South Alabama vs Tulane Prediction & Picks: Will Pratt Power the Green Wave to a Win?

Eddie Griffin

Written by: Eddie Griffin

Last Updated:

Read Time: 4 minutes

Michael Pratt quarterback South Alabama Tulane odds prediction picks cover


When last we saw Tulane, the Green Wave were completing one of the most impressive turnarounds in recent college football history with a stunning upset on the national stage. Tonight, Tulane will start out on a quest to show that they were no one-year wonder as they host South Alabama (8:00 pm ET, ESPNU).

After finishing 2-10 in 2021, Tulane went 12-2 last season, won the American Athletic Conference title for the first time, and rallied from 15 points down in the final minutes to shock Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams and USC in a Cotton Bowl classic.

This year, the Green Wave will be looking to make some more national noise, and they enter the season with a number by their name.

Can they keep it and improve it? Tonight’s opener kicks off a challenging slate. First up is a tough test against the Jaguars, who will be hoping to make some noise themselves this season after going 10-3 last season.

After hosting South Alabama this week, Tulane will welcome #22 Ole Miss to town then visit Southern Miss, who won in New Orleans last season, the week after Tulane upendeed eventual Big 12 champs Kansas State in Manhattan.

While this Sun Belt vs AAC showdown won’t draw the attention of LSU-Florida State, North Carolina-South Carolina, or one of the other matchups involving Power 5 teams, it is one of the must-see games on the Week 1 college football schedule.

South Alabama vs Tulane Odds

Odds are via Bovada.


  • South Alabama +6.5 (-115)
  • Tulane -6.5 (-105)


  • Over 51 (-110)
  • Under 51 (-110)


  • South Alabama +195
  • Tulane -235

Will Tulane Survive Sans Spears?

Shaadie Clayton-Johnson Tulane football

A big part of Tulane’s turnaround last season was running back Tyjae Spears, who was one of the leading rushers in the country.

Spears ran for 1,581 yards and 19 touchdowns and averaged 6.9 yards per carry, ranking among the best in the FBS in each of those categories.

Spears, who spearheaded a rushing attack that averaged 204.8 yards per game, decided to make the move to the pros and was picked in the third round by the Tennessee Titans in the 2023 NFL Draft.

While he gets to learn from arguably the best in the business in Derrick Henry, Tulane has a lot of production to replace.

At the top of the depth chart for the South Alabama are returnees Shaadie Clayton-Johnson (57 carries, 333 yards, 2 TD) and Iverson Celestine (77 carries, 306 yards).

Also, joining the backfield is Liberty transfer Shedro Louis. Louis ran for 529 yards and eight touchdowns on 122 carries last season.

The Green Wave also have the added bonus of a mobile quarterback in Michael Pratt. Pratt, who threw for 3,010 yards and 27 touchdowns in 2022, also ran for 478 yards and ten touchdowns.

Tulane will need all hands on deck for the matchup with South Alabama. The Jaguars were one of the nation’s best against the run last season, allowing just 3.3 yards per carry.

With a wealth of returning talent on defense, South Alabama should again be formidable against the run.

If they can get the better of the matchup with Tulane’s rushing attack, it will go a long way to helping the Jaguars leave New Orleans with a huge win.

Don’t Sleep on South Alabama’s Offense

Carter Bradley South Alabama football

In Pratt, Tulane has one of the top returning quarterbacks in college football.

But South Alabama is pretty strong at that position as well. After transferring in from Toledo, Carter Bradley completed 64.8% of his passes and threw for 3,336 yards and 28 touchdowns last season.

Bradley had three 800-yard receivers in 2022 in Devin Voisin, Jaelen Wayne, and Caullin Lacy. Wayne is gone, but Voisin (64 catches, 867 yards, 5 TD) and Lacy (65 catches, 813 yards, 6 TD) are back.

The Jaguars are also set at running back. Last season, La’Damian Webb ran for 1,062 yards and 13 yards and caught 21 passes for 213 yards and two scores. Also, backup Braylon McReynolds averaged 5.5 yards per carry and 10.8 yards per catch as a freshman last year.

Tulane’s defense gave up almost 600 yards in the Cotton Bowl and did bend plenty last season. But they also allowed 24 or fewer points eight times, which they did only twice in 12 games in 2021.

South Alabama vs Tulane Prediction and Picks

Prediction: Tulane to win

Picks: Tulane -6.5 (-105 at Bovada) & South Alabama/Tulane over 51 (-110 at Bovada)

South Alabama nearly won at UCLA last season, and they return most of their key players from a 10-win team. So, they will certainly be expecting to win this game, even if Tulane is ranked and playing at home.

I definitely think that the Jaguars can win this game. With no Spears, it remains to be seen what kind of production Tulane can muster on the ground against one of the toughest run defenses they may face all season.

That said, I’m going with the Green Wave to get it done at home. They will get all they can handle from the Jaguars, but they will eke out a cover in what should be a very entertaining game.

Where to Bet on South Alabama vs Tulane and College Football in 2023

Most top online sportsbooks offer a wide variety of college football odds throughout the season.

In addition to being able to make weekly college football picks all the way from Week Zero to the College Football Playoff National Championship, you can also bet on Heisman Trophy odds, conference championship odds, win totals, and much more.

Along with Bovada, where the odds in this article are from, there are plenty of sports betting sites you can choose from that are good for college football betting.

Below are some of the other books that we highly recommend:

If you don’t have an account at a book on this list, check out our reviews to help you determine if it is worth your interest and your betting funds.

Eddie Griffin
Eddie Griffin

Eddie Griffin has been writing about and betting on sports for over a decade and has been with Betting News since 2021. For more of his thoughts on sports and sports betting, you can follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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