utsa vs louisiana prediction and preview

  • NCAAF

NCAAF utsa vs louisiana prediction and preview


 

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

 

Bowl season is here, and it is one of the most enjoyable times of the year. We see competitive matchups and teams squaring off that we would rarely see play each other. I love bowl season. I will say this is not my favorite matchup of the year, though, as I think these teams are in completely different worlds as far as talent. Regardless, let's break down the game.

(Late line movements and injury reports were updated on Friday evening.)

Line Movements:

The line has moved slightly in favor of the default visiting team in this one, furthering their favorite status as the week has gone on. Louisiana opened as a 12.5-point favorite when the lines came out and, as of Friday, now is favored by 13.5 or 14 points at the majority of sportsbooks for this contest. 55 percent of the bets ATS are backing the Ragin’ Cajuns and giving the points as they look to earn the victory in the LendingTree Bowl.

The total for this contest has dropped substantially during this week. After opening at 55.5 points, the total has slipped down to 49.5 or 50 points, depending on your sportsbook of choice. A hefty majority, 72 percent, of the bets on the total are expecting this contest to still end up falling short of the mark.

Game-time Weather: It’s going to be a nice afternoon for the day after Christmas in the Lone Star State. Temperatures at kickoff will be in the high-60s under sunny skies. The mercury will remain pretty steady in the high-60s during the game with no chance of precipitation in the forecast. Winds are expected from the south around 15 miles an hour with the wind gusts kicking up to about 29 miles per hour during the game.

 

Louisiana Will Look to Cap Off Great Season With a Bowl Win

I think UTSA has a very small chance of winning this game. Louisiana has really had a breakout year and pushed themselves over the hump to become a top 25 team. I have enjoyed watching this team this year as they are a team that actually played most of their games. The Louisiana offense has scored a solid 33.9 PPG (30th) and averaged 208.2 YPG on the ground (26th) and 214.4 YPG through the air (78th). This team is solid at running the ball, but they can also pass, making them a difficult offense to play.

 

On defense, this team has been solid for the whole year. They have done everything necessary to help this team post a solid record of 9-1. This defense has been amazing, allowing opponents to only score 21.8 PPG (29th) and only allowed an average of 166.9 YPG through the air (8th). I have enjoyed watching this defense this year, and I think they will give UTSA a lot of trouble.

Louisiana Injury Report:

No Injuries Reported.

 

UTSA Will Need to Play 100% to Even Keep This Close

I know Louisiana is by far the better team of the two, and I actually am surprised they would get such a below-average bowl after the year that they have had. With that, I think UTSA has been very average this year and will need to be at 100% if they have any hope of keeping this one close. UTSA’s offense has had an alright season scoring 28.64 PPG (65th) and passing for 199.18 YPG (92nd). This team’s one chance to compete is their rushing offense, which currently averages 214.73 YPG (23rd).

 

On defense, UTSA has actually had a decent year. I mean, they don’t play in a good conference and rarely see high-quality opponents like Louisiana. Regardless this defense has been impressive this year, compared to previous years. Right now, UTSA is allowing opponents to score 25.18 PPG (45th) while giving up 228.09 YPG through the air (65th) and 152.73 YPG on the ground (53rd).

UTSA Injury Report:

No Injuries Reported.





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