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Louisiana Tech vs. Arkansas State - 12/19/15 College Football New Orleans Bowl Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Arkansas State Red Wolves (9-3) at Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (8-4)

College Football: Saturday, December 19, 2015 at 9:00 pm (Mercedes-Benz Superdome)

The Line: Louisiana Tech Bulldogs -1.5 -- Over/Under: 67 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

The Arkansas State Red Wolves and Louisiana Tech Bulldogs will face off against each other in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on Saturday, November 19th in College Football action.

The Arkansas State Red Wolves had a rough start to the season going 1-3 over their first four games, but was a perfect 8-0 in conference play to win the Sun Belt and finished the season with a 9-3 record. The Red Wolves played some tough competition in their losses (USC, Missouri, & Toledo) and their most impressive win was a 40-27 victory on the road versus Appalachian State Mountaineers. Offensively, Arkansas State is averaging 41.0 ppg on 448.1 total yards per game (212.3 passing, 235.8 rushing). The Red Wolves are led by a strong rushing attack consisting of Michael Gordon (88.33 yds/game, 9 TD), Warren Ward (53.42 yds/game, 4 TD), and Johnston White (47.92 yds/game, 14 TD). QB Fredi Knighten completed 54.7% of his passes for 19 TD & 7 INT while averaging 188.7 passing yds/game. Knighten also chipped in four 4 rushing TD’s on the season while averaging 39.22 rushing yds/game. Arkansas State’s main threats at the WE position were Tres Houston (47.3 yds/game, 10 TD), Dijon Paschal (43.7 yds/game, 3 TD), and J.D. McKissic (41.6 yds/game, 2 TD). Defensively, Arkansas State is allowing their opponents to average 28.8 ppg on 396.9 yards per game (251.9 passing, 145.0 rushing). The Red Wolves forced 26 turnovers on the season and had an impressive turnover margin of 11.

Louisiana Tech vs. Arkansas State - 12/19/15 College Football New Orleans Bowl Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs finished the year with an 8-4 record and although they won four of their last five games, dropped their regular season finale, 58-24, to the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles to finish 2nd in the C-USA West conference with a 6-2 record. Louisiana Tech couldn’t get a win against any of the tough competition they faced this season as they lost losses to Western Kentucky, Kansas State, Mississippi State, and Southern Mississippi. The Bulldogs biggest victory was a 45-16 win at home against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders. Offensively, Louisiana Tech is averaging 36.8 ppg on 465.8 total yards per game (311.9 passing, 153.8 rushing). The Bulldogs are led by their RB Kenneth Dixon who had 17 rushing TD’s on the season while averaging 96.80 rushing yds/ game. Former Florida Gator QB Jeff Driskel had a solid season as he completed 61.9% of his passes for 24 TD & 8 INT while throwing for 297.9 passing yds/game. Driskel also added 5 rushing TD’s on the season. Trent Taylor is the main weapon for Driskel as he had 8 TD’s on the season while averaging 7.4 rec/game & 94.4 yds/game. Carlos Henderson (72.1 yds/game, 5 TD), Paul Turner (72.1 yds/game, 5 TD), and Kenneth Dixon (35.4 yds/game, 5 TD) also had nice contributions to the Bulldogs passing attack. Defensively, Louisiana Tech is allowing an average of 26.8 ppg on 380.3 yards per game (265.8 passing, 114.5 rushing). The Bulldogs forced 19 turnovers this season and had a turnover margin of -2.

The Red Wolves are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up win and are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win. The Bulldogs are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games vs. Sun Belt opponents and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games.

Arkansas State was able to roll through the Sun Belt this season and seem to be one of the hotter teams entering the bowl season as they’ve averaged 50.8 ppg in their last 5 games. Louisiana Tech had a solid season, but had to be disappointed not making it to the C-USA championship game after getting blown out at home against Southern Mississippi. This game should have a lot of offensive but I feel that the Arkansas State defense will be able make enough stops and force a few Bulldog turnovers to pull out the victory. I’m taking Arkansas State and the points in this one. 

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Arkansas State Red Wolves +1.5

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