Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:30 PM EST odds are subject to change.
Louisiana-Lafayette @ Southern Miss +106
M. M. Roberts Stadium, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
7:30 PM EST. The absolute only thing that would prevent us from playing Southern Miss here is the fact that they haven’t played a Thursday night prime time game since 2011 so being in the spotlight is unchartered waters. Motivation will not be an issue for the Golden Eagles, as this is a great opportunity to put the program on the map for at least a week. We do not know how these kids will respond to seeing the ESPN crew setting up and knowing millions will be watching but that could also work in their favor, as motivation is certainly a part of preparation.
The Ragin’ Cajuns have already played a Wednesday contest this season, winning at Marshall on Oct. 12, thus the market has seen ULL while they have not seen Southern Miss in 11 years. That, too, should work in our favor because the Cajuns have market credibility. Furthermore, Louisiana is coming off a 20-point home win over Arkansas State and they have covered three in a row. Both these teams are 4-3 so why is it that ULL is favored? It’s because they have more of a market presence and not because they are superior.
If we look at each team's body of work season to date, we’ll give a big edge to the home dog here. ULL beat whom? Marshall? Rice? Eastern Michigan? SE Louisiana? Big deal.
The Golden Eagles have quietly put together a solid resume. After a 27-10 loss to West Division-leading Troy to open Sun Belt play, they took down Arkansas State and Texas State behind strong defensive performances. Southern Miss covered at Miami, Florida earlier in a game it led at the half and handed nationally-ranked Tulane, currently 7-1, its only loss on Sept. 24. Second-year head coach Will Hall has the Golden Eagles headed in the right direction. This is a team that has been wallowing in mediocrity for a long time so the market really isn’t buying in yet. We are, as we get a highly motivated host wrongly priced as the pooch here.
Southern Miss +106 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.12)