Arkansas State at Louisiana-Monroe -2 (total 53): Tonight’s NCAA football match-up features two improving Sun Belt Conference foes. The visitor, Arkansas State, fought through a brutal non-conference schedule that included Nebraska and Iowa, both losses, though they took the Hawkeyes to the wire in a 24-21 thriller. Sandwiched between those games was a meeting with Sun Belt powerhouse Troy, and the Red Wolves just missed in that one as well, 30-27. Nonetheless, the result was much better than the two previous meetings with Troy, in which they lost by a combined 62-9! The Warhawks of ULM have had a similar route to this point. They challenged two tough non-conference foes in Texas and Arizona State, both losses, but already have two league wins under their belt, an upset win over Florida Atlantic, 27-25, and a big win over Florida International, 48-35. In the series between these two, the home team has won four straight and five of the last six. However, there’s a competing trend: the underdog has covered nine straight. In head-to-head action last year, Ark State built a 23-point lead in the second half as ULM couldn’t stop the Red Wolves’ rushing attack – 262 yards (6.0 yards/carry). ULM fought back in the fourth quarter but it was too little too late, 37-29. This looks like it will be a tightly contested game with both teams fairly evenly matched. But with its ability to run the football, we’ll give a slight edge to Arkansas State in what should be a fairly high-scoring affair, assuming there’s no inclement weather. Arkansas State +2 and OVER 53.
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