LendingTree Bowl Betting – Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns vs. Miami (OH) RedHawks

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

The last bowl game of the 2019-20 college football season takes place on Monday night when the Sun Belt Conference runner-up Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns unleash their vicious ground attack on the Mid-American Conference champion Miami (Ohio) RedHawks in the LendingTree Bowl. The RedHawks enjoyed their first winning season since 2010 winning eight games, but they were outscored by 46 points during the year. Louisiana posted 10 wins for the first time in program history and opened as a 14-point favorite.

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Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns vs. Miami (OH) RedHawks

Date and Time: Monday, January 6, 2020, 7:30 p.m. ET

Location: Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, AL

Opening College Football Odds: Louisiana -14, O/U 55.5

Louisiana vs. Miami (OH) TV Coverage: ESPN

Odds Analysis

Miami overcame a 1-3 start to finish the season at 8-5. They won five in a row to clinch the MAC East before a setback to Ball State in the final regular season game. The RedHawks rebounded to knock off Central Michigan, 26-21, as a 5.5-point dog in the MAC Championship. The RedHawks went 5-2 ATS in their last seven games going 4-1 ATS when getting points. Oddsmakers pegged the Ragin’ Cajuns as a 14-point favorite on the opening line and it hasn’t moved. Despite failing to get a cover in their last two games – a win over Louisiana-Monroe and a loss to App State in the Sun Belt Championship – Louisiana is 9-4 ATS this season and 8-3 ATS over its last 11 games when laying double-figures.

Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns

The Cajuns won 10 games for the first time behind a balanced offensive attack that ranked eighth nationally with 501.3 yards per game. They had three backs run for more than 780 yards led by Elijah Mitchell with 1,092. Along with Raymond Calais and Trey Ragas, the trio amassed 2,755 yards and 32 touchdowns for the seventh ranked ground game. The Cajuns scored at least 30 points in 11 of their 13 games to rank 11th in the country with 38.8 points per game.

Opposing defenses can’t just key on stopping the run with Levi Lewis able to throw the football and maneuver in the backfield. Lewis threw for 2,804 yards with 24 touchdowns and only five interceptions during the regular season completing nearly 64 percent of his passes. A strong Louisiana defense has been overshadowed by the staggering numbers the offense has compiled. The group tired down the stretch allowing a total of 75 points over the last two games, but the Cajuns finished the year yielding fewer than 20 points per game.

Two of Louisiana’s three losses came against conference champ Appalachian State in a pair of close games. The Cajuns scored a season-low in their 17-7 setback during the regular season and fell again, 45-38, in Sun Belt title game. The Mountaineers finished the year 12-1 and nationally ranked. The other defeat was a road cover at SEC Mississippi State.

Miami RedHawks

It’s hard to go 8-5 while being outscored 367-321 on the year. When peeling back the layers we can see why there’s a discrepancy. First of all the RedHawks weren’t very good offensively this season producing just 307.4 yards per game and ranking 95th nationally in points with 24.7 per game. There were also a couple of early season blowout losses to Big Ten teams. Iowa opened the year with a 38-14 victory, though Miami covered the closing line. And Ohio State did most of the damage with a 76-5 win in Week 4. Those two games alone had the RedHawks at minus-95 in point differential.

The turning point in the season might have been the week after the OSU game. Bouncing back from that loss, the RedHawks upset Buffalo, 34-20, and lost just twice the rest of the way going 7-2 SU and 6-3 ATS over their last nine games. Another reason for the point differential was that Miami won five of those games by seven points or less.

Slowing down the Cajuns is a must for Miami to have any chance of winning the football game. The RedHawks lack the firepower to win a shootout since they didn’t allow more than 24 points in any of their victories. They will need to take advantage of their chances and that requires Brett Gabbert to be more efficient. He completed just 53.7 percent of his passes for 2,163 yards with 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

Bet Louisiana vs. Miami at BookMaker.eu

The Cajuns come at you from all different directions with a run game that chews up the turf behind a trio of talented players. They also have some standout linemen opening up holes and the RedHawks don’t have enough size or depth to stop them consistently. Louisiana gets an edge at the neutral site having already won this season at Ladd-Peebles Stadium and motivation for an 11-win season will carry the Cajuns to a cover victory.

LendingTree Bowl Score Prediction: Louisiana 37, Miami 20

Access live betting lines from your mobile device at BookMaker sportsbook! Real-time spreads, totals, props and money line are all available so start betting with BookMaker today.

- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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