10-2 South Alabama hopes to end their terrific season with a bowl victory when the Jaguars take a bus to the Superdome to face off against the Western Kentucky Hilltopper in the 2022 New Orleans Bowl. The South Bama Jags are -8 favorites to hand the Hilltoppers a bowl game loss. Will South Alabama get it done or will Western Kentucky head to the offseason New Orleans Bowl winners? Check out NCAA Football Bowl Odds, analysis, and a free pick for the 2022 New Orleans Bowl.
Who is Playing in the New Orleans Bowl? | Western Kentucky vs South Alabama Betting Preview
New Orleans Bowl Betting Preview for Western Kentucky Hilltoppers V. South Alabama Jaguars
- When: Wednesday, Dec. 21 at 9:00 pm ET
- Where: Superdome, New Orleans, LA
- TV / Streaming: ESPN / ESPN+
- ATS Odds: South Alabama -8
- Money line Odds: Western Kentucky +255 / South Alabama -330
- Over/Under Odds: 53.5
Why bet on Western Kentucky versus South Alabama?
Western Kentucky doesn’t have as good of a record as South Alabama, but the Hilltoppers finished their regular season winning 3-of-4. Western Kentucky beat Charlotte 59-7, Rice 45-10, and Florida Atlantic 32-31.
Also, South Alabama is great versus the pass, but they haven’t faced a player like Austin Reed. Austin should have some success versus the Jaguars’ defense.
Western Kentucky Offensive Averages
- Total Yards: 401.0
- Passing Yards: 222.0
- Rushing Yards: 179.0
- Points Scored: 28.3
- Turnovers: 11
Western Kentucky Defensive Averages
- Total Yards: 345.2
- Passing Yards: 201.2
- Rushing Yards: 144.0
- Points Scored: 24.9
- Takeaways: 14
Why bet on South Alabama versus Western Kentucky?
You don’t go 10-2 in NCAAF Division 1 college football unless you’re a good football team. South Alabama answered the bell in almost every game this season.
The two losses came against Pac-12 squad UCLA in a 32-31 game and Troy, in a 10-6 contest. Losing by a point to UCLA, one of the Pac’s better teams this season, and losing to Troy, one of the season’s top non-Power Conference teams, in close games tells us all we must know about the Jaguars.
South Alabama Offensive Averages
- Total Yards: 405.9
- Passing Yards: 228.2
- Rushing Yards: 177.8
- Points Scored: 32.1
- Turnovers: 10
South Alabama Defensive Averages
- Total Yards: 331.9
- Passing Yards: 185.5
- Rushing Yards: 146.5
- Points Scored: 25.5
- Takeaways: 12
Hilltoppers vs Jaguars Relevant Trends
- Hilltoppers are 5-0 ATS versus a team with a winning record
- Western Kentucky is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS loss
- Under is 6-1-1 in the Hilltoppers’ last 8 games
- Jaguars are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games on field turf
- South Alabama is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games
- Over is 3-0-1 in the Jaguars’ last 4 games
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs. South Alabama Jaguars Final Betting Prediction
What makes the Jaguars so difficult to beat is their ability to change strategies depending on how their opponents play. South Alabama got into a defensive fight against Troy and almost pulled off the win.
Versus UCLA, the Jaguars switched it up after the first quarter, turning the game into a shootout, because they knew they weren’t going to stop the Bruins from moving the football. The ability to outscore teams with great offenses should lead to a South Alabama win.
The problem with backing the Jaguars is with the point spread. South Alabama is the better team but 8 points is a lot to give up to Western Kentucky because Hilltoppers senior quarterback Austin Reed has thrown for 4,247 yards and 36 touchdowns this season.
South Alabama gets the win. But it’s impossible not to take the points knowing Western Kentucky will move the football and this could end up a shootout like the Jaguars’ 38-31 victory over Georgia Southern.
NCAAF New Orleans Bowl Pick: Western Kentucky Hilltoppers +8