Coastal Carolina Chanticleers vs. Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Pick ATS
Coastal Carolina Chanticlieers (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS) vs. Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (3-0 SU, 1-2 ATS)
College Football Week 7
Date and Time: Wednesday, October 14, 2020 at 7:30PM EDT
Where: Cajun Field, Lafayette, Louisiana
Point Spread: CC +7/ULL -7 (BetNow - Deposit $100 to $500 and get a dollar for dollar match!)
Over/Under Total: 50.5
The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers take on the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns in Sun Belt Conference action from Lafayette on Wednesday. So far, these teams have done everything asked of them, as both enter this matchup at 3-0. On October 3, Coastal Carolina beat Arkansas State, 52-23, for their third straight win. Louisiana-Lafayette, meanwhile, last played on September 26, registering a 20-18 win over Georgia Southern. Even though they haven’t covered the spread of the last two games, they are ranked in the top 25 (as of press time). Coastal Carolina, meanwhile, won their previous match by 29 as 3.5-point underdogs.
What Last Season Tells Us
Between the coronavirus and the start-stop nature to this kooky college football season, it’s really worth asking how much last season even matters at this point. But when it’s as pronounced a beating as UL-Lafayette’s 48-7 win over Coastal Carolina, it’s worth investigating. A lot of the same faces from both sides are still there. And that game was on the Chanticleers’ field, with this one happening in Lafayette. Both Ragin Cajuns’ quarterback Levi Lewis and RB Chris Smith (questionable) both had big games, and Coastal Carolina was really taken to school.
It’s also important to point out that Coastal Carolina is only in their fourth season of being in the FBS. They never finished a season at even .500 yet. Louisiana, meanwhile, is coming off an 11-win season that was punctuated by a bowl win. They’ve been in the Sun Belt for two decades and have experienced some success. They’re just a more-cemented team on a different trajectory. But there are signs that the gap is narrowing.
A New Look Coastal Carolina?
A 3-0 start and some eye-popping moments have forced us to take another look at Coastal Carolina. Granted, Kansas has many problems, but beating a Big 12 team was a nice confidence-booster for this squad. And to beat consistent conference power Arkansas State by 29 as underdogs mean that this a team on the rise. These are not results you would have seen with the Coastal Carolina team we saw the last several seasons.
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One different variable is Coastal Carolina quarterback Grayson McCall. The freshman has transformed the offense, giving opponents something to worry about for a change. He has 9 TD throws and just one pick while being efficient and having the air of a capable field general. The types of Coastal Carolina offensive spurts we have seen this season were rare instances until McCall came into the fold. He is also useful with his legs and very mobile, having scored a few times with his feet. With CJ Marable, Shermari Jones, and Reese White, they have some different weapons on the ground. So far this season, we’ve seen a lot from Jaivon Heiligh, Isaiah Likely, and Kameron Brown through the air. And with the offense able to sustain drives, we’re starting to see a defense that benefits from not being on the field all the time. They’ve been solid so far this season, featuring an ultra-strong middle that is both stout and makes a lot of plays.
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What Louisiana Brings to the Table
Coming off a big season last year and starting at 3-0, it looks like ULL is again among the class of the Sun Belt. The last few games were wins but left something to be desired. In light of what Iowa State has done subsequently, their 31-14 win in Ames looms large. It perhaps led to some inflated numbers the next two weeks, as the Ragin’ Cajuns needed overtime to beat Georgia State as 17-point favorites, before nosing Georgia Southern as double-digit favorites. Nevertheless, they loom large in these conference matchups and for a good reason.
QB Levi Lewis and RB Elijah Mitchell return, and they’re big-time players with experience and prior success in this context on a massive scale. We’ve perhaps seen Lewis taking some time to gel with what is really a revamped receiver crew, compromised by departures, injuries, and the virus. Other than leading pass-catcher Peter LeBlanc (questionable), Lewis is working with some new faces in the aerial rotation. Still, while Coastal Carolina is optimistic that they can do this, there are guys on this Ragin’ Cajuns sideline that know what it’s like to dominate in these spots, just as they did to the Chanticleers last season in South Carolina.
For some people, and especially those who don’t follow the Sun Belt Conference, they’re going to look at the fact that a ranked Louisiana-Lafayette beat Iowa State by 17 on their field. Iowa State then goes on to beat three Big 12 teams, including Oklahoma. Then they see that the Ragin’ Cajuns beat Coastal Carolina by 41 points last season and are now facing that same team at home. You can give someone a pass for looking no further into it than that. But I think when you take the spread into account, combined with Coastal Carolina taking a step forward, and Louisiana not looking that great the last two weeks, it’s maybe not the slam-dunk it appears to be. It’s also worth pointing out that the ULL program has been hit fairly hard by covid, with some guys still on the inactive list after testing positive.
Take the Points
I’ve seen something a little askew with ULL since beating Iowa State—a certain lethargy overall and a flatness on offense. They didn’t really spin out of that game one upset win with a lot of energy. Conversely, you have a Coastal Carolina team attempting to achieve respect for the very first time at this level. And while they could come down to earth some this week, while Louisiana reclaims some of their game one form, I don’t see both of those things happening, and I’m inclined to take the points in this one. I’m going with Coastal Carolina.
Loot’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers plus 7 points. Get a FREE $50 bet on this game! All you gotta do is open an account, deposit $25 and enter bonus code ROOKIE200 and they’ll credit you with a free $50 at Intertops Sportsbook!