2023 New Orleans Bowl – Jacksonville St vs Louisiana

2023 New Orleans Bowl – Jacksonville St vs Louisiana

posted December 13

Player prop added below Dec 15 5:45pm at bottom of page

The Game

We head down to the CRESCENT CITY on opening bowl weekend for a fun match-up between the COCKS and the CAJUNS. The Jacksonville St Gamecocks adapted very well to their new FBS surroundings this season and roll into the BIG EASY with a record of 8-4. Louisiana was never a threat to do any serious damage in the Sun Belt West division but they managed to squeak into bowl season with a big win over ULM in their regular season finale (W 52-21).

The Details

Jacksonville St -3 Louisiana (59)

MEGALOCKS LINE – Jacksonville St -1.5

“Vegas” Implied Projected Score: Jacksonville St 31 Louisiana 28

Jacksonville St offense vs Louisiana defense

The COCKS have a DEVASTATING ground game (232 YPG, #5 FBS) and they move at lightning speed on offense trying to take advantage of confusion on the defensive side of the ball. It works well sometimes, but other times they go THREE AND OUT in very quick fashion. They don’t have much of a THROW GAME to speak of (#121 FBS) and their QB’s have combined for a miserable 11-9 TD to INT mark (6.3 YPA). Louisiana has had a heck of a time trying to stop the run (161 YPG, #84 FBS) so this appears to be a really good match-up for Jacksonville St.

Louisiana offense vs Jacksonville St defense

The Cajuns lost dynamic dual-threat QB Zeon Chriss in early November due to injury but Chandler Fields has done some pretty nice work over the last three games as the Cajuns put up 31, 24 (vs Troy), and 52 in their final three contests. Fields threw for over 240Y on each occasion whilst posting a fine 7-1 TD to INT mark. The Cajuns rank #2 in the Sun Belt in rushing offense but that mark was helped significantly by a mobile Chriss who’ll be on the sidelines for this game. In any event, Louisiana has a deep set of RBs including Jacob Kibodi (729, 7 TD) that’ll be useful when trying to make hay vs a tough Jacksonville St run defense (#2 CUSA, 113 YPG). The Gamecocks have given up plenty of yards thru the air which bodes well for the Cajuns but they’ve picked off 16 passes this year (#5 FBS) so Fields will have to be judicious with the football. It’s unclear at press time if the Gamecocks’ excellent edge player Jaylen Swain will play in this game and he’s a big part of their starting defense.

Trends, Intangibles and More!

This game could be considered by some as a “home” game for Louisiana given that it is being played in New Orleans but we expect plenty of Gamecocks fans to make the trip from Alabama…..This is Jacksonville St’s first bowl game and it comes in their first year as an FBS squad….You know the motivation will be there…..Note that their HC Rich Rodriguez is just 2-9 ATS in bowl games over his career…..Louisiana HC Michael Desormeaux is 1-1 in bowl action and recall that he won the New Orleans Bowl as HC back in 2021 when they took down Marshall (W 36-21)…..The strength of schedule for these two teams is about even but the Sun Belt is a much tougher conference overall than CUSA……..SPECIAL TEAMS, yo….Jacksonville St will be without their fine PK Alen Karajic who hit the transfer portal…..He was a tidy 14-20 on FG attempts this season.


Jacksonville St will be plenty fired up to get a bowl victory but they’ve got a one-dimensional offense and will be making a slight move up in class playing a team from the Sun Belt. We have the fair spread a bit lower than market.

Nothing for now. We may come back to this one in the next day or two.


No leanage.


QB Chandler Fields over 1.5 TD passes -125 (Bet365)

‘Official play’ implies this pick is one of our favorites of the week (perceived value, match-up, coaching, trends, etc.). We’re currently playing these picks for the same amount as the leans but it’s up to you how you want to manage your bankroll. Please see the Week in Review posts for more detail.

‘Lean’ implies we are placing a wager on the game.

‘No leanage’ implies we won’t have any action on the game.

Team totalsWe list the implied number based on the point spread and total when our analysis is posted. If a team total ends up being an official play we will post a widely available number at the time of pick release.