Louisville Southern Miss Beef O Brady Bowl Spread Predictions

The Beef O’Brady’s Bowl in St. Petersburgh, FL this Tuesday evening (5:30pm ET) features the Louisville Cardinals (6-6, 3-2 on road) of the Big East taking on former Conference USA rival the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles(8-4, 4-2 at home). This will be the first bowl game for Louisville in four seasons as new head coach Charlie Strong leads them against a Golden Eagle team making its ninth straight bowl appearance.

Louisville features a strong defense under aptly named head coach Charlie Strong, who was formerly the architect of National Championship-winning defense at the University of Florida. The cardinals went from 65th in the nation in yards per game allowed last season to 12th this season with an average of 304.7 YPG. They are particularly strong against the pass, ranking 9th in the nation with an average of 162.5 YPG allowed. On offense, the Cardinals average 377.2 YPG and 26 PPG to rank in the bottom half of FBS schools. The running game, with running back Bilal Powell tallying 1,330 yards rushing (6.3 YPC) and 13 touchdowns on the season, is a strong point.

The Golden Eagles have had a difficult time defending the pass this season, ranking 103rd in the nation with an average of 248.8 YPG allowed through the air. They rank 56th in the country in total defense with an average of 358.6 YPG allowed and have given up 29.4 PPG. On offense, Southern Miss. has been explosive, ranking 15th in the nation n with 461.1 YPG and averaging 37.6 PPG. Quarterback Austin Davis is a dual threat with 2,898 passing yards (7.1 YPA) and a 63.2% completion percentage to go with 436 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground.

Louisville is 12-1 ATS in their last 13 games against Conference USA opponents, and the Cardinals are 2-6 ATS in their last eight bowl games and 1-4 ATS in their last five games when playing a team with a winning record. The over is 6-2 in the Cardinals last eight games against Conference USA, and the over is 7-1 in Southern Miss.’s last eight games overall and 6-2 I their last eight games as an underdog. Louisville has won the last four meetings between the two teams, including a 25-23 victory last season at home.

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Louisville vs. Southern Mississippi Spread, Line and Betting Odds:

Spread:

Louisville Cardinals -3 (-105)
@ Southern Miss. +3 (-115)

Game Total:

Over 57 (-110)
Under 57 (-110)

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Louisville vs. Southern Mississippi Beef O’Brady’s Bowl Predictions:

Spread Prediction (Top Play) – The key matchup in this game will be the rugged Louisville defense squaring off against the high-scoring Southern Miss. offense. If Strong’s defense can shut down Davis and the passing game, Louisville has an excellent shot to make it five wins in a row against Southern Miss. The game could down to special teams, and the Golden Eagle have the edge there with third-team All-American kicker and Groza Award finalist Danny Hrapmann, who has made 26 of 30 field goal attempts this season. For a team that can score points in bunches and has a lackluster defense, special teams could make the difference and the pick here is to take the 3 points in this very even matchup.

PREDICTION (Top Play) – Southern Miss. +3

Over/Under Prediction– Take the over in this game as the trends point in that direction, and Southern Miss. has had trouble stopping everyone as of late. This could very well be a game when the team with the ball last wins, despite the outstanding defense of Louisville. Bowl games tend to be wide-open affairs and look for both teams to open up their offense more than usual. With the lackluster Golden Eagle pass defense, Louisville could have a big day throwing the football as well.

PREDICTION – Over 57