The first day of bowl action around college football is Saturday, and the last of five games features Southern Miss and Louisiana-Lafayette both playing near their campuses when they met in the New Orleans Bowl. USM is a slight favorite on college football lines.
Southern Miss vs Louisiana-Lafayette New Orleans Bowl Odds, Pick & TV Info
Why Bet on Southern Miss?
USM (6-6) is from Conference USA. It closed the regular season with a 39-24 win over a very good Louisiana Tech team that won the C-USA West Division. After missing two games with a concussion, quarterback Nick Mullens returned to Southern Miss’ lineup and completed 29 of 33 passes for 342 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for a fourth as the Golden Eagles snapped a three-game losing streak to become bowl eligible for a second consecutive season. In the process, Mullens became the school’s career leader with 84 touchdown passes.
Southern Miss running back Ito Smith collected 190 total yards, including 127 yards rushing, while receiver D.J. Thompson tied a Roberts Stadium record with a career-high 12 catches for 135 yards and two touchdowns. Smith is the Golden Eagles’ leading rusher with 239 carries for 1,321 yards and 15 TDs. Tech entered the game as C-USA’s leader in scoring (45.8 points per game), total offense (540 yards per game) and passing yardage (357.3 yards per game). Against Southern Miss, the Bulldogs gained 254 total yards. Averaging 183.5 yards rushing a game, Tech netted just 8 yards.
The Golden Eagles registered 472.1 yards per game during the regular season, ranking No. 25 in the FBS, while allowing just 330.9 yards per game, which ranked No. 18 in the FBS. Southern Miss ranked No. 9 in the FBS in time of possession this fall (33:41), while also holding a No. 2 ranking in third down conversions allowed at 23.9 percent.
USM makes its second straight bowl appearance, 12th in the last 15 years and 24th overall. Southern Miss returns to New Orleans for the fifth time in a bowl game. The game marks the first time Southern Miss has played in this game since the 2009 campaign and the fifth time overall, also earning berths in 2004, 2005 and 2008. Due to Hurricane Katrina, the 2005 contest was played at Cajun Field in Lafayette, La.
Why Bet on Louisiana-Lafayette?
The Ragin’ Cajuns (6-6) are a Sun Belt Conference team. They closed the regular season with a 30-3 blowout of Louisiana-Monroe. Playing in a driving rain for nearly the entire game, Trev Miller and Otha Peters each returned a pair of second-quarter fumbles for touchdowns, Elijah McGuire rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown and Stevie Artigue booted three field goal as Louisiana forced five turnovers. The 27-point victory was the largest for the Ragin’ Cajuns in Monroe since a 54-21 win in 2005.
Louisiana’s three defensive TDs in the past two games equaled the team total in 2013, with a combined two TDs set in 2014-15. Louisiana scored 24 points off five ULM turnovers after entering the game with 29 points scored off turnovers in the first 11 games. McGuire’s 110 yards against ULM increased his season total to 1,028, marking the third consecutive year with 1,000 yards rushing in a season.
ULL defensive lineman Joe Dillon picked was named a Freshman All-American. He played in all 12 games during the regular-season for Louisiana and finished as the top lineman in tackles (49) while leading the team in sacks (6.0) and tackles for loss (11.5).
This will be the Ragin’ Cajuns fifth appearance in the past six years in the New Orleans Bowl. The meeting between Louisiana and Southern Miss will be the 52nd between the schools and the first since 2008.
Southern Miss vs Louisiana-Lafayette New Orleans Bowl Pick: Southern Miss Golden Eagles
- Golden Eagles are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
- Over is 4-1 in Golden Eagles last 5 Bowl games.
Take Southern Miss and the over on NCAA Football odds.