Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#777 UL Monroe 134.5 vs.
#778 UL Lafayette -2.5
Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 8:00pm EST
Written by Nick Raffoul

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#777 University of Louisiana at Monroe
#778 University of Louisiana at Lafayette
6-12
7-13
6-9-1
6-11-1
7-9
6-11-1
63
70
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The Louisiana Monroe Warhawks will head to the Cajun Dome in Lafayette, Louisiana on Saturday night for a Sun Belt Conference tilt against the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns.

Something’s got to give here. Louisiana Monroe has lost five in a row while the Ragin’ Cajuns are riding a four-game losing streak. Both of these teams have won just two of their first nine conference games and they come into this matchup tied for last place in the Sun Belt standings. Can the Ragin’ Cajuns get back on the winning track at home against Louisiana Monroe on Saturday night?

Warhawks can't stop slide, lose fifth straight

Louisiana Monroe pushed its current slide to five games on Saturday with a 78-58 loss against the UT-Arlington Mavericks. Tyree White scored 18 points and JD Williams chipped in 14 points for the Warhawks, who shot just 3-for-18 from long-range and 13-for-21 from the free-throw line in the loss.

Keith Richard’s squad comes into the weekend ranked No. 262 in the latest KenPom rankings after extending their losing streak to a season-worst five games. Louisiana Monroe has scored 97.6 points per 100 possessions for the season (254th in the NCAA) while turning the ball over 21.4 percent of the time (300th in the NCAA). The Warhawks have managed to cut down on their turnover rate during league play but they are still averaging just 98.5 points per 100 possessions versus Sun Belt opponents (8th in the Sun Belt). Louisiana Monroe owns an effective field goal percentage of 50.9 percent during conference play (3rd in the Sun Belt) and they have shot a healthy 36.8 percent from 3-point range (2nd in the Sun Belt) through nine league contests. However, turnovers and a league-worst offensive rebounding rate have limited their efficiency on offense.

Defensively, the Warhawks have surrendered 105.8 points per 100 possessions for the season (254th in the NCAA) and that number has jumped to a dismal 107.1 points per 100 possessions versus Sun Belt opponents (12th in the Sun Belt). Louisiana Monroe has allowed league opponents to shoot a red-hot 51.9 percent from 2-point range so far this year (10th in the Sun Belt).

Ragin' Cajuns extend losing streak to four games

Louisiana extended its current slide to four games on Saturday night with a 68-59 loss at home against Texas State. Jalen Johnson scored a team-high 18 points while PJ Hardy and Dou Gueye scored 11 points apiece for the Ragin’ Cajuns, who shot 35.7 percent from the field on the night.

The Ragin’ Cajuns have scored 97.6 points per 100 possessions (257th in the NCAA) but that number has dropped all the way down to 92.9 points per 100 possessions during conference play (12th in the Sun Belt). Through nine conference games, Louisiana owns an effective field goal percentage of 43.4 percent (12th in the Sun Belt) and they have turned the ball over 21.2 percent of the time (9th in the Sun Belt). They have shot just 43.0 percent from inside the arc (12th in the Sun Belt) and 29.3 percent from 3-point range (11th in the Sun Belt) during league play. Instead, the Ragin’ Cajuns have been forced to make up points on the offensive glass, where they have hauled in 33.6 percent of their missed field goal attempts (3rd in the Sun Belt).

On defense, Louisiana has given up 106.2 points per 100 possessions for the season (266th in the NCAA) and 105.1 points per 100 possessions during conference play (9th in the Sun Belt). Opposing teams own an effective field goal percentage of 52.1 percent (12th in the Sun Belt) and have shot a red-hot 52.4 percent from inside the arc (12th in the Sun Belt) against the Ragin’ Cajuns’ defense.

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Neither of these teams have performed well during conference play, which makes this game a difficult one to predict. We have the Sun Belt’s worst offense (Louisiana) up against the conference’s worst defense (Louisiana Monroe) in a battle of 2-7 teams. The Warhawks have yet to win a game on the road all season and they’ve had some pretty terrible offensive showings away from home this year. The Ragin’ Cajuns should also have the advantage on the glass in this game, so I’ll take my chances with Louisiana covering the spread at home in this Sun Belt battle on Saturday.

Prediction: Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns

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The Ragin’ Cajuns play fast and they don’t offer up a lot of resistance on the defensive end but I’m still not confident in the over here. Louisiana ranks 73rd in adjusted tempo but just 149th in average possession length on offense and it has turned the ball over more than 21 percent of the time during conference play. They also rank dead-last in effective field goal percentage and 2-point percentage, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see this turn into a low-scoring game. Louisiana Monroe ranks 336th in adjusted tempo and 337th in average possession length on offense, so we’re going to get an average-paced game here. Take this matchup to stay under the projected total on Saturday night.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Nick Raffoul

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.