New Orleans Bowl: South Alabama vs Western Kentucky 12/21/22 College Football Picks, Predictions, Odds

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The South Alabama Jaguars and Western Kentucky Hilltoppers clash Wednesday in the college football New Orleans Bowl from Mercedes-Benz Superdome. South Alabama finished off the regular season at 10-2 overall. The Jaguars beat Old Dominion in their last game. As for Western Kentucky, they’re 8-5 and fresh off an overtime win versus Florida Atlantic. Check back all season long for free college football picks at Sports Chat Place.

South Alabama went 5-1 over their first six games, beating Nicholls State, Central Michigan, LA Tech, Louisiana and LA-Monroe. The Jaguars lost to Troy, then beat Arkansas State, Georgia Southern, Texas State, Southern Miss and Old Dominion in succession. 

On November 26 versus Old Dominion, the Jaguars scored points in every quarter, coming back from a 20-13 halftime deficit for a 27-20 win. QB Carter Bradley managed 190 yards with three scores, and Jalen Wayne caught three balls for 63 yards and a TD. 

Over on the Western Kentucky side, they were 3-3 after six games this year, falling to Indiana, Troy and UTSA. The Hilltoppers posted a 5-2 run to finish off the season with wins over Middle Tennessee, UAB, Charlotte, Rice and FAU. 

In the November 26 matchup versus Florida Atlantic, the Hilltoppers went punch-for-punch with the Owls into overtime. Western Kentucky ended up eking out a 32-31 victory. Austin Reed threw for 410 yards and three scores. Davion Ervin-Poindexter put up 108 rush yards as well. 

The Hilltoppers are 5-0 ATS versus a team with a winning record and 10-3 ATS in their last 13 on turf. WKU is 1-4 ATS in their last five versus the Sun Belt. 

Meanwhile, the Jaguars are 8-3 ATS in the last 11 on turf and 3-1-1 ATS in the last five overall. South Alabama is 4-0 ATS in their last four non-conference games.

PICK: I might take a stab on Western Kentucky here. The Hilltoppers are going to need a bounce-back after that close win against an average FAU team, though. Western Kentucky ended up with 571 yards (410 passing) and 26 first downs in that one, but went just 4-of-14 on third-down tries and had a couple of turnovers. The good news is that WKU has been scoring pretty well all year. They’ve hit 20 or more points in 11 of their 13 outings. 

As for South Alabama, they’ve hit 27 or more points in each of their last five games, so this one could end up being a high-scoring affair. If Old Dominion can outplay the Jaguars for half of a football game however, I think Western Kentucky can hang around as well. 

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