The Battle on the Bayou has been dominated by points lately, as nine of the past 10 clashes have sailed over this total — all but last season’s 21-16 victory by Louisiana at home in Lafayette.
However, we believe Louisiana’s offensive issues last week against Rice were an anomaly, its former quarterback and the new head coach will have ironed out its issues this week, and the Cajuns will be very prepared for this week’s rivalry.
We will bypass the total and hone in on the point spread. ULM’s questionable defenders and tactics should go far in Louisiana righting itself come Saturday, and the Cajuns’ defense appears ripe for at least one pick-six. So, here is a look at Louisiana vs. ULM odds and a pick in Week 4 of the NCAAF season.
Louisiana vs. ULM Betting Lines: Point Spread, Total, Moneyline
Here are live odds from around the betting market as the Cajuns visit the Warhawks in Monroe, Louisiana.
NCAAF · Sat (9/24) @ 8:00pm ET
|Malone Stadium, Monroe, Louisiana|
Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (2-1, 2-1 Against the Spread)
The Cajuns had utterly dominated Rice, defeating the Owls in 15 consecutive games until last weekend’s confounding 33-21 Rice Stadium loss in Houston.
Rice ran 80 offensive plays to Louisiana’s 43, one of the oddest dichotomies so far this season.
Johnny Lumpkin, Michael Jefferson, John Stephenson, and Neal Johnson — a usually dependable receiving quartet — recorded only seven catches for 77 yards.
The normally reliable tailback trio of Chris Smith, Terrence Williams, and Jacob Kibodi — a unit that received national recognition by Phil Steele in his preview annual — was fortunate to barely muster triple figures in yardage.
A quarterback duo of Chandler Fields and Ben Woolridge was underwhelming. We have faith, however, in new head coach Michael Desormeaux, a former Louisiana QB who guided the Cajuns to that 36-21 victory in last season’s New Orleans Bowl.
Desormeaux told reporters Monday that he will stick with Fields as his starter, with Woolridge playing about every third series.
“I know that it works,” Desormeaux said. “I don’t believe in one day you lose a job and in one day you win a job. That’s not the way it works. Chandler won the job over a long period of time. He did not play great on Saturday. He knows it, we know it.
“When you win the job over a long period of time, you deserve to be the guy … [neither played] well in that game, not to the standard that we expect here, and they expect.”
Those standards figure to rise Saturday against a defense that registers in the bottom quarter of the country.
Defense rules on the Cajuns’ side of the bayou, as Louisiana leads the nation with eight interceptions. USC, Wisconsin, and North Carolina State are among six programs that have snatched seven passes from opposing quarterbacks.
Cornerback Caleb Anderson returned one for a 54-yard touchdown while Kam Pedescleaux, Brandon Bishop (Alabama transfer), Jasper Williams, and four other Cajuns all have picks, too.
Oddly, Bralen Trahan, whom Steele tabbed as a top-40 national free safety, does not have an interception. Yet, if anyone can find an individual prop on him nabbing one this weekend, have at it.
On the Cajuns’ defensive line, tackle Zi’Yon Hill and end Andre Jones rate with Steele, but 6-1, 290-pound newcomer Marcus Wiser (a sophomore JUCO transfer from Kilgore, Texas) leads the team with three sacks.
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ULM Warhawks (1-2, 1-2 ATS)
Chandler Jones runs the Warhawks’ show, and he completes more than two-thirds of his passing attempts. But his yards-per-attempt rate of 6.3 is average, and he’s had two TD passes and two passes intercepted this season.
That Louisiana secondary must be quite eager for this game to start.
Malik Jackson has barely run for triple yardage as a junior, while senior Jevin Frett has caught 11 passes for 141 yards and a TD. At 5-feet-7, redshirt freshman Alred Luke averages 21 yards on four catches.
The ULM offense doesn’t get much deeper than that, although it might possess a junior wideout with our favorite name in the college game: Boogie Knight.
It has a supporting cast that chips in here and there, but only in bits and pieces. It gets out-run by nearly 50 yards a game and out-passed by almost 70.
Plus, the program is dealing with the Sunday arrest of Oklahoma transfer Stacey Wilkins, an offensive tackle who confessed to hitting the mother of his child.
This is the right opponent at the right time for the Ragin’ Cajuns.
Battle on the Bayou Sports Betting Recommendation & Pick
I am trusting four power ratings that show Louisiana should be giving double digits in this position and one that has the Cajuns winning by two touchdowns.
Most of this recent series has been full of offensive hijinks (which would entertain an ESPN+ television audience), so the Over is a temptation. But Louisiana’s stout defense will be the key to it winning by margin.
Our Pick: Ragin’ Cajuns -9, 51