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Game Day: New Orleans Bowl

The R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl will take center stage at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Saturday, as the East Carolina Pirates clash with the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns.

East Carolina and Louisiana-Lafayette will meet for the first time in 22 years as the two sides contest the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on Saturday.

Kickoff is scheduled for noon (ET) from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA.

Louisiana-Lafayette will be playing in the New Orleans Bowl for a second consecutive season, after knocking-off San Diego State last year. East Carolina returns to College Bowl Season after a year off, looking to snap a three-game skid in Bowl games.

East Carolina will look to quarterback Shane Carden to lead the side’s aerial assault, which averaged 272.8 yards per game during the regular season, a figure that ranked No. 35 in Division I football. Louisiana-Lafayette’s defense was suspect against the pass this season, giving up 283.9 yards per game (115th).

The Ragin’s Cajuns’ offense was not hugely dissimilar to that of the Pirates. The team averaged 256.3 passing yards per game (49th), with Terrance Broadway taking over quarterback duties from an injured Blaine Gautier – last year’s New Orleans Bowl MVP – in Week 4. East Carolina was also susceptible to the pass, conceding 271.7 yards per game (108th).

Both sides were fairly effective against the run, but East Carolina figures to have the tougher time defending on the ground Saturday afternoon; the Ragin’ Cajuns averaged 187.3 rushing yards per game (39th).

Louisiana-Lafayette opened as favorites with the spread at our points. That advantage has since risen, reaching 6.5 points on game day. The Ragin’ Cajuns own a 7-5-0 ATS record this season, a record superior to East Carolina’s 6-6-0 ATS.

Louisiana-Lafayette leads the all-time head-to-head series 6-4. The two sides met regularly between 1977 and 1990 when each plied its trade as an Independent. East Carolina won the last time the two sides met (Sep. 22, 1990), snapping a four-game losing streak against the then-Southwestern Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns.

With no upsets during the four games already played in this year’s College Bowl Season, the Pirates will be hoping to be the first underdog winners on the year. The team has a good chance thanks to the parity involved in this game.

The over/under opened at 67 but has dropped with some bookmakers to 64.5. Bovada continues to have the game listed at 67, which makes it worth shopping around still.

Both sides made themselves familiar with scoreboards during the regular season. East Carolina averaged 31.3 points per game (45th) while Louisiana-Lafayette averaged 34.8 (33rd). Each side saw the total go over in six games on the year, which isn’t a decisive a number as bettors might be hoping for.

If you’re looking for an historical precedence, the average score in the 11 years of the New Orleans Bowl is 36-22. The total has exceeded 67 three times, including two of the last three years. Last year’s game finished 32-30 in favor of Louisiana-Lafayette, following a stunning final minute of play.

This season, East Carolina gave up 30.7 points per game (86th) while Louisiana-Lafayette gave up 27.6 (61st). This game has some serious potential to be a shootout, but whether the sides can go over 64.5 or 67 (depending who you’re betting with) remains to be seen.

Bovada has a series of prop bets worth checking out here, but in short, Louisiana-Lafayette is favorite to score first (20/29) with a touchdown being the favored method of scoring (2/7). The first score is expected to be within the opening six minutes of play (5/9).

For further in depth analysis of the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, check BettingSports.com for a first look and a by the numbers interpretation of the game.

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