Houston vs. Louisiana Independence Bowl Betting Odds

Houston Cougars College Football Betting

Houston Cougars NCAA Football Betting

It was a year of transition for the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns. Louisiana lost head coach Billy Napier to the Florida Gators at the end of last season. Napier had led Louisiana to its best era since Mark Hudspeth produced four consecutive 9-win seasons from 2011 through 2014. Napier went 11-3, 10-1, and 13-1 in his final three seasons to elevate the program to a national level. In fact, in his last two years, Napier produced final national rankings of 15th and 16th. Thus, rookie head coach Michael Desormeaux stepped into very big shoes. Desormeaux barely attained bowl eligibility with a mark of 6-6. Now the Ragin’ Cajuns will face the Houston Cougars in the Independence Bowl.

NCAA Football Betting Odds

Houston Cougars -6.5

Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns +6.5

Total 61.5

Houston Cougars Weekly Matchup

On Friday, December 23, 2022, the Houston Cougars of the American Athletic Conference will host the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns of the Sun Belt Conference in the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana. Kickoff time is 3 p.m. ET, with television coverage on ESPN.

Houston will get most of the casual sector support as the better-known brand from a stronger Conference. Neither team distinguished itself in the eyes of gamblers this season. Wise Guys found both teams frustrating. So that means the underdog.

Last game, the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns won 41-13 against the Texas State Bobcats as 5-point road favorites. The game went over the total of 43.5. Louisiana has a record of 6-6 straight up, 7-5 against the spread, and 6-6 over/under the total. Louisiana ranks 87th for total offense, 75th for passing, 80th for rushing and 77th for scoring. Defensively they rank 48th overall, 60th against the pass, 50th against the rush, and 37th for points allowed. Also, Louisiana ranks 56th for fewest turnovers lost and 11th for takeaways.

Chandler Fields threw two touchdown passes, and Louisiana became bowl eligible. Fields gave Louisiana-Lafayette the lead for good in the first quarter when he threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Chris Smith for a 7-3 lead with 5:35 left in the first quarter.

Fields connected on 16 of 26 passes for 187 yards with one interception for the Ragin’ Cajuns.

Houston Cougars Weekly Recap

Last game, the Houston Cougars lost 37-30 against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane as 13-point home favorites. The game went over the total of 66.5. Houston has a record of 7-5 straight up, 4-8 against the spread, and 10-2 over/under the total. Houston ranks 22nd for total offense, 7th for passing, 78th for rushing and 14th for scoring. Defensively they rank 110th overall, 126th against the pass, 59th against the rush, and 117th for points allowed. Also, Houston ranks 97th for fewest turnovers lost and 105th for takeaways.

Braylon Braxton passed for 316 yards and three touchdowns - including two long ones to JuanCarlos Santana - and also ran for a score to help Tulsa upset Houston.

It was all Houston early, as the Cougars used a 68-yard punt return score by Nathaniel Dell and Clayton Tune's 27-yard touchdown pass to Matthew Golden to lead 14-3 after one quarter.

Tulsa's Jack Long and Houston's Kyle Ramsey traded field goals before Braxton hit Keylon Stokes for a 1-yard score to get Tulsa within 17-13 with 3:58 left before halftime. From there, Tune connected with Dell for a 13-yard touchdown, but Braxton answered with a 37-yard touchdown run, and the Golden Hurricane trailed 24-20 at intermission.

Braxton and Santana teamed up for a 52-yard touchdown just two minutes into the third quarter to give Tulsa a 27-24 lead. Ramsey's second field goal tied the game at 27 after three quarters.

Braxton gave Tulsa the lead for good when he hooked up with Santana for a 25-yard score midway through the fourth quarter.

Braxton completed 25 of 43 passes and carried 11 times for a team-high 51 yards. Santana had six receptions for a career-high 169 yards. Tune completed 26 of 47 passes for 386 yards with one interception for Houston. Dell finished with nine catches for 161 yards. Tulsa ended with a victory for the fifth straight season.

Dana Holgorsen must be a great guy to hang with. What else explains the Houston Cougars putting up with Holgorsen’s record that is above average but not what they paid for.

Before hiring Holgorsen, Houston bragged that they fired coaches for going 8-4. Except when it applies to Dirty Dana, that is. In the 2022 season, the Cougars flopped out of the gate to a 1-3 start. And there were worries that UH would not qualify for a bowl game. To Holgorsen’s credit, Houston rallied with a much stronger second half. Still, the Cougars were nowhere near competing for the American Athletic Conference championship. And their atrocious defense was indicative of a program that is not a serious contender. Houston is bowl eligible, but their donors coaxed Holgorsen from the West Virginia Mountaineers to do much more than go to minor bowl games.

2022 Houston Cougars Schedule

Sep 3 at UTSA W 37-35 1-0
Sep 10 at Texas Tech L 30-33 1-1
Sep 17 vs. Kansas L 30-48 1-2
Sep 24 vs. Rice W 34-27 2-2
Sep 30 vs. Tulane L 24-27 2-3
Oct 7 at Memphis W 33-32 3-3
Oct 15 OFF
Oct 22 at Navy W 38-20 4-3
Oct 29 vs. USF W 42-27 5-3
Nov 5 at SMU L 63-77 5-4
Nov 12 vs. Temple W 43-36 6-4
Nov 19 at East Carolina W 42-3 7-4
Nov 26 vs. Tulsa L 30-37 7-5
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