The Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles look to continue their winning ways when they take on the Sun Belt Conference West Division-rival Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns on Thursday night. The Golden Eagles (4-3, 2-1) have had 23 winning seasons over the past 29 years and have appeared in 18 bowl games during that span. The Ragin' Cajuns (4-3, 2-2) have also had a lot of recent success, with three consecutive winning seasons. They have been to nine bowl games over the past 11 years.
The game from Carlisle-Faulkner Field at M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg, Miss., is set to kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET. Louisiana's defense is allowing 342.4 total yards per game this season, 32nd-best in FBS, while Southern Miss is giving up 349.9, 36th-best. The Ragin' Cajuns are favored by 2.5 points in the latest Louisiana vs. Southern Miss odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over/under for total points scored is 43. Before making any Southern vs. Louisiana Miss picks, be sure to check out the college football predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past six-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of almost $3,000 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Louisiana vs. Southern Mississippi and just locked in its picks and CFB predictions. You can visit SportsLine now to see the model's picks. Here are the college football odds and betting lines for Southern Miss vs. Louisiana:
- Louisiana vs. Southern Miss spread: Louisiana -2.5
- Louisiana vs. Southern Miss over/under: 43 points
- Louisiana vs. Southern Miss money line: Louisiana -135, USM +115
- UL: The Ragin' Cajuns are 4-0 against the spread in their last four games in October
- USM: The Golden Eagles are 5-1 ATS in their last six games following an ATS win
- Louisiana vs. Southern Miss picks: See picks here
Why Southern Miss can cover
Zach Wilcke became just the ninth true freshman since 1987 to start a game for the Golden Eagles, getting the call against No. 15 Miami on Sept. 10. Wilcke was 16 of 27 for 207 yards in his debut, including a 32-yard touchdown pass to Jason Brownlee. He added a team-high 15 yards rushing. His passing yards were the most by a Golden Eagle freshman in his debut since 2016. Since the Miami game, Wilcke has continued to improve, and has thrown at least one touchdown in all six of his starts.
Defensively, Southern Mississippi is led by redshirt junior defensive back Malik Shorts. Shorts has a team-high 53 tackles, including 34 solo, with one pass breakup and two interceptions for 16 yards. Last Saturday, he made six stops, including five solo, with one pass breakup. In four seasons for the Golden Eagles, he has made 244 tackles, including 143 solo, with 11 pass breakups and six interceptions for 66 yards.
Why Louisiana can cover
The Ragin' Cajuns won the West Division last season, going 8-0 in league play and 13-1 overall. One of the top weapons on offense from that team is junior tight end Neal Johnson. Johnson is the team's second-leading receiver this season with 14 catches for 181 yards (12.9 average) and two scores. In last Saturday's 38-18 win over Arkansas State, he made two catches for 28 yards and a touchdown. He had 22 catches for 287 yards (13 average) and one touchdown in 2021.
Defensively, among the team's leaders is sixth-year senior linebacker Andre Jones. Jones has been a beast, making 23 tackles, including 10 solo, with 4 ½ sacks for 25 yards, one pass breakup and one interception. He has a sack in three of the last four games, and made six tackles, including three solo, in the 20-17 loss to South Alabama. For his career, he has 178 tackles, including 94 solo, with seven pass breakups, 13 ½ sacks, three forced fumbles and one interception.
How to make Louisiana vs. Southern Miss picks
SportsLine's model is leaning Under on the point total, projecting 41 combined points. It has also generated an against-the-spread pick that hits in almost 70% of simulations. You can only get the model's pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Louisiana vs. Southern Mississippi? And which side of the spread hits in almost 70% of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Louisiana vs. Southern Mississippi spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that finished the past six-plus years up nearly $3,000 on its FBS college football picks, and find out.