2013 New Orleans Bowl odds: UL Lafayette vs. Tulane trends

Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Louisiana Lafayette aims for a third straight New Orleans Bowl win, but Tulane opened as favorites. But is the total the best bet here?

The Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns look to win their third straight New Orleans Bowl, but they are in tough against state foe Tulane. Tulane is also 2-0 SU and ATS in its last two bowl appearances, but this will be the first time the Green Wave will be playing a bowl game since winning the Hawaii Bowl in 2002.

Only one team can extend its bowl winning streak to three games, and Tulane opened as a 1-point favorite on the New Orleans Bowl odds menu. However, the best betting trend over the years has been the OVER, as the past eight New Orleans Bowl battle have been high-scoring affairs (or high enough to climb over the closing total anyway).

The Tulane Green Wave (Conference USA, 7-5 SU, 9-3 ATS, 5-7 OU) were a consistent moneymaker for their backers all season long, going 9-3 ATS on the year including a stretch of 7-1 ATS over their last eight games. The Green Wave were excellent on defense this season, finishing 16th in the nation in defensive rushing yards against (120 per game) and 22nd in scoring defense (allowing 21.2 points per game). Unfortunately for Tulane, having one of the nation's worst offenses made it difficult to win games, and the Green Wave ended the season in a 1-3 SU slump.

After starting off the season with road losses to Arkansas and Kansas State, the Cajuns (Sun Belt, 8-4 SU, 4-8 ATS, 7-5 OU) ripped off eight straight wins, averaging 42.3 points per game over that stretch. A shocking home loss to Louisiana-Monroe as a 17.5-point favorite brought that streak to a screeching halt, and a loss to South Alabama in the final game of the season saw Louisiana-Lafayette end the year on an 0-2 SU and 0-5 ATS slump.

In the end, the game will probably be decided by the battle between Louisiana-Lafayette's rushing attack (26th in the nation at 207.6 yards per game) and Tulane's strong rushing defense. As of Dec. 10, the line had been bet back to PK at 5Dimes.eu.

New Orleans Bowl Trends:

Past 8 New Orleans Bowls played OVER the total
Tulane is 7-1 ATS past eight games overall
Tulane won and covered both bowl games since 1998
U-L Lafayette won and covered both prior bowl games

Computer Prediction: 32-29 UL-Lafayette (from Odds Shark computer)

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