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NCAAF

Jan 05, 2020

LendingTree Bowl Preview

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LendingTree Bowl (ESPN, 7:30 p.m. ET)

Louisiana vs. Miami (Ohio)

LendingTree Bowl Betting History

-- The Miami-Ohio Redhawks (8-5 straight up, 7-6 against the spread) from the Mid-American Conference (MAC) will square off with the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns (10-3 straight up, 9-4 against the spread) from the Sun Belt Conference in the LendingTree Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala.

 -- Miami heads into this one after their stunning victory over Central Michigan in the MAC Championship Game. They were underdogs by just 5.5 points, but they entered the game with some injury issues, and CMU was red-hot on offense before that battle in Detroit. Miami has won six of the past seven games overall, and they're 5-2 ATS in the past seven outings. However, against bowl teams this season, Miami is just 3-4 SU/4-3 ATS.

-- The Redhawks do not have an extensive bowl history, but they will still be making their third-ever appearance in Mobile. They're 7-4 SU in their previous 11 bowl appearances, including a 35-21 win over Middle Tennessee on Jan. 6, 2011 in this bowl game, then named the GoDaddy.com Bowl. They also topped Louisville 49-28 on Dec. 18, 2003, when this game was named the GMAC Bowl. This will be Miami's first-ever bowl game appearance against a Sun Belt Conference team.

-- Louisiana (previously known as Louisiana-Lafayette) has made six bowl appearances, with five of those appearances coming in the New Orleans Bowl, with one showing in the Cure Bowl last season. They fell to Tulane by a 41-24 score in that bowl game on Dec. 15, 2018, but they're 4-2 SU in their previous six bowl contests. This will be the first bowl game against a MAC opponent for the Ragin' Cajuns, too.

-- Miami's offense has really struggled this season, although they might have found their quarterback of the future with QB Brett Gabbert, brother of NFL signal Blaine Gabbert. He ended up with 2,163 passing yards to lead the team, while RB Jaylon Bester racked up 689 yards with 12 total touchdowns. Still, they were just 122nd in total yards on offense at 307.4, with 172.8 passing yards (114th), and they posted 134.5 rushing yards per game to rank 102nd. Overall, they posted 24.7 points per game to rank 95th in the nation. Defensively, they were 58th in total yards (380.6), 37th in passing yards (206.4) and 81st in rushing yards (174.2) allowed, while allowing 28.2 PPG to rank 70th.

-- The heavily favored Cajuns had a powerful offense during the season, posting 501.3 total yards per game to rank eighth in the country, and they were seventh in rushing yards with 265.3 yards per game on the ground. The passing was just so-so with 236.0 yards per game to rank 64th. They scored 38.8 points per game to rank 11th in the country. On defense, they were 50th with 373.4 total yards per game, and they were 85th against the run with 179.5 yards per game. They were hard on opposing pass games, allowing just 193.8 yards per game to rank 18th. They also allowed only 19.9 PPG to check in 20th overall.

-- The star for Louisiana is RB Elijah Mitchell, who posted 1,092 yards with 15 touchdowns, while QB Levi Lewis managed 2,804 yards through the air.

-- ULL has posted a 17-7 ATS mark in the past 24 games overall, and they're 10-4 ATS in the past 14 games as a favorite. The Cajuns are also 4-0 ATS in the past four non-conference games, while going 5-2 ATS in the past seven neutral-site battles.

-- The Redhawks have cashed in five of the past seven games overall, while going 4-0 ATS in the past four neutral-site games. They're also 4-1 ATS in the past five as an underdog, but they're 2-10 ATS in the past 12 non-conference games.

-- For ULL, the over has connected in 35 of their past 51 non-conference games, while hitting in five of the past six field turf surfaces. The under is 6-2 in their past eight games overall, however, while going 6-1 in the past seven as a favorite. The under is also 4-1 in the past five against teams with a winning record.

-- The under is 5-1 in Miami's past six games overall, and 6-1 in their past seven neutral-site games. The under is 6-1 in the past seven neutral-site games as a 'dog, too, but the over is 4-1 in their past five non-conference battles.

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