LendingTree Bowl Preview: Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns vs. Miami (Ohio) RedHawks
The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns will take on the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks on Monday in the LendingTree Bowl. The Ragin’ Cajuns have one of the country’s best offenses and will look to exploit a lackluster RedHawks team in this trip to Mobile, Ala.
Although many don’t have too much interest invested in this game, it still gives us an opportunity to make some money off of college football before the year closes. Louisiana comes in as a heavy favorite in this one, favored by 14 points, with an over/under of 54.5.
Since Miami is the heavy underdog, it’s a difficult choice between taking the points or hoping the Ragin’ Cajuns can cover.
Looking To Pull Off The Upset
Miami isn’t a team that would likely end up on the radar for anyone, but it has a chance to pull off an upset in a bowl game against the Ragin’ Cajuns. The RedHawks finished the season 8-5, taking the Mid-American Conference but wanting more out of their program.
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The success the RedHawks have had came from the defensive side of the ball, as they have the third-best pass defense in the conference (top 40 in the nation). If Miami wants to pull off this upset, it will need the defense at full strength.
The offense is led by Brett Gabbert, who threw for 11 touchdowns against eight interceptions this season, as the RedHawks finished as the fourth-lowest scoring team in the conference.
Although the offense leaves much to be desired, the silver lining is that Miami will be getting spotted 14 points in this one. Unfortunately, the RedHawks have lost 40 straight games when double-digit underdogs, leaving little to no confidence in this team to cover the spread.
Aside from that, lately, the RedHawks have been better against the spread, boasting a 5-2 record in their last seven games.
The Ragin’ Cajuns have had success this year on offense, becoming one of the nation’s most efficient offenses. Levi Lewis leads the country’s eighth-ranked passing offense, throwing 24 touchdowns with only four interceptions.
The great part about this offense is how well it’s balanced, as the Ragin’ Cajuns average 236 yards passing per game and 265.38 on the ground. It’s not just one player averaging all these rushing yards, either.
Louisiana has three running backs that have over 796 rushing yards, led by Elijah Mitchell with 1,092 yards. The Ragin’ Cajuns being one of the best in the nation is no surprise with all the talent present on offense.
Against the spread, Louisiana has been consistent with a 9-4 record and 8-3 ATS when favored by double digits. This game will also be more of a home game for the Ragin’ Cajuns, considering they’re playing in the deep south, so more fans will be there to see them instead of the team from Ohio.
Two of the three losses Louisiana suffered this year were to Appalachian State, including its loss in the Sun Belt Conference championship.
Pick and Prediction
This game features a fairly large spread, and in games like this, it becomes tempting to take the points. However, the Red Hawks’ offense doesn’t seem to be able to keep up with teams even when they’re spotted a lot of points.
Miami has lost 40 straight games as double-digit underdogs, and with an offense that was actually outscored by opponents this year, I doubt it will be within 14 points when this one’s over.
Louisiana, however, has one of college football’s best offenses, averaging over 38 points per game while only giving up 19. With a high-powered offense and a defense that doesn’t budge, the Ragin’ Cajuns have everything they need to win this one and cover the spread. I’m taking Louisiana -14.