Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns vs. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
Line: Louisiana-Lafayette -7.5
Where: Cajun Field
When: Wednesday, 10/14, at 7:30 p.m. ET
No. 23 Louisiana is set to host Coastal Carolina in a matchup between two unbeaten Sun Belt
teams on Wednesday night.
Between COVID-19 and Hurricane Delta, both teams have had to be flexible with scheduling.
This contest was originally supposed to take place on Oct. 17, but it was moved to Oct. 10 after
Louisiana’s game against Appalachian State was postponed because of a COVID-19 outbreak
within the Mountaineers program.
The game was then postponed until Wednesday due to Hurricane Delta’s arrival this past
weekend. Louisiana opened as a 7.5-point home favorite, but it was bet down to -7 before moving
back to -7.5. The total is sitting at 58.5 after opening at 58. Louisiana notched a 48-7 road
win as a 14-point favorite when these teams met last season.
The Rajin’ Cajuns are off to a 3-0 start for the first time since 1988. They picked up a 20-18 win
against Georgia Southern on Sept. 26 when junior kicker Nate Snyder drilled a 53-yard field goal
in the waning seconds.
Their best win came in a 31-14 road victory against Iowa State as 13-point underdogs. They
failed to cover as 17-point favorites in a 34-31 win against Georgia State and as 11.5-point
favorites against Georgia Southern.
Coastal Carolina is also off to a hot start, beating Kansas by 15 points in the season-opener to set
the tone. Since then, the Chanticleers have notched wins against Campbell and Arkansas State.
They have covered in two of their three contests, failing to meet expectations as 28-point favorites
in their 43-21 win against Campbell.
This is the best start for Coastal Carolina in its four seasons at the FBS level. The Chanticleers
are led by redshirt freshman QB Grayson McCall, who has completed 66.7 percent of his passes
for 728 yards and nine touchdowns.
McCall has only thrown one interception and has rushed for 139 yards on 31 carries. Senior
running back CJ Marable leads the ground game with 47 carries for 190 yards and three
Junior wide receiver Jaivon Heiligh has caught 12 passes for 219 yards and three scores,
averaging 18.3 yards per catch. Tight end Isaiah Likely has added seven grabs for 215 yards and
three touchdowns of his own.
Louisiana’s offense is led by senior quarterback Levi Lewis. He has struggled with consistency
this season, completing 57.8 percent of his passes for 723 yards. Lewis has thrown four
touchdowns and three interceptions while taking five sacks.
The Rajin’ Cajuns have a trio of running backs who have rushed for more than 100 yards this
season. Senior Elijah Mitchell has been slicing up defenses for 8.8 yards per carry, rushing for
210 yards and two touchdowns on 24 attempts.
Senior Trey Ragas and sophomore Chris Smith are both over 100 yards each as well. Sophomore
wide receiver Peter LeBlanc has caught 12 passes for 194 yards and a touchdown. The kicking
game has been suspect for Louisiana, as Snyder has made just 3 of his 7 field-goal attempts.
As good as Louisiana has been, it has only covered the spread once in its last five games. The
‘under’ has cashed in nine of its last 12 and the Rajin’ Cajuns are 9-1 straight-up in their last 10
Coastal Carolina is 6-3 ATS in its last nine games and the ‘over’ is 4-1 in its last five. The
Chanticleers are 6-1 ATS in their last seven road contests.
The Pick: Louisiana -7 (buy half-point if -125 or less to do so)
I understand why bettors are looking to Coastal Carolina here, but I am going the other way at
this number. Louisiana was 17 points better than the Chanticleers on a neutral field last season,
but now the market is saying the Rajin’ Cajuns are only about four points better. They completely
dominated last season’s contest, so backing them to cover a touchdown at home in this one
appears to have some value. Louisiana has been an excellent home team, whereas Coastal
Carolina has only won three of its last 13 conference games. This will be McCall’s second road
start of his career. Alcohol sales are being permitted at Cajun Field for the first time this season,
so the limited capacity crowd should make itself heard for this nationally-televised game.