Louisiana-Lafayette Arkansas State Odds
The Louisiana-Lafayette Rajin’ Cajuns (4-2) travel to face the Arkansas State Red Wolves (3-3) in Sun Belt Conference play on Tuesday, October 22. The Red Wolves have won two straight over the Rajin’ Cajuns, including last year’s 50-27 blowout road victory.
You can watch this Sun Belt showdown on ESPN 2 at 8:00 EST Tuesday night. Taking a look at the odds in Las Vegas, I find Louisiana-Lafayette as a 2.5-point favorite over Arkansas State with a total set of 66 points.
Why Louisiana-Lafayette Covers
After losing two tough road games at Arkansas and Kansas State to open the season, the Louisiana-Lafayette Rajin’ Cajuns have been rolling since. They have won four in a row, including back-to-back blowout victories over Texas State (48-24) and Western Kentucky (37-20) to take over first place in the Sun Belt. They will certainly be out for revenge against the two-time defending conference champion Red Wolves.
Last year, the Rajin’ Cajuns simply gave the game away to Arkansas State, losing by a final of 27-50. They committed a whopping five turnovers, finishing -5 in turnover differential in that contest. Terrance Broadway threw for 374 yards and three touchdowns in that game, but he also threw three costly interceptions. Look for Broadway and company to take much better care of the football in this one, and to get back to their running game.
The Rajin’ Cajuns rushed for 254 yards against a very good Western Kentucky defense last week. They rank 21st in the country in rushing offense at 223.3 yards per game. Arkansas State ranks 93rd in rushing defense, allowing 196.7 yards per game and a whopping 5.1 per carry. The Red Wolves allowed 301 yards in a 9-38 loss to Auburn, 329 yards in a 7-31 loss to Memphis, and 239 yards in a 19-41 setback at Missouri. Their three wins have been unimpressive with victories over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Troy and Idaho. They even gave up 614 yards in their 41-34 win over Troy and only won due to being +4 in turnover differential.
The Rajin’ Cajuns rank 21st in the country in rushing offense at 223.3 yards per game. Arkansas State ranks 93rd in rushing defense, allowing 196.7 yards per game and a whopping 5.1 per carry.
Lafayette is 7-0 against the spread vs. good passing teams that average at least 250 passing yards per game over the last three seasons. The Rajin’ Cajuns are 12-2 against the number in their last 14 road games versus good offensive teams that average at least 425 yards per game. Arkansas State is 6-20 against the number in its last 26 versus good rushing teams that average at least 4.75 yards per carry. Louisiana-Lafayette is 6-1 against the spread in its last seven games following a S.U. win. The Rajin’ Cajuns are 21-8 against the number in their last 29 road games.
Why Arkansas State Covers
The Red Wolves have played an absolutely brutal schedule so far, which is the biggest reason they are just 3-3 on the year. Their three losses have all come on the road against Auburn, Memphis and Missouri. They are a perfect 3-0 at home this season, outscoring their opponents by an average of 27.3 points per game in Jonesboro. Now, they are a home underdog to Louisiana-Lafayette, which last suffered both of its losses on the road to Arkansas (14-34) and Kansas State (27-48).
Arkansas State has simply dominated Louisiana-Lafayette the past two seasons en route to winning the Sun Belt Title in each. It put up 50 points and 526 total yards last year in a 50-27 road victory. It also won 30-21 at home in 2011 while limiting the Rajin’ Cajuns to 314 total yards. In last year’s meeting, the Red Wolves did whatever they wanted to against the Rajin’ Cajuns’ defense. They rushed for 257 yards and passed for 269 more.
This team features an explosive offense once again this season, rushing for 211.3 yards and passing for 268.3 more to rank 25th in the country in total offense at 479.7 yards per game. Adam Kennedy is completing 67.8 percent of his passes for 1,552 yards with seven touchdowns and three interceptions, while also rushing for 163 yards. David Oku has rushed for 396 yards and five touchdowns. Michael Gordon has been an excellent change-of-pace backs, rushing for 226 yards and three scores on 10.8 per carry.
Arkansas State is 13-3 against the spread against poor passing defenses that allow a completion percentage of 58% or worse over the last three seasons. It is winning by 36.6 to 20.0 in this spot, or by an average of 16.6 points per game. The Red Wolves are 13-4 against the number in their last 17 vs. Sun Belt opponents. The Red Wolves have had an extra three days to prepare for this game having last played on October 12, while Louisiana-Lafayette last played on October 15.
My Early Lean: Louisiana-Lafayette -2.5