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Sports news with a Vegas perspective.

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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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Thursday College Football Louisiana-Monroe at Arkansas State: Start Time, Odds, Free Pick

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The Sun Belt Conference takes center stage this evening as league leaders Louisiana-Monroe and Arkansas State square off at Liberty Bank Stadium in Jonesboro, Arkansas (7:00pm ET start time, ESPNU). Louisiana-Monroe at Arkansas State College Football Odds are favoring the hosting Red Wolves at -7 against the spread while the Warhawks are drawing +230 as a moneyline play ($100 wins $230). The Over/Under in tonight’s rivalry tilt is presently set at 59.5 points.

Louisiana-Monroe, which turned heads with its season opening win against Arkansas, carried an unblemished conference record into last weekend’s meeting with in-state rival Louisiana-Lafayette. The Warhawks saw their five game win streak come to a sudden halt as the Ragin’ Cajuns steamrolled their way to a 40-24 victory in Monroe.

Lafayette tallied 28 first downs and 607 total yards, 234 of which came on the ground, and it doubled up the Warhawks in time of possession (40:35 to 19:25).

The Warhawks produced 407 yards, but they were greatly hampered by a first half injury to quarterback Kolton Browning. Browning completed 5-of-7 passes for 124 yards and one touchdown before departing; his fill-in, senior Cody Wells, threw for 209 yards, two touchdowns, and two picks in relief.

Louisiana-Monroe’s dismal defensive effort and the injury to Browning (questionable) has cast doubt on its chances this evening as it prepares to deal with a red hot Arkansas State squad. The Red Wolves ride a four game win streak into tonight’s game and three of those victories came on the road where they topped Florida International, Louisiana-Lafayette, and North Texas.

Arkansas State has won and covered in the last two meetings between these two teams, beating UL-Monroe 34-20 at home in 2010 and 24-19 last season in Monroe. The Red Wolves own an 11-7 advantage in the series and a 6-2 record at home against the Warhawks.

Free Pick: Take UL-Monroe +7 (If Browning plays). While the Red Wolves have controlled the series of late, the Warhawks are a capable team with Brown under center. Monroe has also covered the number in four of its last five trips to Jonesboro, beating spreads of 5.5, 7, 7, and 13.5 points.

Louisiana-Monroe at Arkansas State College Football Odds:

Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks +7 (-110), Over 59.5 (-110), +230 (Moneyline)

Arkansas State Red Wolves -7 (-110), Under 59.5 (-110), -270 (Moneyline)

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