The 6-6 Miami football team opened as a 10.5 point favorite over 9-3 Louisiana Tech for their Independence Bowl game on December 26 in Shreveport, Louisiana. The game is being played about an hour from the Bulldogs Ruston, Louisiana campus.
The Miami football program will seek to get just its second bowl victory since 2006 when they play Louisiana Tech in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana the day after Christmas at 4 PM. The Hurricanes opened as a 10.5 favorite according to the Action Network after the Independence Bowl pairing was announced Sunday.
After an extremely disappointing season for the Miami football team, the very early betting has leaned greatly to the Bulldogs. The Action Network was measuring that 91 percent of the money as of Sunday night had been placed on Louisiana Tech. According to The Action Network, Louisiana Tech was 7-5 against the spread in 2019.
Louisiana Tech is coached by Skip Holtz, the son of former Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz. The hope is Miami can play as inspired as the Hurricanes teams of the 1980s and early 90s did against Holtz’s father at the Orange Bowl. Holtz has been an exceptional record in bowl games. The younger Holtz has a 7-3 bowl game record.
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Louisiana Tech has won each of their five bowl games under Holtz. Holtz has a six-game bowl winning streak overall. The Bulldogs have covered the point spread in four of their five bowl games with Holtz as their head coach.
Only one of the bowl game victories by Holtz and Louisiana Tech in the last five years came against a Power Five team. Louisiana Tech defeated Illinois 35-18 in the 2014 Heart of Dallas Bowl. The Bulldogs are 7-3-1 all-time in bowl games. This will be their fifth appearance in the Independence Bowl.
Lousiana Tech last appeared in the Independence Bowl in 2008. The Bulldogs emerged with a 17-10 victory over Northern Illinois. Miami and Louisiana Tech had one common opponent this season. The Bulldogs defeated Florida International 43-31 and covered the seven-point spread in September.
Just when it seemed like the Miami football team was turning their season around, the Hurricanes had a three-game winning streak ended by the Panters at Marlins Park last month. The Panthers defeated the Hurricanes for the first time in their programs’ history 30-24 despite being a 21 point underdog.
Miami had a very bizarre season. The Hurricanes performed much better as an underdog than as a favorite. Miami was 3-0 this season against the spread as an underdog. The Hurricanes won two of those games outright with victories as a road underdog at Pittsburgh and Florida State.
— Canes Football (@CanesFootball) December 8, 2019
Miami lost 24-20 as a seven-point underdog against Florida in Orlando. Although Miami was a 2.5 point favorite at home against Virginia, the Cavaliers came into the game ranked 24th while the Hurricanes were unranked. Miami won the game 17-9, covering the 2.5 point spread. Miami was 3-6 as a favorite in 2019.
They lost three games as a two-touchdown favorite straight up. That was the first time in over 40 years that a team lost three games straight up as at least a 14 point favorite. Miami only won two games outright where they covered the spread and won the game. The Hurricanes won and covered against Virginia and Louisville.
Miami failed to cover the point spread as a 30.5 point favorite in a 17-12 over win MAC Runner-up and Western Division Champion, Central Michigan who ironically lost to Miami University in the title game. Five out of the Hurricanes six wins this season came against bowl teams. The lone exception was FCS Bethune-Cookman.
The Action Network is impressed that Miami was “utilizing a defense that is top 15 in success rate and havoc.” If the Hurricanes can pressure Louisiana Tech do-everything quarterback J’Mar Smith and limit the Bulldogs star running back Justin Henderson they should be able to leave Shreveport with a victory.