Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:55 AM

Thursday's Bowl Tips

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Independence Bowl (ESPN, 4:00 p.m. ET)

Louisiana Tech vs. Miami-Florida

Independence Bowl Betting History

-- The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (9-3 straight up, 7-5 against the spread) of Conference USA will tangle with the Miami Hurricanes (6-6 straight up, 6-6 against the spread) from the Atlantic Coast Conference in the Walk-On's Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La.

-- The Bulldogs will be making their 12th bowl appearance in school history, and their fifth-ever appearance in the Independence Bowl. They made their first-ever bowl appearnace against Louisville in 1977, winning 24-14. They lost the next season against East Carolina before returning in 1990 for a tie against Maryland. They also apppeared on Dec. 28, 2008, topping Northern Illinois in a low-scoring game, 17-10. Overall La. Tech holds a 7-3-1 SU record in bowl games, including wins in each of the past five. They topped Hawaii in the Hawai'i Bowl by a 31-14 score in Honolulu last Dec. 22, 2018.

-- The Hurricanes have an extensive bowl history, including five national championships to their credit. However, while they were once one of the most feared football programs in America during the 1980's and 1990's, they have fallen on hard, or really, mediocre, times. Since winning the MPC Computers Bowl over Nevada on New Year's Eve in 2006, they have posted just one win in their previous nine bowl outings. That lone win is a 31-14 victory over West Virginia at the Russell Athletic Bowl, not exactly known as one of the best bowls on the schedule. They haven't faced a Group of Five team in a bowl since that MPC Computers Bowl game, a win. In fact, that was one of just three appearances in school history against a non-Power 5 team. Before 2006, they had a 13-6 win over Holy Cross in the 1946 Orange Bowl, and a 26-0 loss to Bucknell in the 1935 Orange Bowl. So this is unchartered territory.

-- Louisiana Tech is located in Ruston, La., just one hour east of Shreveport off of Interstate 20, so you can expect a pro-Bulldogs crowd. In the state of Louisiana, all in Ruston, the Bulldogs were a perfect 6-0/4-2 ATS. They averaged 45.0 points per game in those six games at home, while going 3-3 SU/ATS in their six true road games, including losses in each of the past two. They averaged just 23.0 PPG in their six games away from home in 2019.

-- Miami were on their way to closing out the season in style. They opened with losses to Florida and North Carolina, before wins against FCS Bethune Cookman and Central Michigan. A loss to Virginia Tech, and a win over Virginia, had them at 3-3 SU/ATS midway through. They lost a tough overtime game to Georgia Tech to slip to 3-4, and a bowl appearance looked rather remote. However, they picked up road wins at Pittsburgh and Florida State to snap on track, and a dominant 52-27 win over Louisville had them in good shape and eligible. However, a stunning loss to crosstown rival Florida International, and a setback at Duke, evened them out at 6-6. Against Group of Five FBS teams they were 1-1 SU/0-2 ATS this season.

-- Miami ranked 88th in total yards (379.7) on offense, while ranking 42nd in passing yards (257.2). They were also a dismal 120th (122.5) in rushing yards per game, while ranking 73rd in points scored (27.8). Defensively, Miami was Miami. They ranked 13th in the nation in yards allowed (307.8), which is what we expect from the Canes. They were also 22nd against the pass (197.9), 16th against the rush (109.8) and 25th in points allowed (20.8).

-- Louisiana Tech was 30th in total yards per game (445.2), 31st in passing yards (277.3) and 60th in rushing yards (167.9) per game, while posting 34.0 points per game to rank 28th. Defensively they were middle of the road, ranking 70th in total yards allowed (393.9), 98th in passing yards allowed (247.8) and 54th in rushing yards allowed (146.2), while yielding 23.7 points per game to check in 46th in the country.

 -- Louisiana Tech has covered five of their past seven games overall, and they're 7-3 ATS in the past 10 as an underdog. They're also 4-1 ATS in the past five neutral-site contests.

-- The Bulldogs are 6-1 ATS in their past seven bowl apperances.

-- Miami is 4-1 ATS in the past five against winning teams, but they're just 2-5 ATS in the past seven as a favorite.

-- The Hurricanes are 2-9 ATS in their past 11 neutral-site battles, while going 1-7 ATS in the past eight neutral-site games as a favorite and 1-7 ATS in the past eight bowl games.

-- Kickoff is slated for 4:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

Quick Lane Bowl (ESPN, 8:00 p.m.)

Pittsburgh vs. Eastern Michigan

Quick Lane Bowl Betting History

-- The Quick Lane Bowl pits the Pittsburgh Panthers (7-5 straight up, 7-5 against the spread) of the Atlantic Coast Conference facing the Eastern Conference Eagles (6-6 straight up, 5-7 against the spread) from the Mid-American Conference at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich.

-- Pittsburgh has enjoyed a lengthy bowl history dating back to the 1927 Rose Bowl. During that history, however, they have never faced a MAC opponent in a bowl game. The Panthers are looking to get untracked after getting dumped 31-24 by Stanford in the Sun Bowl last December.

-- Eastern Michigan heads over from nearby Washtenaw County to downtown Detroit for the fourth bowl game in school history. They're 1-2 SU all-time in bowl games, iwht their only victory coming back in Dec. 1987 against San Jose State in the California Bowl. They lost a narrow battle against Georgia Southern in the Camellia Bowl in Alabama last season.

-- The Panthers ranked 95th in total yards per game (374.1), while ranking a dismal 121st in rushing yards (120.7) per contest. They were above-average in passing yards per game at 253.4, led by Kenny Pickett, who had 2,737 passing yards. They were just 115th in points scored, however, managing a dismal 20.1 PPG. Defensively they were outstanding, as the Panthers allowed just 302.5 total yards per game to rank 11th in the nation, they gave up just 195.6 passing yards per game to rank 20th and they were 10th against the run with 106.9 yards per game. They also allowed only 21.8 points per game to check in 31st.

-- For the Eagles, they were a mediocre 67th in total yards per game (402.8), while ranking 118th in rushing yards per game (123.1). EMU was a very strong 29th in the nation with 279.7 passing yards per game, while posting 29.1 points per outing to rank 64th. Defensively, EMU had their issues, allowing 428.3 total yards per game to rank 92nd, 66th against the pass (225.8) and 109th against the rush (202.4). They yielded 30.3 PPG to check in 85th overall.

-- Pitt has posted a 10-4 ATS mark in their past 14 games in the month of December, while going 5-1 ATS in the past six non-conference battles. They're also a solid 3-0-1 ATS in the past four appearances on a fieldturf surface.

-- The Panthers are a dismal 1-4 ATS in the past five neutral-site affairs, however, and 2-5 ATS in their past seven bowl appearances.

-- Eastern Michigan is 17-6 ATS in the past 23 following a straight-up loss, and 14-4 ATS in the past 18 after a non-cover.

-- EMU is 17-8 ATS in the past 25 against winning teams, while going 21-7 ATS in the past 28 as an underdog and 17-5 ATS in the past 22 non-conference battles.

-- The under is 28-10-1 in the past 39 games overall for Pittsburgh, while going 7-1 in their past eight as a favorite. The under is 6-1 in their past seven non-conference battles, too, while cashing in four of the past five bowl games as a favorite.

-- The over is 4-1-1 in Eastern Michigan's past six games overall, 3-0-2 in the past five against teams with a winning record and 5-0-1 in the past six as an underdog.

-- Kickoff is slated for 8:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

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