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UL Monroe vs. Florida State Football Spread Pick from Will Rogers: December 2nd 2017

UL Monroe vs. Florida State
College Football Point Spread Pick: FSU -26.5 (December 2nd 2017)
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The set-up: The Florida State Seminoles had canceled their game with the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks scheduled for Sep. 9th, due to Hurricane Irma. At the time, there were no plane to re-schedule but with the likelihood that FSU would not reach six wins (and bowl-eligibilty), FSU reached out to ULM and the NCAA to re-schedule this game on Dec. 2nd (Championship Saturday). So while Clemson and Miami-Fl. will meet in the ACC title game in Charlotte, the 5-6 Seminoles will welcome the 4-7 War Hawks to Doak-Campbell Stadium for a 12:00 ET kick-off. An FSU win will extend the school’s current bowl run (currently, the longest active in the FBS) to 36. The motivation for ULM, is a big “pay day!”

UL-Monroe: The War Hawks enter on a two-game slide, losing last Saturday 67-50 at home to Arkansas State. QB Caleb Evans threw for 454 yards and four TDs (also three INTs) but when one’s defense allows 67 points (on 781 yards!), one usually ends up on the losing side. Evans has thrown for 2,606 yards  (16 TDs & 6 INTs) plus is the team’s second-leading rusher with 554 yards (13 TDs). ULM averages 182.0 YPG on the ground (52nd) and checks in averaging 36.1 PPG (22nd). However, the D allows 40.9 PPG (126th) on 534.6 YPG (129th), which says all one needs to know.

Florida State: Of course, FSU’s season basically ended in its season-opener, when starting QB Francois was lost for the year against Alabama. True freshman Blackman has had his moments but overall, he’s been no better than average. He comes in completing just 56.5% with 14 TDs and nine INTs.It doesn’t help that the rushing games averages only 136.8 YPG (98th) and despite scoring 77 and 38 points in the team’s last two games, FSU takes on ULM averaging a modest 25.3 PPG on the season to rank 89th. However, through a very trying season, the defense has held it together, allowing 23.0 PPG (38th) on 340.4 YPG (27th).

The pick: FSU is playing to extend its bowl streak (see above) but is also dealing with concerns that eighth-year head coach Jimbo Fisher may leave for Texas A&M. I don’t see the Fisher issue being a distraction with the team looking to secure that bowl berth (source of pride for the school). This will be the Seminoles’ first December home game since they hosted Georgia Tech back on Dec. 1, 2001, in a game postponed due to the Sep. 11 terrorist attacks. The Seminoles have averaged 39 points a game in November, up from 18 in September and 17 in October and as noted, face a War Hawks team which just allowed 781 yards at home! Lay it!

Brandon Shively betting Arkansas State -20 over UL Monroe on October 29th 2016

UL MONROE VS. ARKANSAS STATEUL Monroe Warhawks vs. Arkansas State Red Wolves
Football Betting Pick: Arkansas State -20 (October 29th 2016)
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Arkansas State is a team that is being overlooked somewhat because of their 0-4 start. The Red Wolves have since won two straight games and are playing with a week of rest and looked like a completely different football team two weeks when they held South Alabama to 7 points in a 17-7 win. This bye week now marks their second of the season as they had a week off before playing Georgia Southern in a weekday game. I feel this is a very advantageous part of their schedule, playing their 4th consecutive home game and a spot they can dominate against a struggling UL-Monroe team. The Red Wolves last went on the road September 16th at Utah State.

Arkansas State is now 2-0 in the Sun Belt and looking to reclaim the championship after winning the Sun Belt title last year. The Red Wolves are 6-0 ATS the last 6 meetings against UL-Monroe. Arkansas State has won 80% of their games and covered 70% of the time from Game 6 and out over the last 5 years. They have now won 11 consecutive conference games after the win against South Alabama with ALL 11 wins coming by 10 points or more with an average score of 43-23. Arkansas State has finally got settled with a quarterback as that was their problem the first few games. Justice Hansen is an Oklahoma transfer who has a big arm. He has thrown 6 interceptions which is the one negative but I think he is the most talented QB in the Sun Belt and has turned the corner. The UL-Monroe secondary in not a threat and Hansen should have a field day behind one of the most experienced offensive lines in the country.

Monroe’s starting quarterback Garrett Smith is out with an injury. That leaves the job up to two freshmen quarterbacks and I can’t see either one doing much damage against a defense led by a bulk of juniors and seniors of Arkansas State. Chris Odom and Ja’von Rolland-Jones have combined for 8.5 sacks, 10.5 tackles for loss, and 5 QB hurries. Look for them to take advantage of a shaky UL-Monroe offensive line and force the young Monroe quarterback(s) out of the pocket which will lead to some bad throws and mistakes. All of this should lead into a few turnovers that the Red Wolves should capitalize on.

The UL-Monroe defense is giving up 297 rushing yards a game and 6.2 yards per rush as this is a defense that only returned 3 starters from last year and lost their entire front 7 from 2015. They only have 3 interceptions on the year They have not covered their last 4 games and are in a tough spot here playing their 5th road game of their last 7 games. It’s been a tough go for 1st year coach Matt Viator and his coordinators who all came from FCS schools.

  • Arkansas State has put up an average of 512 yards of offense the last 4 meetings, with an average final score of 43-18. (1* Arkansas State)