Last Updated Jan 16, 2023, 9:33 AM

New Orleans Bowl Betting 2023 Odds, Predictions, Preview

The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers defeated the South Alabama Jaguars 44-23 in the 2022 New Orleans Bowl.

Check out last year's coverage here below and tune back in with us soon for the 2023 New Orleans Bowl Odds, Picks and Predictions.

Kane Wommack just led the South Alabama Jaguars to their best season in program history by a mile. South Alabama never finished with a winning record prior to this season, so to see the Jaguars win double-digit games is extremely impressive. Wommack won more games this season than predecessor Steve Campbell did in his three seasons in Mobile, and he will look to make another bit of history this week.

The Jaguars have never won a bowl game, but they are slight favorites over the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on Wednesday, December 21, 2022, at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN from Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.

South Alabama Jaguars vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Betting Prediction

There has been significant line movement in this game. Western Kentucky starting quarterback Austin Reed announced that he was entering the transfer portal a couple weeks ago, leading to the spread soaring to more than a touchdown.

However, Reed pulled his name out of the portal and declared his intention to return a week later, leading to the line falling back down. Reed will play on Wednesday according to multiple reports, but he missed key time in bowl prep.

Additionally, the Hilltoppers will be down more than a dozen players due to the transfer portal and the NFL Draft, so it will be tough for Western Kentucky to knock off South Alabama on Wednesday night.

Score Prediction: South Alabama 30, Western Kentucky 20
Best Bet: South Alabama -4.5 (-110)

South Alabama Jaguars vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Betting Odds

South Alabama Jaguars vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Betting Resources

  • Date: Wednesday, December 21, 2022
  • TV-Time: ESPN, 9:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Caesars Superdome
  • Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Expert Picks

South Alabama Jaguars Betting Analysis

This is a pretty solid offense. South Alabama averaged 30.5 PPG and 416.1 YPG in the regular season, as Carter Bradley was able to move the ball effectively through the air. Bradley completed 64.3% of his passes for 2,976 yards (8.0 YPA) with 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

There were three primary receivers in the passing game with Jalen Wayne, Caullin Lacy, and Devin Voisin all posting similar numbers. However, Voisin may not be able to play due to an arm injury that he suffered against Old Dominion in the season finale.

First Team All-Sun Belt running back La’Damian Webb ran for 1,014 yards and 13 touchdowns this season. Webb averaged 5.1 YPC in this offense, and he had monster outings in wins over Georgia Southern and Arkansas State. Freshman Braylon McReynolds is a nice change of pace back that is averaging 5.7 YPC.

The Jaguars are ranked 22nd in the nation in Defensive SP+. They are allowing 20.5 PPG and 316.0 YPG so far this season.

This run defense has been a top eight unit nationally, allowing a scant 3.1 YPC and 90.2 YPG on the ground. Defensive lineman Jamie Sheriff has been fantastic, and safety Yam Banks earned First Team All-SBC honors with a team-high 10 passes defensed and five interceptions. Devin Voisin’s brother Jaden Voisin led the team in tackles.

South Alabama is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games when playing as the favorite. (Getty)

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Betting Analysis

It’s a good thing that Austin Reed decided to return to Western Kentucky as backup Darius Ocean hit the transfer portal. Reed put up big numbers for the Hilltoppers this season, completing 64.5% of his passes for 4,247 yards with 36 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Malachi Corley was a First Team All-CUSA receiver with 90 receptions for 1,179 yards and nine touchdowns. Reed is also a solid runner that can help buoy Kye Robichaux and Davion Ervin-Poindexter in the ground game.

Unfortunately for Western Kentucky, No. 2 receiver Daewood Davis has declared early for the NFL Draft. The top two tight ends on the roster have both opted to enter the transfer portal, and two starting offensive linemen put their names into the portal as well. That could prove to be a major problem for this offense.

The Hilltoppers are much better on defense than they have been in the recent past. Western Kentucky ranks 83rd per Defensive SP+, but this team is allowing just 5.1 yards per play. They received excellent news when leading tackler and First Team All-SBC linebacker JaQues Evans decided to withdraw from the transfer portal a couple days ago.

However, star cornerback Kahlef Hailassie has opted to enter the NFL Draft, and the team will also be without starting safety Talique Allen after he entered the transfer portal. Two second-team defensive backs entered their names in the portal too.

New Orleans Bowls Best Bets

New Orleans Bowl History

The New Orleans bowl began in 2001 and the matchup currently features schools from the Sun Belt and Conference USA. This game takes place at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome from New Orleans, Louisiana.

The Sun Belt has won this bowl in seven of the past nines years, which included four straight victories by Louisiana–Lafayette from 2011-14. However, in 2015 it was Louisiana Tech snapping that streak with a 47-28 win over Arkansas State.

Troy captured the 2017 installment over North Texas in a high-scoring shootout, giving the Trojans a school record 11 victories. The Trojans improved to 3-1 all-time in the New Orleans Bowl.

Appalachian State took care of business in the 2018 and 2019 bowls to extend the Sun Belt's winning streak to three straight victories. However, the Mountaineers failed to cash as hefty 17-point favorites in a 31-17 comeback triumph against UAB in 2019.

Georgia Southern was favored by a touchdown in 2020 and easily posted a victory over Louisiana Tech of Conference USA, as the Sun Belt Conference picked up a fourth consecutive victory in this bowl game. Favorites improved to 5-1 ATS across the past six installments, too.

In 2021, the Sun Belt was back on top with a 36-21 win by Louisiana and head coach Michael Desormeaux over Marshall of C-USA.

YearMatchupSpread, TotalsATS Result
2022Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 44 South Alabama Jaguars 23USA -4, 58Underdog-Over
2021UL Lafayette 36 Marshall 21UL Lafayette -3.5, 56Favorite-Over
2020Georgia Southern 38 LA Tech 3Georgia Southern -7, 48.5Favorite-Under
2019Appalachian State 31 UAB 17Appalachian State -17, 47.5Underdog-Over
2018Appalachian State 45 Middle Tennessee 13Appalachian State -6.5, 49Favorite-Over
2017Troy 50 North Texas 30Troy -5, 61.5Favorite-Over
2016Southern Miss 28 Louisiana-Lafayette 21Southern Miss -6, 56.5Favorite-Under
2015Louisiana Tech 47 Arkansas State 28Louisiana Tech -1, 67Favorite-Over
2014Louisiana-Lafayette 16 Nevada 3Nevada -2, 63.5Underdog-Under
2013Louisiana-Lafayette 24 Tulane 21Tulane -2.5, 48.5Underdog-Under
2012Louisiana-Lafayette 43 East Carolina 34ULL -6.5, 68.5Favorite-Over
2011Louisiana-Lafayette 32 San Diego State 30San Diego State -6, 59.5Underdog-Over
2010Troy 48 Ohio 21Troy -2, 57.5Favorite-Over
2009Middle Tennessee 42 Southern Miss 32Southern Miss -4, 61Underdog-Over
2008Southern Miss 30 Troy 27Troy -5, 55Underdog-Over
2007Florida Atlantic 44 Memphis 27Florida Atlantic -3, 66.5Favorite-Over
2006Troy 41 Rice 17Rice -5.5, 55Underdog-Over
2005Southern Miss 31 Arkansas State 19Southern Miss -15, 49.5Underdog-Over
2004Southern Miss 31 North Texas 10Southern Miss -6, 55Favorite-Under
2003Memphis 27 North Texas 17Memphis -3, 47Favorite-Under
2002North Texas 24 Cincinnati 19Cincinnati -7.5, 43.5Underdog-Under
2001Colorado State 45 North Texas 20North Texas -10.5, 45.5Underdog-Over
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