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Louisiana vs. Coastal Carolina odds, line: 2020 college football picks, predictions from model on 23-6 roll

The No. 21 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns and the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers are both 3-0 on the season and the new Sun Belt rivals will go head-to-head on Wednesday night as the last two undefeated teams in the league. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday but was moved to Wednesday because of Hurricane Delta. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET at Cajun Field. Both teams began their seasons with upsets of Big 12 schools on the road as Louisiana beat Iowa State 31-14 and Coastal Carolina knocked off Kansas 38-23.

This is just the third meeting between these two programs with the Ragin’ Cajuns winning 48-7 last season and the Chanticleers winning 30-28 in 2018. This time around, the Ragin’ Cajuns are 7.5-point favorites, while the over-under for total points sits at 59 in the Louisiana vs. Coastal Carolina odds from William Hill. Before making any Coastal Carolina vs. Louisiana picks, check out the college football predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of over $4,200 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread. It is a sizzling 23-6 on top-rated picks through five weeks of the 2020 college football season, returning almost $1,300 in profit already. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Louisiana vs. Coastal Carolina. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the college football odds from William Hill and trends for Coastal Carolina vs. Louisiana:

  • Louisiana vs. Coastal Carolina spread: ULL -7.5
  • Louisiana vs. Coastal Carolina over-under: 59 points
  • Louisiana vs. Coastal Carolina money line: ULL -280, CCU +240
  • ULL: The Ragin’ Cajuns have covered in five of their last six October games.
  • CCU: The Chanticleers have covered in six of their last seven on the road.

Why Louisiana can cover

Louisiana rode a dominant special teams performance to a season-opening win over Iowa State, who is now back up to No. 20 in the AP Top 25 after reeling off three consecutive wins following the loss to the Ragin’ Cajuns. Chris Smith had a 95-yard kickoff return for Louisiana in that win while Eric Garror added an 83-yard punt return for a touchdown later in the game.

And after gaining only 272 yards in that win over the Cyclones, the Ragin’ Cajuns offense has come to life in the past couple weeks. Louisiana is averaging 478.5 yards of total offense per game in wins over Georgia State and Georgia Southern. Running back Elijah Mitchell had 16 carries for 164 yards and two touchdowns when he last played against Georgia State on Sept. 19 and he’s expected to be back in the lineup after missing the Georgia Southern game with COVID-19.

Why Coastal Carolina can cover

The Chanticleers have enjoyed playing the underdog role this season, winning as six-point underdogs against Kansas

SEC defenses struggle; Bama, Georgia and Clemson roll

Check out the top 10 things we learned during the college football weekend.

1. Defense took the weekend off in the SEC

The league is known for its top teams playing solid defense, but few SEC teams put up much of a defensive fight Saturday. The average score of the seven conference games played was 41-26. Five of those matchups featured teams gaining at least 700 yards, with two games surpassing 1,000 yards apiece.

2. Mac Jones, Najee Harris key for Alabama

Quarterback Mac Jones and tailback Najee Harris combined for 623 of Alabama’s 723 yards Saturday, accounting for seven of the team’s nine touchdowns during a 63-48 win over Ole Miss. The Rebels exposed some major weaknesses within the Crimson Tide defense, proving a good offense could be the best defense against Nick Saban’s team this year.

3. Travis Etienne could be Clemson’s MVP

The talented Clemson running back Travis Etienne recorded 222 yards and two touchdowns as the Tigers earned a 42-17 win over Miami. Etienne moved into third place on the league’s career rushing list with 4,430 yards and his performance solidified his status as a key part of a potential national championship run by Dabo Swinney’s team.

4. Defensive woes continue to haunt Gators

There’s little doubt Florida has a playoff-caliber offense, but the Gators’ defense could thwart an SEC title. Florida gave up 500-plus yards for the second time this season while allowing Texas A&M to go 12 of 15 on third down as the Aggies gave Jimbo Fisher his first win over a top-five program since arriving in College Station.

5. Bulldogs clamp down on run game

Georgia’s defense out-played, out-tackled and outmanned an opponent, this time holding Tennessee to -1 yards rushing. It’s the lowest output by a Volunteers team on the ground since 2014. The Bulldogs have held teams to 115 yards of rushing offense through three games with a 1.49 yards per carry average, which is the best in the nation.

6. LSU not quite up to title defense

LSU dropped its second game of the season after allowing 45 points and 586 yards against Missouri. LSU has looked nothing like the defending national champs through the first three games of the season, with a secondary that’s allowed an SEC-worst six passing plays of 40-plus yards, including a 41-, 69- and 58-yard passing plays during the loss to Mizzou.

7. Sooners show grit in OT against Texas

Despite losing back-to-back games for the first time since 1999, the Sooners weren’t ready to write off this season and held on for a 53-45 win in four overtimes. A much-maligned defense sacked Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger six times and intercepted two of his passes, including one in the end zone to seal the OU win during a fourth overtime period. The Longhorns, meanwhile, enter their bye week with more questions than answers after losing back-to-back games. Outside of Ehlinger, the Longhorns offense was nonexistent and the defense has allowed 400-plus yards in four

Sacred Heart, University of Saint Joseph roll out saliva-based COVID-19 test for students, staff

In the past week, two Connecticut universities began using a saliva-based COVID-19 test that was developed at Yale, in response to heightened concerns about coronavirus outbreaks on campuses.

On Monday, the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford began using the SalivaDirect test, which is a less invasive COVID-19 test that uses a patient’s saliva as opposed to a nasal swab. A day later, on Tuesday, Sacred Heart University in Fairfield also rolled out the SalivaDirect test on its campus.

Other universities, including Quinnipiac in Hamden, have already implemented other forms of saliva testing, The Courant previously reported.

University of Saint Joseph President Rhona Free said in a statement that the university has been testing a portion of students weekly since the school year began — but when university officials noticed other campuses begin to see outbreaks, they decided to increase their weekly testing numbers.

“Over the last few weeks as we saw upticks of positive cases on other campuses we decided to increase the percentage of students tested each week and we also wanted more rapid results,” Free said. “SalivaDirect was able to complete the new level of testing that we needed with quick results.”

The University of Saint Joseph plans to continue administering the saliva tests at least two days a week through the end of the semester, Free said.

Sacred Heart’s rollout of SalivaDirect also comes amid heightened concerns of an outbreak.

Earlier this week Sacred Heart said that more than 100 students have been suspended for violating the school’s COVID-19 protocols since the start of the semester. President John J. Petillo has warned that a saying “a significant number” of students were not taking the pandemic seriously and said the school could suspend in-person education if its cases did not slow.

Sacred Heart spokesperson Deb Noack said the university is currently administering about 1,300 nasal swab tests per week, and is now also adding about 900 saliva tests to that count. The university hopes to add even more saliva tests in the coming weeks.

In addition to being less invasive, saliva tests can also sometimes produce results more quickly. Noack said the university typically receives results in 24 to 36 hours for nasal swab tests, compared to 12 to 36 hours for saliva tests.

SalivaDirect was developed at the Yale School of Public Health, and partially funded by the NBA. In August, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave the testing method an emergency use authorization, although at the time it was already being used to provide quick, pain-free testing to NBA players.

Yale’s saliva test was the fifth saliva-based test to gain authorization from the FDA.

“As we ramp up our testing program, SalivaDirect offers a great solution to allow us to dramatically increase the number of tests we do weekly on students, faculty and staff,” said Gary MacNamara, the co-chair of Sacred Heart’s coronavirus planning team, in a statement.

This story has been updated.

Emily Brindley can be reached at ebrindley@courant.com.

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