Marshall vs UL Lafayette
Marshall +165 over UL Lafayette

Pinnacle +162 BET365 +165 SportInteraction +165 BetOnlin+165  Bookmaker +165

Posted at 11:30 AM EST.

Marshall +165 over UL Lafayette

Caesars Superdome – New Orleans, LA

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

9:15 PM EST. There are several narratives which make the Ragin’ Cajuns appear to be one of the “must plays” of the opening bowl weekend. UL Lafayette is one of the most highly selected teams in ESPN’s Bowl Mania pool (95% to be exact). The talking heads have further substantiated the Louisiana revelry by telling you that ULL has the benefit of playing this game in their home state, they are Sun Belt Champions, they have won five more games than Marshall, and that their presence in this very contest may actually feel like a snub, as the Cajuns, some have argued, should actually be under consideration for a New Year’s Six Bowl. After all, Louisiana won 12 straight after suffering a season-opening loss at Texas, which in hindsight seems like a distant memory. What we see is a ranked Lafayette spotting a notorious underdog-conducive number to an unranked opponent (+5.5).

What’s so appealing is that the market sees is a 12-1 Louisiana-Lafayette spotting a soft number to a 7-5 Marshall Thundering Herd but what may not be taken into consideration is how in-game variances enabled the Cajuns to get the better of that equation, while in-game variance worked the opposite way against Marshall. We cannot overstate how wins and losses influence the market to a higher degree than anything else.

Aside from its recent blowout loss against Western Kentucky, which put them out of the Conference USA Championship Game appearance, the Thundering Herd could have won every other game they lost this season. As quick as Marshall is 7-5, they could in fact be 11-1. Against UAB (the then defending Conference USA Champion), at Middle Tennessee State (a team tough to beat in its own stead with a mysterious home field advantage), at Appalachian State (a Group of Five blue blood), and against ECU (a rivalry game), Marshall lost no game by more than one score and in total fell by a combined 16 points to the aforementioned four sides. In a nutshell, had the bounces and breaks gone with the Herd, we could argue that in-fact they could be no worse than a one-loss side like Louisiana.

On the flipside, ULL could easily be 7-5 or perhaps even worse, as it won against Nicholls State (a FCS side), at South Alabama (not exactly the who’s who of college football), at Arkansas State (a dreg), against Georgia State (a mid-tier Sun Belt squad), and arch-nemesis Louisiana Monroe (a team that did not win a game in 2020) by a combined 15 points. Essentially, the Cajuns edged out marshmallows by the average margin of a field goal and had they fallen in any of these contests, we could dare say that the market’s assessment of these two outfits might be entirely different. Incidentally and for what it;s worth, Louisiana attained these sparkling results with their boss-man Billy Napier, who will NOT be there to coach the Ragins, as he has moved onto Gainesville to take the helm of Florida. Now, Louisiana is tasked with facing a team much better than their record entails without the guy that got them there. This is an opportunity to take advantage of the market’s fascination with what is in the win and loss columns. Marshall outright.

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Our Pick

Marshall +165 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.30)