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New Orleans Bowl Betting – Aztecs Outlast Ragin’ Cajuns At The Superdome

Posted by Blake Frazier on 12/9/2011 5:16:30 PM
new orleans bowl betting

Online betting players who are getting ready for bowl season know that you can find some excitement in the earlier games, and the R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl features San Diego State and Louisiana-Lafayette, who are back in the bowls for the first time in a long, long time. Even though they’ll have the advantage in crowd support, San Diego State has one of the best running backs in the country and they should be able to cover.

What: NCAA Football Betting
When: Saturday, December 17th, 9:00 PM ET
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Pick: San Diego State Aztecs -5

Why Bet On San Diego State Aztecs (8-4 SU, 4-3 Mountain West)

The Aztecs finished fourth in the Mountain West, building upon their first bowl game since 1998, and this will be the first time that San Diego State has gone bowling in back-to-back seasons in 1966 and 1967. Three of their four losses came against teams who are now ranked (Michigan, TCU, Boise State) and head coach Rocky Long can consider his first year at the helm of the Aztecs as a success. Running back Ronnie Hillman is third in the nation in rushing as a sophomore and next year, he could end up being an NCAA football betting darkhorse for the Heisman in 2012. Quarterback Ryan Lindley isn’t asked to do too much and has thrown only eight picks this season (three of those came against TCU) and the offensive line is solid as San Diego State were 10th in sacks allowed. Defensively, the Aztecs are 57th in the country, but they struggle to stop the run as they’re 82nd in rush defense. When they come up against a good team, the defense can be suspect but against a team like the one they’re facing in this game, San Diego State can make stops.

San Diego State should be completely healthy by the time the New Orleans Bowl rolls around, although there was some concern over Hillman (ankle), but he should have plenty of time to recover. The Aztecs will aim to control the ball with Hillman, but Lindley will have to put the ball up to keep their opponents honest. Turnovers could be a factor as well, and San Diego State is 11th in the country in turnover margin.

Why Bet On Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (8-4 SU, 6-2 Sun Belt)

The Cajuns finished the season with two straight losses at Arkansas State and Arizona, but they still managed to finish third in the Sun Belt and earned an invitation to a bowl for the first time in 41 years. Junior quarterback Blaine Gautier had a great year, throwing 20 touchdowns and only five picks, and he is also the team’s second-leading rusher behind Alonzo Harris. The line can be breached as the Cajuns are 70th in sacks allowed, but Gautier’s willingness to hold onto the ball and try to find a running lane has also been a factor in that statistic. The Sun Belt has never been known as a conference that places a high priority on defense, and the Cajuns are 72nd in total defense and 83rd in points allowed. Their secondary can be picked on as the Cajuns are 92nd in pass defense, but they’ve also returned seven picks for touchdowns, the most by any team since 1971 and they can get a pass rush generated as they’re tied for 30th in sacks. However, one player San Diego State would like to avoid is cornerback Dwight “Bill” Bentley, a ballhawk who is going to end up in the NFL someday. On special teams, don’t count out kicker Brett Baer, who has hit 92% of his field-goal attempts.

Bentley (shoulder) dislocated his shoulder in the regular-season finale against Arizona, but first-year head coach Mark Hudspeth thinks he’ll be ready to go and he would be a massive loss for the Cajuns as he is the lone player in the secondary that you don’t target. Linebacker LeMarcus Gibson (leg) was injured at the beginning of November and he’ll be doubtful for this game. The Cajuns would love to finish the season with a bowl win and the Sun Belt is 5-5 in 10 trips to the New Orleans Bowl.

How It Will Play Out

NCAA football betting odds have the Aztecs as a 5-point favorite at the Superdome, and even though they’ll travel well, the Cajuns may have the edge in crowd support given their proximity to New Orleans. It’s very important that they have the crowd on their side as the Cajuns are bowling for the first time in over four decades, but even more important is their ability to stop Hillman, which has been difficult to do this season.

Also, the Aztecs have to attack a secondary that can give up the big play and if Bentley isn’t 100%, it could be open season for Lindley. It should be an exciting game with plenty of scoring, but look for San Diego State to pull away and cover the sports betting spread in New Orleans.

New Orleans Bowl Betting: San Diego State Aztecs

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