Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#341 UL Monroe 58 vs.
#342 Georgia Southern -6.5
Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 3:00pm EST
Written by Nick Raffoul

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#341 University of Louisiana at Monroe
#342 Georgia Southern University
4-5
5-4
3-6
3-5-1
4-4-1
6-3
30
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The UL Monroe Warhawks will head on the road to Allen E. Paulson Stadium on Saturday afternoon for a Sun Belt Conference clash versus the Georgia Southern Eagles.

Georgia Southern enters the week with a 5-4 record and 3-2 record in conference play after winning four of their last five games. Bleacher Report has pegged the Eagles for a trip to the Camellia Bowl while College Football News projects Georgia Southern to play in the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl. Meanwhile, the Warhawks need to win two of their final three games to become bowl eligible. Can Georgia Southern come out on top at home against UL Monroe on Saturday afternoon?

Evans earns Sun Belt Player of the Week vs. Georgia State

UL Monroe snapped a two-game losing streak last week with a big 45-31 victory at home against Georgia State. Caleb Evans threw for 291 yards and three touchdowns, adding 110 yards and another score with his legs to help the Warhawks keep pace in the Sun Belt West division. Josh Johnson rushed 20 times for 168 yards and two touchdowns while Markis McCray caught seven balls for 35 yards and two scores in the win.

If the Warhawks win each of their next two games, they could set the stage for an all-important season finale against the Sun Belt West-leading Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns. As of now, the Warhawks are projected to play in the Mobile Alabama Bowl versus a MAC opponent, according to Sports Illustrated. Following Saturday’s game against Georgia Southern, Louisiana Monroe will host Coastal Carolina before traveling to Cajun Field for their series finale versus the Ragin’ Cajuns.

Evans is the heart-and-soul of the Warhawks’ offense and the Warhawks’ quarterback appears to be ready to finish out his senior season in style. The 6-foot-2 senior from Mansfield, Texas is fresh off of arguably his best start of the season after throwing for a season-high 291 yards with three touchdowns, and one interception. Evans has also shown a penchant for getting the ball out of his hands quickly, taking just two combined sacks over the last four games. His decision-making has also improved in recent weeks and he’s been more willing to use his legs to move the chains, which has resulted in back-to-back 100-yard rushing performances. For the season, Evans has thrown for 1,978 yards, 15 touchdowns, and six interceptions. He leads an offense scoring 30.6 points and averaging 447.6 yards of total offense per contest.

Getting stops has bee a different story for the Warhawks defense though, which ranks near the bottom of the country in several major statistical categories. The defense has surrendered a whopping 37.8 points (127th in FBS) and 499.3 yards of total offense per game (129th in FBS), including a 255.1 yards per game on the ground (128th in FBS).

Werts plays well in loss to Troy

Georgia Southern snapped a four-game winning streak in painful fashion last week, losing on the road to Troy 49-28. Shai Werts threw for 181 yards and three touchdowns but it was too little, too late for the Eagles, who gave up 21 unanswered fourth-quarter points to seal the game after climbing back from an early 21-7 deficit. Wesley Kennedy III added 75 yards and a score on only 10 carries and Malik Murray caught three balls for 95 yards and two scores in a losing effort for Georgia Southern, which gave up a season-worst 603 yards of total offense on the day.

Werts missed most of the first month of the season after getting hurt in the team’s season-opening loss to LSU but he’s returned with a vengeance. The junior signal-caller had his best game of the season last week, throwing for a season-high 181 yards and three scores and he’s yet to throw an interception in 64 passing attempts this year. Werts does most of his damage on the ground in the Eagles’ triple-option oriented offense. Since the loss to LSU, he’s racked up 415 rushing yards and a score, while leading Georgia Southern to a 4-2 record during that span.

The defense will take the field on Saturday in hopes of a bounce-back performance after getting obliterated by Troy last week. Georgia Southern enters the week allowing 29.6 points and 380.2 yards of total offense per game. Prior to last week’s meltdown, the Eagles had given up 27 points or less in each of their previous four conference games.

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The Eagles entered last week playing their best football of the season but the schedule caught with them. Georgia Southern played double and triple-overtime games during its four-game winning streak and was fresh off of handing Appalachian State its first conference loss of the season, but they were manhandled by Troy in arguably their worst performance of the year. UL Monroe is coming off a big win over Georgia State, and they seemingly have more to play for, as they can control their destiny by winning each of their next two games. Even if they don’t pull off the upset here, I expect this to be a very closely-contested game. Take the Warhawks to cover the number on the road in this Sun Belt contest on Saturday.

Prediction: UL Monroe Warhawks +6.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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These two teams are pegged for only 57.5 points, which seems a bit low considering Georgia Southern’s defensive performance last week. The Eagles are fresh off of surrendering a season-worst 603 yards of total offense against Troy and they will be up against one of the better quarterbacks in the conference in UL Monroe’s Caleb Evans. Evans has been efficient as a passer and runner this season, which could cause the Eagles’ defense plenty of problems. All four off Georgia Southern’s losses have eclipsed that total, so I’m leaning towards the over in this Sun Belt Conference battle on Saturday afternoon. 

Prediction: Over 57.5
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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.