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How To Bet On The Sugar Bowl – Louisville Aims To Beat Florida In Southern-Flavored Tilt

Posted by Blake Frazier on 12/25/2012 7:30:09 PM

The Louisville Cardinals are not being given much of a chance in the upcoming Sugar Bowl. However, they can beat Florida if their quarterback shows up and gets protection from his line.

2013 Sugar Bowl –
Louisville Cardinals vs. Florida Gators – Wednesday, January 2
Betting line: Florida -13.5

Why Louisville Will Win

Legal online sports betting analysts are expecting this to be a game in which Louisville puts up a good fight, largely because of its coach. When you have one of the hot young coaches in the country patrolling your sidelines, it’s easy to come up with reasons why that is the case. 

Charlie Strong has built his reputation on coaching the defensive side of the ball, and (secondly) on his recruiting.  The 2012 Louisville Cardinals can attest to their coach's gifts.  Strong has built one of the nation’s best secondaries.  The Cardinals rank 14th in the country against the pass, yielding a stellar 185.6 yards per game through the air. 
With the landscape of college football changing with the evolution of the passing game, it’s not just important to be able to stop teams from throwing the ball at will.  It’s also imperative to have an explosive offensive passing game.  In sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (24 touchdowns and seven interceptions), Louisville has the perfect trigger man. 

Bridgewater showed his moxie and his determination in the late-season victory over Rutgers that gave Louisville the Big East championship and a ticket to this very game against Florida.  Just a week after breaking a bone in his non-throwing hand, Bridgewater led a second-half comeback against Rutgers to earn the Cardinals their second ever trip to the BCS. 

When Bridgewater takes to the air (as he did on that Thursday night against Rutgers three weeks ago), he looks for breakout wide receiver DeVante Parker (725 yards, nine touchdowns).  Another strength of the Cardinals – a testament to the job of their coaches – is the Cardinals' impressive plus-seven turnover margin. 

Why Florida Will Win

When NCAA football betting gurus put aside other work and evaluate this particular matchup, they're going to realize that Florida is going to be too powerful and physical for Louisville. The Gators' defensive front is going to be faster, stronger, and more athletic than the Cardinals' offensive front.

What often separates teams in the Southeastern Conference from their counterparts in other conferences is not necessary the strength and bulk of their defensive linemen, but the speed of their defensive linemen. Florida shut down both LSU and South Carolina this season while containing Georgia and shutting down Florida State over the final one and a half quarters of competition.

The Gators' only loss this season came against Georgia, but the defense did great work to hold Georgia to just 17 points on a day when Florida's offense committed six turnovers. Florida's defense is going to be a step or two ahead of Louisville's offense throughout this game. As long as the Gators and quarterback Jeff Driskel do not turn the ball over, Florida should be able to dictate the way in which this game is played, gaining field position and other forms of leverage.

Who Will Win

It’s hard to think that Louisville can actually win this game against Florida's defense, but the Cardinals might stay close because the Gators' offense is so noticeably inconsistent.

College Football Betting Pick: Louisville

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