We’ve already seen loads of drama within the betting market for the New Orleans Bowl, which noticed South Alabama laying greater than a landing at one level earlier than settling in as a 4.5-point favourite over Western Kentucky. I’m nonetheless siding with the favored Jaguars right here in a university soccer matchup that performs to their strengths.
This line ballooned when Hilltoppers quarterback Austin Reed — who ranks second nationally in passing yards (4,247) and fourth in touchdowns (36) — entered the switch portal and appeared destined to begin anew at Louisville. He’s since rebuffed that provide, however he nonetheless faces a frightening activity in opposition to South Alabama’s 14th-ranked scoring protection (20.5 ppg), which additionally ranks fourth in speeding yards allowed per sport (90.2) and twenty third in move protection effectivity (118.23).
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South Alabama vs. Western Kentucky prediction
The actual mismatch comes on the opposite aspect. The Jaguars’ red-hot offense not often turns it over and will see loads of daylight in opposition to Western Kentucky, which leads the nation in turnovers pressured (30) however ranks 69th in whole protection (380.8 YPG). That break up may very well be the deciding issue: the Hilltoppers had been 7-0 this season after they pressured a number of turnovers and 1-5 after they didn’t.
This is a transparent showcase spot for South Alabama, which almost knocked off UCLA earlier this year and has an opportunity to win its first bowl sport at school historical past. The Jaguars boasted a top-25 scoring margin this season (plus-9.9) and are a stable wager to win right here by the same margin.
South Alabama vs. Western Kentucky choose (9 p.m. ET, ESPN)
South Alabama -4.5 (BetMGM)