Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns vs. UAB Blazers Betting Picks

October 21, 2020

Date:Friday, October 23rd
Time:8:00 PM ET
Venue:Legion Field
Network:CBS Sports
Spread:ULL-3
O/U:50

The 3-1 Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns will go on the road Friday night to face off with the 4-1 UAB Blazers at 8:00 PM ET in Legion Field. The Ragin’ Cajuns are three-point road favorites and we’re looking at a relatively low 50 over/under. You can watch the game on CBS Sports Network. While the Cajuns are ranked, books are expecting the Blazers to pull out the victory. Let’s dive into how this game will go and who will cover the spread. 

When The Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns Have The Ball

The Ragin’ Cajuns perfect season came to a screeching halt a week ago when the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers came into town and upset them 30-27. They previously won three straight against Iowa State, Georgia State, and Georgia Southern. They’re now the 21st ranked team in the country and will be looking to hold onto that status as road underdogs in a very tough matchup. 

Louisiana-Lafayette runs a balanced attack with the ball in their hands. It all starts with Senior QB Levi Lewis, who knows this offense like the back of his hand. He’s thrown for 900 yards with five touchdowns and four interceptions. The Cajuns will need him to step up against an extremely tough UAB secondary that will be hunting for turnovers from the first whistle. 

The Ragin Cajuns only want to pass the ball when they have to. Ideally, this offense runs through the legs of Elijah Mitchell. He’s one of the best backs in the entire country and has put up 249 yards and four touchdowns in three games. He’s spelled by Trey Ragas, who’s a jitterbug of a back that has already rushed for 230 yards and three scores. When Mitchell is healthy, expect him to see 20+ carries and three or four targets. He truly is better than this conference and the Cajuns know that. 

When Lewis drops back, he’s typically looking for Peter LeBlanc (13 rec, 200 yards, TD). He’s the only pass-catcher with double-digit receptions on the team. Kyren Lacy and Jalen Williams each have nine catches and have combined for 398 yards and two scores. They have nearly identical stat lines and have become excellent complementary pieces next to LeBlanc. Mitchell and Ragas are also effective out of the backfield, though the scheme rarely calls for it. 

When The UAB Blazers Have The Ball

The Blazers lone loss this season came in week two to the Miami Hurricanes. They took care of their other three games with relative ease, beating their opponents with a combined score of 108-58. This is an extremely well-disciplined team and they will never beat themselves on either side of the ball. They possessed the conference’s number one defense in 2019 and haven’t let off the gas pedal in the slightest. 

UAB has an extremely balanced offensive attack, throwing for 1,086 yards and running for 934. Good luck guessing how they want to beat you. Freshman Bryson Lucero leads the way and he’s taken over the reigns, throwing for 793 yards and seven scores thus far. If you’re looking for a negative, he’s thrown four picks and has completed just 56% of his passes. He must be more efficient against Louisiana-Lafayette. 

The Blazers would prefer to run the ball and they have no shortage of talent in the backfield. It starts with senior Spencer Brown, who’s the all-time leading rusher for UAB. He’s already rushed for 472 yards and six scores while averaging nearly five yards per carry. Dewayne McBride and Jermaine Brown are each over 180 yards and have combined for three scores as complimentary backs. Look for the Blazers to run Brown 20+ times as they look to pick up an early lead. 

When Lucero drops back to pass, he has a ton of options. Austin Watkins (26 rec, 356 yards, 3 TD) and Myron Mitchell (24 rec, 340 yds, 2 TD) are 1A and 1B in this offense and make it tough on defenses to figure out who to focus on. Then you get to the two tight ends, who make this offense tough to stop. Hayden Pittman has caught 12 balls for 137 yards, but he hasn’t yet scored. That’s where TD-machine Gerrit Prince comes into play, who’s scored on four of his seven catches. 

Spread Prediction

The Pick: UAB +3

This is my favorite Friday night bet and one I’m going to be laying two units on. The UAB Blazers are an extremely balanced unit and they’re not going to let the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns run the ball down their throat. I don’t trust Levi Lewis to throw the ball against this Blazers secondary and I can’t say the same for the other side of the ball. The ULL defense hasn’t looked great, and they’ve allowed 400+ yards multiple times already this season. 

Look for the UAB Blazers to pick up an early lead in this one and for them to hold onto it for the entire game. The Blazers are the slightly better team in the trenches and I expect Spencer Brown to have a huge night. This game is going to be a low-scoring one and it’ll come down to quarterback play and who makes the least amount of mistakes. I don’t trust Lewis as far as I can throw him, and Lucero has shown a lot more upside. Give me the Blazers to win this game comfortably and I’d be willing to bet them at any price.

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Total Prediction

This number is low for good reason. Both of these teams lean on their defenses and neither have “prolific” offenses. These teams also look to run the ball a ton and I expect a duel between the teams as to who can establish the run first and better. Give me the under here and I’d be willing to be an alternate line down to 48. I expect the UAB Blazers to win a defensive battle that comes down to the final whistle. This will likely be the most competitive game of Friday night. 

The Pick: Under 50 Final Score Prediction: Blazers 24, Ragin’ Cajuns 21
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