R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl NCAAF Betting Preview
When the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (8-4) and the Arkansas State Red Wolves (9-3) face off in the R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, two teams heading in opposite directions will take the field. The game starts at 9:00p.m. Eastern time on Saturday, December 19 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, televised on ESPN. View MyBookie’s NCAAF betting lines here.
— New Orleans Bowl (@NewOrleansBowl) December 19, 2015
The Red Wolves started 1-3 but won eight in a row to grab the Sun Belt Conference title thanks to a defense that snatches turnovers left and right and quarterback Fredi Knighten who has led a strong passing game. Louisiana Tech is 8-4 after suffering a 58-24 loss in their regular season finale, turning the ball over seven times. The Bulldogs are two-point favorites, and the over/under total is a rather large 67 points.
Why should you pick Louisiana Tech (-2)?
The Bulldogs opened 1-2 but had winning streaks of three and four games the rest of the way, losing just two more times. That season finale against Southern Miss was particularly embarrassing, as Jeff Driskel threw three interceptions. Now, though, there is the redemption narrative. Receivers coach Joe Sloan told the Shreveport Times’ Sean Isabella, “Going into bowl games, the team that is most excited to play is the team that wins. That’s usually with every Saturday but bowl games are different because you have so many more days off and you have to make sure you’re motivated going into it. Driskel has had a strong season overall, throwing for 3,575 yards and 24 touchdowns against just eight interceptions (including those three). Tailback Kenneth Dixon has also been strong, gaining 968 yards and scoring 22 touchdowns. Look for them to rely on this season-long strength in the New Orleans Bowl.
Why should you pick Arkansas State (+2)?
It’s true that Arkansas State opened 1-3, but two of those losses were to #8 USC and #21 Missouri. The third was to a tough Toledo squad without Knighten under center. He’s been important to their success this year, throwing for 1,698 yards and 19 touchdowns while running for four more scores. The Red Wolves have taken the ball away 34 times from the opposition, first in the entire NCAA. These trends should help the Red Wolves win this game straight up against a Louisiana Tech team reeling from that loss to Southern Miss.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
If Southern Miss were from a top-tier football program, that would be one thing, but they are just another middling team in Conference USA. The defense of Arkansas State, combined with their strong quarterback play, combine to make this a difficult task for Louisiana Tech. I like the Red Wolves to win, 34-31.