Previewing the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl: Houston vs. Louisiana
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This is the preview for the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl
Date: Friday, Dec. 23, 3:00 p.m. ET
Independence Stadium (Shreveport, Louisiana)
Betting splits: 31% of handle, 73% of bets on Houston -7
Bowl betting trends run the gamut between something you might want to pay attention to and just a bunch of noise. Some coaches take bowl games more seriously than others and have their teams more prepared. Dana Holgorsen is not one of those guys. The Houston head coach is 3-6 SU and 2-7 ATS in his last nine bowl games. Between Houston (since 2019) and West Virginia (2011-18), things have not gone well.
Holgorsen won 17-13 over Auburn last year, but lost 28-14 to Hawaii in 2020 with Houston. His last three bowl games with West Virginia were losses by 16, 16 and 17 points. Will he have his Cougars fired up to play the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns? Early money seems to think so, as this line has moved up a few points to -7, with a stray -7.5 out there.
It was a down year for Louisiana offensively due to a lot of turnover at the QB position. All-time leading passer Levi Lewis exhausted his eligibility, leaving Ben Wooldridge and Chandler Fields to fill his shoes. Collectively, they did post a 26/9 TD/INT ratio, but explosive plays were limited, and the Ragin’ Cajuns finished the regular season tied for 93rd in yards per play. Houston, meanwhile, finished in the top 20 in offensive YPP.
The Cougars limped to a 7-5 finish because they allowed nearly six yards per play on defense. Everybody remembers them for the 77-63 loss to SMU, but this was a defense that had issues throughout the year. Louisiana’s defense was quite a bit better, coming in at 5.27 yards per play, but keep in mind that Houston’s strength of schedule was 35 spots higher than Louisiana’s per Jeff Sagarin.
Also, keep in mind that Holgorsen has lost outright three times in five tries as a bowl game favorite. — Adam Burke
Matchup page for Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl
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