UL Lafayette vs


at Shreveport LA
Fri, Dec 23
12:00 PM Pacific
Rotation: 229
Odds: Houston -6.5, Total: 60.5

Game Analysis

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Note: I released this Best Bet early and got good line value on the Under (closed at 56)

1-Star Best Bet – *Under (60.5 -105) – Houston (-6.5)  30   Louisiana-Lafayette  22

Rotation #230 – December 23, 12 pm Pacific

The total on this game appears to be based on a compensated points model, which would project 60.7 total points. However, that projection has been boosted by 47 points scored in Houston’s overtime games and the number of non-offensive touchdowns in games involving these teams is a bit high (6 in Houston games and 5 in ULL games).

My model projects a much lower scoring game after adjusting for key absences on Louisiana-Lafayette’s offense.

Houston has been good offensively this season, averaging 6.8 yards per play and 37.2 points per game (35.3 ppg in regulation) but Louisiana-Lafayette’s defense is better than all but 4 of the defensive units that the Cougars faced this season and their recent surge of points in the last 5 games (44 ppg) have been against 5 bad defensive teams. Louisiana’s defense has allowed just 22.8 points per game and rates 0.1 yppl better than an average FBS defense. Houston averaged just 26.8 points in regulation time in 4 games against teams that are about average defensively (UTSA and Kansas are a bit worse than average and Texas Tech and Memphis are a bit better than average) and my model projects 31 points for Houston in this game.

A lot of the value on the under comes from Louisiana-Lafayette’s offense being much worse heading into this game than it was in the regular season. The Ragin’ Cajuns were 0.7 yards per play worse than average offensively this season but that was with most of the passing coming from injured QB Ben Wooldridge and with potential NFL receiver Michael Jefferson catching passes. Wooldridge averaged 6.2 yards per pass play on 254 pass plays this season against teams that would allow 6.8 yppp to an average quarterback and he took over as the full-time quarterback mid-season after early season starter Chandler Fields proved that he couldn’t move the team consistently. Fields took over the offense again in week 12 after Wooldridge was injured in practice in what was described as a season-ending lower leg injury.

Fields has averaged just 5.3 yppp (excluding garbage time against Florida State’s backup defense) against teams that would allow 7.1 yppp to an average quarterback. Fields is not comfortable throwing the ball down the field (he averages just 10.7 yards per completion to Wooldridge’s 12.0 ypc) and he’ll have even less success in that area without Jefferson, who has opted out and declared for the NFL draft. Jefferson averaged 9.1 yards on 89 targets this season and no other receiver on the team had more than 37 targets. The other wide receivers combined for 7.0 yards per target, but the #2 and #3 receivers, Rogers and LeBlanc, combined for just 8.6 yards per reception and 4.8 yards per target and Fields will likely rely on those short passes more than airing it out to the backups with big play potential (Stephens and Bernard combined for 9.5 YPT on 45 targets). I only lowered the expected yards per pass play by 0.3 yppp for Jefferson being out but it could be more if Fields doesn’t utilize Stephens and Bernard. I rate ULL’s offense at 1.2 yppl worse than average with Fields at quarterback and without Jefferson, which is about 4 points per game worse than their season rating – and also not reflected in the total on this game. Houston’s defense is 0.2 yppl worse than average but should be able to contain ULL’s offense in this game (it is the worse they’ve faced all season).

Houston hasn’t reported any players that are opting out and I’ll assume they’ll be at full strength offensively, but this total was too high given Louisiana-Lafayette’s offensive downgrade.

The Under is a 1-Star Best Bet at 59 points or more.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • UL Lafayette
  • Houston


  • Run Plays 32.7 33.0
  • Run Yards 160.6 158.1
  • YPRP 4.9 4.8


  • Pass Comp 19.2 18.8
  • Pass Att 34.2 33.0
  • Comp % 56.1% 57.1%
  • Pass Yards 220.7 216.3
  • Sacks 1.8 2.3
  • Sack Yards 9.5 11.1
  • Sack % 5.1% 6.4%
  • Pass Plays 36.0 35.3
  • Net Pass Yards 211.2 205.2
  • YPPP 5.9 5.8


  • Total Plays 68.7 68.3
  • Total Yards 371.8 363.3
  • YPPL 5.4 5.3


  • Int 0.8 1.2
  • Int % 2.2% 3.5%
  • Fumbles 0.5 0.7
  • Turnovers 1.3 1.8
  • Points 27.0 22.8
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