New Orleans Bowl 2021: Odds, Daily Fantasy Tips for Louisiana vs. Marshall

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistDecember 17, 2021

Louisiana-Lafayette running back Emani Bailey (9) celebrates a touchdown in the second half during the Sun Belt Conference championship NCAA college football game against Appalachian State in Lafayette, La., Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
Matthew Hinton/Associated Press

The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns' post-Billy Napier era begins in a local setting on Saturday night. 

Louisiana takes on the Marshall Thundering Herd in the New Orleans Bowl, which is the final of six FBS bowl games to take place on Saturday. 

The Ragin' Cajuns sent Napier out on a high note with a win in the Sun Belt Championship Game. Life after the new Florida Gators head coach should not be much different since Louisiana promoted from within in Michael Desormeaux

Marshall is an interesting foe for Louisiana since it has a decent quarterback in Grant Wells and won five of its final seven games. 

However, none of the Thundering Herd's victories in Conference USA came against teams with a record above .500.

Marshall's weak resume will be put to the test by Louisiana's strong rushing offense and a New Orleans crowd that will likely not be the typical neutral bowl attendees. 


New Orleans Bowl Info

Date: Saturday, December 18

Start Time: 9;15 p.m. ET 


Live Stream: ESPN.com and ESPN app


New Orleans Bowl Odds

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

Spread: Louisiana (-5) 

Over/Under: 54.5

Money Line: Louisiana (-200; bet $200 to win $100); Marshall (+170; bet $100 to win $170) 


Daily Fantasy Tips

Run With Louisiana's Ground Attack

Louisiana has a matchup advantage in the ground game.

The Sun Belt champion averages 191.9 rushing yards per game and Marshall concedes 188.6 yards on the ground per contest. 

Louisiana does not have a 1,000-yard rusher, but it has three players with more than 500 yards and four rushers with at least five touchdowns. 

Quarterback Levi Lewis and running backs Montrell Johnson and Emani Bailey give Louisiana four options to hit the Marshall defense with on every down. Leading rusher Chris Smith is out because of a knee issue. 

Smith and Johnson earned the bulk of the carries in the regular season. Johnson owns the team lead in touchdowns with 11. 

Bailey came on strong in the final few games. He had 117 rushing yards in the Sun Belt Championship Game. 

Bailey might be the preferred option for daily fantasy contests because he could use the New Orleans Bowl as a springboard to a strong sophomore season. 

You could also mix and match two of the top four runners in a DFS lineup to take advantage of Marshall's poor run defense. 


Look at Rasheen Ali From Marshall's Roster

Marshall could have a tough time dealing with Louisiana's defense. 

The Ragin' Cajuns hold opponents under 200 passing yards per game, and it limited the Appalachian State Mountaineers to 16 points in the Sun Belt Championship Game. 

If Grant Wells can't get going through the air for Marshall, the Herd will look to freshman running back Rasheen Ali for a spark. 

Ali carried a heavy workload with 230 carries, 1,241 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns. He had seven multi-score games and found the end zone three or more times in four appearances. 

The bad sign for Marshall is that Ali was held without a touchdown in its last two losses to the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and UAB Blazers. The Old Dominion Monarchs also kept Ali out of the end zone on October 9. All three of those Conference USA sides qualified for bowls. 

Ali may be a promising addition to any DFS lineups because of his high usage rate, but his struggles against bowl participants may hamper his production and lead to a big win close to home for Louisiana in Michael Desormeaux's first game as head coach. 


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