Louisiana Lafayette vs. Miami Ohio Odds, Pick, Betting Line: Prediction, Spread for 2020 LendingTree Bowl

Louisiana Lafayette vs. Miami Ohio Odds, Pick, Betting Line: Prediction, Spread for 2020 LendingTree Bowl article feature image

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Brett Gabbert.

  • Louisiana-Lafayette is a -14 favorite over Miami Ohio in the 2020 LendingTree Bowl, with the total at 55.
  • ULL turned itself into one of the best Group of Five teams in the country behind a stellar offensive line and running game.
  • Miami Ohio on the other hand was fortunate to win eight games and the MAC title considering its underlying offensive numbers.
  • See our experts' Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Miami Ohio picks and predictions below.

Lending Tree Bowl Odds: Miami (Ohio) vs. Louisiana

  • Spread: ULL -14
  • Over/Under: 56
  • Date: Jan. 6
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN
  • Location: Mobile, Ala.

Both teams in the LendingTree Bowl reached their respective conference title games, but took different paths to get there.

Louisiana Lafayette continued its ascension under coach Billy Napier this season, going 10-3 with losses to only Mississippi State and Appalachian State twice. They ranked top 10 among Group of Five teams in our power ratings.

Miami Ohio had 1.7 second order wins (No. 2) meaning they were more like a 6-7 team than an 8-5 one. The RedHawks won five games by less than a touchdown.

That’s why the Ragin’ Cajuns are a two-touchdown favorite over Miami Ohio in Monday’s LendingTree Bowl.

Here’s how I’m betting it:

Odds as of Sunday night and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150). No strings attached. No rollover required.

Miami Ohio vs. Louisiana Line Movement

Bettors are split on this game, with ULL getting a slight majority as of Sunday night. The line has moved from -13.5 to -14 as a result.

The total has moved from 55.5 to 55 with 56% of the money on the under.

Collin Wilson: Defenses Will be the Story

The last time Miami of Ohio played an offense that ranked top 10 in success rate, the Redhawks allowed 8.35 yards per play in a 76-5 loss to Ohio State.

No gambler will mistake the UL Lafayette offense for the Buckeyes, but a rushing success rank of No. 4 in the nation may lead to similar success against Miami of Ohio.

Considering a non-conference schedule that also included Cincinnati and Iowa, the RedHawks outperformed the MAC and their previous seasons on defense.

A rank of 26th in defensive havoc is outstanding for a MAC team, but the Ragin’ Cajuns are No. 1 in the nation in havoc allowed.

Specifically, this game will be won or lost on UL Lafayette rushing attempts and whether or not the Cajuns can limit negative plays. They’re third in tackles for loss allowed, while the Redhawks defense is No. 7 overall.

It could be off to the races for quarterback Levi Lewis and a stable of running backs that gained over 3,400 yards on the ground if they are not met in the backfield by the Miami front seven.

The Miami offensive attack has been dreadful in 2019 with ranks outside the top 100 in quarterback passer rating, line yards and finishing drives. There is no explosiveness to the RedHawks attack and the Cajuns are top 20 in defensive finishing drives, so every red zone opportunity will be tough if they can get there.

Starting field position could also be an issue for both offenses. Each punt unit ranks in the top 20 while the kickoff units rank in the top 40.

There are too many advantages for Louisiana from defensive sack rate, rushing success rate and red zone scoring to expect Miami of Ohio to win the game outright.

The Action Network projections suggest the spread is high for the Ragin’ Cajuns and should be closer to -10.5.

Our total projection of 52.5 is slightly lower than what’s being offered on these two teams that rank 26th and 40th in rush rate.

Considering the rush rate, Miami’s penchant for tackles for loss on defense, defensive finishing drives and the long layoff between games, there could be a slow start to this game.

I will look for a first half under and wager on any live number under our Louisiana projection of -10.5.

Pick: First Half Under 28 or better

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