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Tropicana Field on ESPN - December 21st
The Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl features two old rivals from two different conferences. The Louisville Cardinals face off against the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles in this early bowl game. The latest college football odds posted for this game, have the Cardinals favored by three points and the total set at 57.
These two teams have met frequently in the past, playing 29 times with the last game being played in 2009. Southern Miss has an 18-9-1 advantage in the series, but the Cardinals have won the last four overall. New head coach Charlie Strong is responsible for a great turnaround with the Louisville football program. The Cardinals defeated Rutgers 40-13 to end the regular season and become bowl eligible for the first time since 2006. This will be the 15th bowl appearance in the school’s history and the first for Coach Strong.
Under head coach Larry Fedora, Southern Miss finished at 8-4 overall and which gained them an invite to the post season. This will be the ninth consecutive football bowl appearance for the Golden Eagles and 13th in the last 14 years which is quite an impressive run. Southern Miss is trying to win this year and not repeat last year’s disappoint performance in the New Orleans bowl when they lost 42-32 to Middle Tennessee State. They have a tougher opponent this year in Louisville, who is statistically sound on defense.
Louisville is No. 12 in the nation in average yardage allowed, giving up 304.67 per game and very tough against the pass, ranking No. 9 in the nation with 162.50 yards given up. They have had some impressive wins on the year shutting out Big East champion, Connecticut by the final score of 26-0. The difference can be attributed to Charlie Strong who is a defensive minded coach. The Golden Eagles are 1-4 against the spread (ATS) in their last five non-conference games and 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games as an underdog of 0.5-3.0. The Cardinals are 30-11 ATS in their last 41 non-conference games , 4-1 ATS in the last five games as a favorite and an amazing 12-1 ATS in the last 13 games against Conference USA opposition.
The difference in this game will be the dominating defense of the Cardinals and Louisville gets a bowl victory for Charlie Strong in his first year on the job.
BTB's Pick Louisville -3
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