In his first year as Miami coach, Manny Diaz has struggled to consistently motivate his team. The college football bowl season is always full of surprises, and it would be a surprise if Diaz can get the Hurricanes pumped up to play in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La.
Miami might be a disinterested favorite against Louisiana Tech, which is a six-point underdog and essentially the home team. Sharp bettors jumped on the Bulldogs immediately after they opened as 10-point ‘dogs on Dec. 8.
The Hurricanes (6-6 straight up and ATS) have flopped as big favorites four times this season, losing outright when laying double digits to Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Florida International. Miami closed the regular season as a nine-point favorite in a 27-17 loss at Duke.
Behind quarterback J’Mar Smith (17 touchdown passes, four interceptions) and running back Justin Henderson (5.8 yards per carry, 15 TDs), the Bulldogs are scoring 34 points per game.
Louisiana Tech coach Skip Holtz owns a five-game bowl win streak. Miami is 1-8 in its past nine bowls.
The pick: Louisiana Tech plus 6