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New Orleans Bowl Prediction and Betting Odds | Western Kentucky vs South Alabama

New Orleans Bowl Point Spread and Total

New Orleans Bowl Prediction : The Betting Preview

Wednesday night’s New Orleans Bowl sees South Alabama from the Sun Belt square off with Western Kentucky from Conference USA. The Jaguars enjoyed one of their most successful seasons of all time, while the transfer portal has dominated recent chatter for the Hilltoppers. The college football handicapping team from The GoldSheet shares their thoughts on this New Orleans Bowl matchup.

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New Orleans Bowl Betting Odds

Wednesday, December 21 New Orleans Bowl Betting Notes
Point Spread: South Alabama -4 vs Western Kentucky
Total: o/u 57.5 Points
Location: Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana
Game Time: 9:00pm ET / 6:00pm PT (Odds Above Courtesy of DraftKings)

Western Kentucky vs South Alabama Betting Analysis

My oh my has the transfer portal thrown a unique twist into handicapping bowl games. Western Kentucky QB Austin Reed and backup QB Darius Ocean both announced in the beginning of December that they were entering the transfer portal. South Alabama climbed as high as -9 at some books under the assumption that the Hilltoppers would be using a lightly-seasoned quarterback in this contest.

Last week, Reed pulled his name from the portal and announced that he’s returning to WKU next season and will be playing in this contest. The line has dropped all the way to -3.5 at some shops on the morning of the game. Got all that?

Rushing Attack Not Needed

Following in Bailey Zappe’s footsteps, Reed was named Conference USA’s Newcomer of the Year and finished second in the country in passing yards and fourth in touchdown passes. Western Kentucky’s offense averaged 44.3 pass attempts per game, which was No. 4 in the country after finishing second in that department last year.

While Reed is welcomed back with open arms, there are still A LOT of holes to fill on the Western Kentucky side. The Hilltoppers have 11 players in the transfer portal, and two more that are opting out of this game.

All-conference center Rusty Staats and starting tackle Gunner Britton have both entered the portal. Daewood Davis was a transfer from Oregon and finished as the team’s second-leading receiver this year. He will not be playing. Both tight ends – Joshua Simon and Joey Beljan – will both miss this game.

Jaguars on the Prowl

The Sun Belt was filled with some fantastic stories this year: James Madison winning the division in its first season, App State hosting College Gameday and Troy riding an 11-game win streak to close the year and win the conference. Don’t forget about the year that South Alabama had.

Kane Wommack’s crew went 10-2 with those two losses coming by five combined points against UCLA and the aforementioned Trojans. Wommack signed a contract extension last week, so he’s not going anywhere (yet).

South Alabama only has one player in the transfer portal, so Wommack has been able to keep his squad intact. The Sun Belt has started 3-0 in bowl season, so the strength of the conference this year has been evident.

New Orleans Bowl Prediction

This game presents an interesting puzzle because of Western Kentucky’s opt-outs. When Reed was announced back in for this contest, the line went from -8 to -4 at most shops. The total wasn’t as fast to catch up.

So there seems to be an interesting battle going on in the betting market. If those opt-outs on the Western Kentucky side will make a big impact, then South Alabama should be a bigger favorite. If those opt-outs won’t make as much of an impact, then this total should be higher.

The over was only 5-8 in Western Kentucky’s games this season, but here are the totals in the eight games that stayed under: 72, 67.5, 72.5, 67.5, 60.5, 70.5, 72.5 and 61. Those are nowhere near the hurdle of 57 that the Jaguars and Hilltoppers are being asked to clear in this one.

They will be playing on a fast turf in a dome with no weather concerns. Reed has had about ten days to get back up-to-speed with his squad. This total is a few ticks too low.

New Orleans Bowl Betting Pick: Play the over.

New Orleans Bowl Video Preview

WagerTalk’s team of college football handicappers broke down Wednesday’s New Orleans Bowl from a variety of handicapping angles. Join us Tuesday through Friday at 3pm ET / 12pm PT for the Happy Hour CFB Kickoff Show as we discuss the marquee college football games on the upcoming slate.

South Alabama vs Western Kentucky Prediction and Picks | New Orleans Bowl Betting Advice | Dec 21

College Football Odds Screen

WagerTalk’s Live Odds Screen features up-to-the-minute lines from a variety of offshore and domestic sports books. Track the college football point spreads, totals and betting percentages for all of this month’s college football bowl games, including this Western Kentucky vs South Alabama showdown in New Orleans, from your desktop or phone.

College Football Odds Screen

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