Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns vs. Texas Longhorns Betting Pick 9/4/21
NCAA Football Week 1
Date/Time: Saturday September 4th, 2021. 4:30PM (EST)
Where: DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium Austin, TX
Point Spread: ULL +8/TEX -8
Over/Under Total: 58
The Steve Sarkisian regime will officially kick off on Saturday, September 4th, when the Texas Longhorns host the no. 23 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns inside DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium. After several years of being “good” but not good enough, the Longhorns made the decision to move on from former Head Coach Tom Herman despite four straight winning seasons. The Longhorns will now turn to the leadership of Sarkisian, who recently won a National Championship with Alabama as the offensive coordinator, a position he also held with the Atlanta Falcons from 2017-2018.
Without question, Sarkisian will have work ahead as the Longhorns return just 15 starters from their 2020 campaign that featured a 7-3 SU record. Texas ranks 98th in the FBS in terms of returning starters and lost their most important piece of the 2020 offense in QB Sam Ehlinger, who is now with the Indianapolis Colts. Sarkisian has not named a starting quarterback at this time as an intense quarterback battle has taken place throughout the fall between junior Casey Thompson and redshirt freshman Hudson Card. Both quarterbacks have received praise from internal practices and scrimmages in recent weeks, and it would not be surprising to see both guys get playing time throughout the season. It is my opinion that Thompson will get the nod due to his experience, but I believe Card is the better pure passing threat.
The problem the Longhorns face is they will get a Top 25 team out of the gates in the visiting Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns. This ULL program is on the heels of a breakout 10-1 SU season under Head Coach Billy Napier, which included a victory over no. 23 Iowa State in the opener. The Cajuns return ten starters on each side of the ball, and they should be a better football team in 2021 by every stretch of the imagination. Quarterback Levi Lewis is the star of the offense and will get the opportunity to improve on his 60 percent completion rate that totaled 2,274 yards with 19 touchdowns and seven picks. Despite the Ragin’ Cajuns’ success last year, the offense did not exactly post huge numbers. In fact, ULL did not have a single receiver break the 400-yard mark, and they will need to be better this season to compete with teams like Texas. Louisiana did receive potential support in TCU transfer WR John Stephens Jr, who they hope will help improve opportunities in the passing game!
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Louisiana vs. Texas Betting Analysis
At first glance, I believe the Ragin Cajuns are being slightly disrespected by oddsmakers. Louisiana is the more experienced group, and this will be their biggest opportunity to take down a Power 5 opponent. The Ragin’ Cajuns are solid on both sides of the football and will likely compete for all 60 minutes. Personally, I nearly jumped at this line when it was first posted, as I believe these teams are fairly evenly matched for an opening week battle. Texas has the higher ceiling based on talent, but I they also will likely need time to develop.
Despite the uncertainty at quarterback, the Longhorns will feature a heavy dose of sophomore running backs Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson. The duo combined for 1,121 yards on just 166 carries last season. Robinson is a potential star in the making. When you remove all the carriers that Ehlinger took from the quarterback position in 2020, many would expect Robinson’s carries to skyrocket this season. Despite my knee-jerk reaction to back ULL, I do see paths to Texas covering the spread in this game, especially if the running game gets rolling. I’m not exactly convinced that either offense will have a ton of success, but the Longhorns have the most reliable path to victory with their rushing attack.
If you look at the match-up breakdown on both sides of the football, the defenses will have the advantage. The Longhorns produced mediocre results on defense in 2020, allowing 406 yards per game which ranked 68th in the FBS. One thing we can say about Texas’ defense going into 2021 is that they may not be the most talented, but they will be incredibly experience with upperclassmen at every position. More importantly, I believe this Longhorn’s defense will play well against the ULL offense. Billy Napier’s offense is not exactly difficult, but the Ragin’ Cajuns do a great job of protecting the ball and looking for opportunities underneath coverage to keep the chains moving. Despite the 10-1 record last year, the offense only scored more than 31 points in 3 games. Because of the stylistic play of Louisiana and Texas’ new offense, I could easily see this game being relatively calm with a lot of effort in the ground game from both sides. From a tempo, match-up, and stylistic standpoint, all signs point to moderate offensive output, which significantly values the “under” 58 total.
Louisiana vs. Texas Betting Trends
- ULL is 6-2 ATS in their last eight games in September
- ULL is 7-0 SU in their last seven games
- ULL has hit the “under” in 14 of the last 20 games
- ULL is also just 2-18 SU in the last 20 games against Big 12 opponents
- Texas is 10-0 SU in the previous ten games against Sun Belt opponents
- Texas went 1-3-1 ATS in their homes games during the 2020 season
- Texas has hit the “over” in seven of the last ten games
- Texas is 12-4 SU in the previous 16 games at home
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Under 58. Bet your pick FREE by taking advantage of the best college kid bonus on the web! Simply open a betting account and deposit $25 at Intertops Sportsbook through this special link. After you’ve made your deposit, go to their special offers page in the top left of the sportsbook and enter bonus code ROOKIE200 and an extra $50 will magically appear in your wagering account balance! Enjoy!