Billy Napier leads his ranked Ragin’ Cajuns into a massive midweek tilt with Coastal Carolina. Photo from @SINow (Twitter)
- In a battle of undefeated teams, Coastal Carolina plays Louisiana on Wednesday night (ESPN, 7:30 p.m. eastern)
- Coastal Carolina quarterback Grayson McCall has been one of the nation’s best this season
- Read below for odds, analysis, and a pick on the game
Two of college football’s best stories square off on Wednesday night when Coastal Carolina takes on No. 21 Louisiana.
The 3-0 Ragin’ Cajuns burst onto the scene this season with a surprising 31-14 win at Iowa State. They won their following two games against Georgia State and Georgia Southern by a combined five points, but went 0-2 against the spread as double-digit favorites in each. Against Coastal, Louisiana is a 7.5-point favorite at home, where Billy Napier is 7-5 ATS as head coach.
The Chanticleers are also undefeated after three games, and going back to last season, are 6-1 ATS on the road. Coastal has averaged 44.3 points-per-game on offense, and is riding high after a 52-23 win against Arkansas State. Quarterback Grayson McCall has the seventh-highest ESPN QBR ranking in the country and the entire team plays a disciplined brand of football under head coach Jamey Chadwell.
Both have been strong teams to bet on this season, primarily because of how far each has exceeded expectations. On Wednesday, the Coastal Carolina vs Louisiana odds show the Chanticleers with the better chances of continuing their success on a national stage.
Coastal Carolina vs #21 Louisiana Odds
|Coastal Carolina||+7.5 (-118)||+235||O 58.5 (-110)|
|Louisiana||-7.5 (-104)||-300||U 58.5 (-110)|
Odds Taken from FanDuel on Oct. 12
Coastal Carolina isn’t exactly a household name just yet, but it has been a pretty well-kept secret for sharp players. In Chadwell’s first season, the Chanticleers finished 3-9, won 5 games in 2019, and are off to a 3-0 (2-1 ATS) start this year.
Highest-graded QBs in Wk 3 of College Football:
1. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson – 97.4
2. Grayson McCall, Coastal Car – 94.9
3. Dillon Gabriel, UCF – 90.3
4. Austin Aune, N Texas – 87.6 pic.twitter.com/8m4F4JhTvc
— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 20, 2020
Much of Coastal’s success can be attributed to McCall, who is third in the nation in adjusted passing yards per attempt at 13.7. He’s thrown nine touchdown passes to just one interception and has completed 66.7-percent of his passes this season. The patience and poise that he has shown in the pocket has been very impressive for a player with his level of experience.
McCall creates problems as a runner as well, and at 6’3 and 200-pounds, he’s not an easy tackle. The Chanticleers have been torching opponents with an option rush attack and a passing game that gets the ball out of McCall’s hands and downfield quickly.
2021 CFP National Championship Odds Tracker
Louisiana won a coin-flip game against Georgia State before just escaping with a win against Georgia Southern – a game it probably should have lost. Last week, the Eagles racked up nearly 450 yards of offense running a similar offense to Coastal Carolina.
The Chanticleers’ offensive line grades out ahead of the Louisiana defensive line in several variations of average yards gained per successful play. The same could be said for the Coastal defensive front seven against the Cajuns’ offensive line.
Coastal also has the fourth-highest third down completion percentage in the nation, and Louisiana’s defense is the 16th-worst at preventing them.
Jeffrey Gunter with the pick!
Coastal Carolina defense with THREE takeaways in the first half pic.twitter.com/yeYIxf1iK9
— Sun Belt Pages (@SBPages) September 13, 2020
If there is a perceived advantage for Louisiana, it’s the Cajuns’ deep passing attack against an inconsistent Chanticleers’ secondary. However, the more that quarterback Levi Lewis has thrown for Louisiana, the more inaccurate he’s been. He’s completed just 58-percent of his passes for four touchdowns and three interceptions this season.
Everything points to Coastal being a team on the rise and in better form than a Louisiana, who is making a habit out of playing in close games. Taking Coastal on the moneyline is a very attractive bet, but if you’re not that bold, taking the Chanticleers to cover is the move.
The Pick: Coastal Carolina +7.5 (-118)
Nick Krueger has over a decade of experience in sports media, covering a wide range of events including two Olympic Games for Yahoo Sports. Other areas of focus for Nick throughout his career have included college football recruiting, NCAA athletics and Major League Baseball Spring Training.