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Southern Mississippi Louisville Betting – Golden Eagles, Cards A Study In Contrasts

Posted by Blake Frazier on 12/16/2010 2:18:24 PM
southern mississippi louisville betting

The Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles love to throw the ball and are an offense-first team. The Louisville Cardinals love to run the ball and are a defense-first team. They meet on Dec. 21.

NCAA football betting: Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles vs. Louisville Cardinals

Online Betting Odds: Louisville -3

Why To Bet On Southern Mississippi

The Golden Eagles are equipped to win a shootout. Quarterback Austin Davis has thrown for more than 7,100 yards in his career at Southern Miss. He’s a sturdy veteran presence in the pocket for USM head coach Larry Fedora, a former offensive coordinator at both the Florida Gators and the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Southern Miss poses a formidable offense that can score points in bunches and apply a tremendous amount of pressure to an opposing defense. Louisville has a solid defense, a unit which has largely carried the load for the Cardinals in 2010, but with that having been said, Louisville played in a conference – the Big East – which featured terrible passing attacks. Southern Miss might not have more talent than the Pittsburgh Panthers or the West Virginia Mountaineers, but the Golden Eagles are certainly more consistent than any of Louisville’s Big East opponents when it comes to the passing game. Since this game will be played in a domed stadium (Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida), Southern Miss and Mr. Davis will have a very good chance of piling up the points and forcing the limited Cardinals to keep up in a wild game.

Why To Bet On Louisville

While it is true that Southern Miss can pitch the ball around the field, Louisville has a tougher defense than any team the Golden Eagles played in 2010. The Cardinals, under first-year coach Charlie Strong – the former defensive coordinator at Florida – laid down the hammer on the defensive side of the ball. The Cards got to a bowl game under their truly Strong head coach because they surrendered only 18.7 points per game, placing them 15th in the United States. Moreover, that total doesn’t factor in the great drive starts Louisville opponents received as a result of the Cards’ shoddy kick coverage unit, which allowed a lot of long kick returns this past season. Louisville is tough and physical on defense, and that’s a good reason to expect a low-scoring game, the kind of game the Cards want.

It also needs to be said that Louisville can lean on USM’s defensive front in this game. Louisville running back Bilal Powell is the best runner in this game. If the Cardinals can block for him and throw in just enough play-action passing to keep USM’s defense honest, Powell will have a big day, and Louisville can drain clock to keep the Golden Eagles and Austin Davis off the field.

How The Game Will Play Out

Neither team will run away with this contest. Both offenses are going to play well – USM because Louisville hasn’t played against good passing teams this year, and Louisville because the Cards can hammer the ball against the Golden Eagles’ not-very-imposing defensive front. The slight edge goes to Louisville because, in this battle of former Florida assistants, Charlie Strong is clearly a better coach than Larry Fedora. Take Louisville by five or six points.

Southern Mississippi Louisville Betting Pick: Louisville

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