Louisville vs. Southern Mississippi Betting Preview

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Louisville vs. Southern Mississippi Betting Preview

This Louisville vs. Southern Mississippi betting preview is courtesy of Sportsbook.com where the line on this game was Louisville -2.5 with a total of 58.

Familiar foes will square off for the 29th time Tuesday when they meet in St. Petersburg for the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl. The participants in this game have plenty of past history, as they met every season from 1978 to 1991 and were both in Conference USA from 1996 to 2004. Southern Miss holds a 18-9-1 series advantage, but Louisville has four straight SU wins and five consecutive ATS victories in the series. The Cardinals beat the Golden Eagles 25-23 in a back-and-forth affair last year. Southern Miss is making its ninth straight postseason appearance while Louisville is making its first postseason appearance since the 2007 Orange Bowl.

Some extra incentive for USM to come away victorious is a dedication to three members of its defense –- DT Deddrick Jones and LBs Tim Green and Martez Smith -- who were shot outside a nightclub on Nov. 14. Smith, who started four games this season, is paralyzed from the waist down.

USM quarterback Austin Davis has had a brilliant second half of the season, averaging 282 passing YPG with 14 TD and 3 INT in his past six games. This is quite an improvement from 201 passing YPG, 4 TD and 3 INT in his first six games this year. Davis leads the nation’s 15th-ranked offense (458 YPG, 37.6 PPG) with help from WRs Kelvin Bolden (41 rec, 667 yds, 6 TD) and Johdrick Morris (46 rec, 663 yds, 4 TD). Freshman RB Kendrick Hardy has also been on a roll lately with 676 rushing yards and six touchdowns in his past six games. Desmond Johnson has also had a strong sophomore year with 509 yards on the ground and eight total TD.

The USM offense will not have a walk in the park against Louisville’s 12th-ranked defense (305 YPG), which has pitched two shutouts this year against Memphis and Fiesta Bowl participant Connecticut. The Cardinals’ top two QBs are both hurting as Adam Froman (leg) has missed four straight games and Justin Burke hurt his back in the last game against Rutgers. Both QBs could still see some game action, but sophomore Will Stein (9-for-14, 72 yds, TD vs. Rutgers) is expected to start against Southern Miss. RB Bilal Powell is the main focus of the offense with 1,330 rushing yards and 13 total touchdowns this season. Powell racked up 151 total yards (123 rushing, 28 receiving) and scored three times against Rutgers.

This is the third installment of the bowl game hosted at Tropicana Field, and bowl officials are hoping for a much closer affair than the first two chapters. South Florida crushed Memphis 41-14 in 2008 and Rutgers blew out UCF 45-24 last year.

Sportsbook.com opened the Cardinals -3 & 57.5. There currently is a bigger decision on the total than the game, as 81% of action on the total is on the OVER.

Play Under - All teams where the total is between 56.5 and 63 (SOUTHERN MISS) - after scoring and allowing 30 pts or more last game against opponent after scoring 37 points or more last game. (49-19 over the last 10 seasons.) (72.1%, +28.1 unit.)

Play Under - Any team against the total (SOUTHERN MISS) - excellent offensive team (>=440 YPG) against an average offensive team (330 to 390 YPG), after gaining 525 or more total yards/game over their last 2 games. (57-28 over the last 5 seasons.)

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