2022 New Orleans Bowl, WKU vs. South Alabama: TV, time and Home Field Sports staff picks

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Western Kentucky quarterback Austin Reed throws a pass during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Auburn, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

In case you missed it, the Home Field Sports crew is holding its second annual College Bowl Pick ‘Em, and we’re hoping you’re the big benefactor from our predictions.

Like we did last year, we started with $1,000 Bowl Bucks, and we’re making a play on each of the 42 bowl games this season. And when it’s over, we’ll take whatever money we have left and make a “Final Jeopardy” type pick in the National Championship Game in Inglewood, Calif., on Jan. 9, 2023.

Below are the picks from sports betting director Zach Ewing, along with staff writers Jim Derry, Spencer Urquhart and Gabe Henderson for the Bahamas Bowl, as it appeared in our original 2022-23 College Football Bowl Guide (Part 1).

We continue with today’s New Orleans Bowl, and we will keep you up to date with where we all stand.

NOTE: These predictions were originally based off of lines and spreads as of early afternoon on Tuesday, Dec. 13, at Caesars Sportsbook.

NEW ORLEANS BOWL

South Alabama (10-2, -205) vs. Western Kentucky (8-5, +170)

Where: New Orleans

When/TV: Dec. 21, 9 p.m. ESPN

Dec. 13 line/total (for contest): South Alabama -4, O/U 56

Dec. 21 morning line/total: South Alabama -3, O/U 57.5

Zach Ewing: I’ve been high on the Hilltoppers all year long. They can put up some serious points (35.8 per game), so the Jaguars are really gonna have to score to cover this spread. The bet: WKU +4 for $22.

Jim Derry: Both teams lost their final two games against the spread, but the difference for the season seems to be that the Jaguars won games against better opponents. To go with that, they only lost by one to UCLA and by four to Troy. The Hilltoppers have offensive weapons, but South Alabama has seen this kind of talent before. The bet: South Alabama -4 for $22.

Spencer Urquhart: It’s been a while since South Alabama has been bowling, but I feel like they’ve got the edge in this matchup. I see lots of points being put up as well with Western Kentucky having an explosive offense, which is why I’ve decided to play this one as a parlay. The bet: South Alabama -4 and over 56 for $20 to win $52.

Gabe Henderson: This one is too close to call in my eyes. Life’s too short to bet the under. Let’s party, New Orleans. The bet: Over 56 for $22.

WHERE WE STAND

Through Wednesday (Dec. 20)

All picks and handicaps were made and written on or before Dec. 15, and lines were taken from Caesars Sportsbook as of Dec. 13. Staff writers were allowed to make a pick on the money line, spread, total or make no pick at all.

Although our contest uses lines from Dec. 13, we also list the most up-to-date lines.

Canceled games or ties are considered no picks.

STARTING STACK FOR STAFFERS: $1,000 BOWL BUCKS

Zach Ewing: 8-4 overall, +$20 on Wednesday, balance $1,093.

Gabe Henderson: 4-7 overall, -$2 on Wednesday, balance $908.

Jim Derry: 4-8 overall, -$44 on Wednesday, balance $907.

Spencer Urquhart: 3-8 overall, -$1 on Wednesday, balance $876.

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