansas St quarterback Ryan Aplin has completed 182 of 279 passes (65.2%) with 2,188 yards for 14 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, along with 70 carries, 250 yards and 4 touchdowns. Running back David Oku has 164 carries, 698 yards and 9 touchdowns, along with 15 catches for 100 yards. Rocky Hayes, Frankie Jackson, Rod Smith and Sirgregory Thornton will also get some carries. Receiver J.D. McKissic has 60 catches, 609 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Josh Jarboe has 40 catches, 481 yards, and 3 touchdowns. No other receiver has more than 18 catches. Julian Jones has only 9 catches, but 4 of them went for touchdowns.

ULM is 6-0 ATS in road games, 5-0 after a straight up loss, 6-1 after a double digit home loss, 4-1 against teams with winning records, 8-3 after failing to cover, 15-6 after rushing for less than 100 yards, 5-2 after passing for 280 yards or more, 7-3 overall, 13-6 after allowing 200 rushing yards or more, and 3-7 in road games against teams with winning home records. The Warhawks are 5-2 ATS in the last 7 against Arkansas St and 4-1 in their last 5 trips to Jonesboro. The underdog is 9-3 ATS in the last 12 in the series.

Arkansas St is 7-2 ATS after allowing less than 20 points, 16-5 after gaining more than 450 yards 9-3 in Sun Belt games, 6-2 after allowing less than 100 rushing yards, and after allowing more than 280 passing yards, 15-7 overall, 4-9 in November, 1-4 after a cover, and 1-5 in Thursday games.

Before last week’s loss to rival Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe had won 5 straight games and looked to be the class of the Sun Belt. Arkansas St crushed that same ULL team on the road the week before the Ragin’ Cajuns went to Monroe and won by 16. Now, was just a bad game by ULM as a result of being the first game without leading rusher Edwards? We will have to see. This line moved from ASU -4 to -7 so bettors apparently think the Warhawks will struggle again. I think Arkansas St wins tonight in a shootout.

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