UL Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns vs. UTSA Roadrunners Betting Picks

December 25, 2020

Date:Saturday, December 26th
Time:3:30 PM ET
Network:ABC
Venue:Gerald J. Ford Stadium
Spread:UL -14
O/U:55

The 9-1 Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns will meet up with the 7-4 UTSA Roadrunners in the First Responder Bowl on Saturday at 3:30 PM ET in Gerald J. Ford Stadium. The season hasn’t been nearly as good to UTSA as it has ULL, and they’ll be looking to buck that trend with a big upset to finish the season. The Ragin’ Cajuns come in as 14-point favorites and we’re expecting a defensive showdown with a 55 over/under. You can tune into the matchup on ABC. Let’s dive into how this game will go down and who will end up covering the spread. Make sure to check out the rest of our CFB Picks and Predictions as we will have every single bowl game covered.

Trends

  • Ragin’ Cajuns are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games.
  • Roadrunners are 0-7 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game.
  • Under is 5-0 in Roadrunners last 5 games following an ATS win.
  • Under is 5-0 in Ragin’ Cajuns last 5 vs. a team with a winning record.

When The Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns Have The Ball

The hype surrounding the ULL Ragin’ Cajuns died down after losing to Coastal Carolina, but it was the only game they lost all season and they have two quality wins over Iowa State and Appalachian State. Offensively, ULL opens everything up with the running game. Led by Elijah Mitchell (751 yards, 7 TD) and Trey Ragas (660 yards, 9 TD), they’ve rushed it for 2,000+ yards as a team. Even when they do struggle to run it early, the ULL offensive line wears down opponents and they are never held down for more than a half.

QB Levi Lewis is a dual-threat senior who’s thrown it for 2,128 yards and 17 touchdowns on top of 310 rushing yards and another five scores. Lewis is the reason this offense is so consistent as he knows this offense like the back of his hand. When he does drop back, Lewis has three stellar options in Peter LeBlanc, Jalen Williams, and Kyren Lacy. They all sit somewhere between 19 and 24 catches with 326 to 345 yards. It’s tough to slow this offense down as they can move the chains in a multitude of ways on top of a very solid defense.

When The UTSA Roadrunners Have The Ball

The Roadrunners lost four of five games in the middle of the season, but bookended the year with three victories. They’re a tough team to gauge as they haven’t played stellar competition and seem to be a different team every time they take the field. You can think of QB Frank Harris similarly to Lewis on the other side, but a bit less consistent and slightly more explosive on the ground. He’s completed 63% of his passes for 1,422 yards with 10 touchdowns and five interceptions on top of 437 yards and eight scores. He’s a beast if he can hold onto the football against a defense that hunts for turnovers.

Halfback Sincere McCormick has emerged as one of the best running backs in the conference, amassing 1,345 yards and 11 touchdowns to this point. He’s one of the few workhorse backs remaining in college football and he can catch it as well, evidenced by his 18 catches for 122 yards. The Roadrunners are best off when McCormick has the ball in his hands. Zakhari Franklin and Joshua Cephus are talented receivers, but they will be facing off with a pair of elite CB’s and it will be a phenomenal matchup. This game will likely come down to the UTSA offense and what they’re able to do against a stingy defense that has struggled at times.

Spread Prediction

The Pick: ULL -14

The UTSA Roadrunners have a hard time moving the ball when they can’t run it and that’s exactly what I expect to happened here. The Ragin’ Cajuns are stout against the run and they will be stacking the box. I certainly don’t trust Frank Harris to air it out against this secondary and I expect a few early three and outs or turnovers. Louisiana-Lafayette won’t have any problem running it against a defense that has given up 200+ yards on the ground to inferior attacks. The Cajuns will wear down UTSA and I expect them to win this game by around 20 points. Don’t be surprised if we see UTSA switch things up in the second half as they look for a way to score the football.

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Total Prediction

The Pick: Under 55
Final Score Prediction: Ragin Cajuns 34, UTSA 17

If we’re expecting UTSA to struggle running the ball, the under is the only bet to make here. Both teams want to run the ball and neither pushes the ball down the field very often. The Ragin’ Cajuns will control the time of possession and we will see Mitchell + Ragas with 30 combined carries. It’s tough to bet an under at this number, but it should be a few points lower. I’m a big fan of the under here, but it’s still not my favorite bet of the contest.

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