USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Bowl: What bettors need to know

Tulane Green Wave vs. Louisiana Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns (+2, 48)

R+L CARRIERS NEW ORLEANS BOWL STORYLINES:


1.  The Green Wave won’t have to go far to make their first bowl appearance in 11 years as Tulane plays Louisiana-Lafayette on Dec. 21 in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on its home field, the Superdome. The Green Wave, under second-year coach Curtis Johnson and junior college transfer quarterback Nick Montana - son of Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana, the Green Wave improved from 2-10 to 7-5 and contended for the Conference USA title. The Ragin' Cajuns are making their third straight appearance in the New Orleans Bowl after defeating East Carolina last year and San Diego State in 2011.

2. Louisiana hopes to get back dual-threat quarterback Terrance Broadway, who fractured a small bone in his forearm in the Nov. 30 loss to Louisiana-Monroe and underwent surgery. Without the dynamic junior, the Ragin Cajuns produced a season-low 212 yards in the finale behind three redshirt freshman quarterbacks. Coach Mark Hudspeth said doctors inserted a small plate into Broadway’s arm to protect the bone and accelerate his return.

3. Tulane, which is scheduled to move to a new on-campus stadium next year, has dropped three of four but is playing solid defense. The Green Wave allowed 30 points over its last three games and tied for 19th nationally in scoring defense (21.2) this season. Tulane boasts an outstanding kicker in Cairo Santos, who’s drilled his last 10 field goals inside 50 yards and could be a difference-maker in a close game.

TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN.

LINE: UL Lafayette opened at +2.5 and now sit at +2. The total is down one point to 48 from the opening 49.

WEATHER:
N/A.

ABOUT TULANE (7-5, 9-3 ATS): Montana played efficiently down the stretch, throwing four touchdown passes and no interceptions in his last two games. Senior wide receiver Ryan Grant caught 70 balls for 926 yards and nine touchdowns, but the running game averages 3.6 yards per carry. Tulane avoided any distractions by locking up Johnson, who’s upgraded the talent base substantially, through 2020 with a generous contract extension.

ABOUT LOUISIANA LAFAYETTE (8-4, 4-8 ATS): The Ragin' Cajuns should be confident after handling Tulane 41-13 at home last year. If Broadway can’t play, Brooks Haack is likely to start after going 21-of-35 for 224 yards with a touchdown and an interception returned for a touchdown in five appearances. Linebacker Justin Anderson, who anchors the defense, made 12 tackles in the regular-season finale, giving him 123 stops this season.

TRENDS:


* Tulane is 7-1 ATS in its last eight games overall.
* UL Lafayette is 0-5 ATS in its last five games overall.
* Under is 5-0-1 in Tulane's last six games following a SU loss.
* Over is 4-0 in UL Lafayette's last four non-conference games.

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