Independence Bowl Louisiana vs. Houston Prediction: Odds, Spread, and More

The Cougars and Ragin' Cajuns meet in the Independence Bowl, and our Louisiana vs. Houston prediction examines who will end the year on a high.

With high expectations and recent success, the Houston Cougars and Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns have had relatively disappointing seasons, but which will end the year on a high? We’ve got the latest college football betting odds and a Louisiana vs. Houston prediction as we pick a winner of the Independence Bowl.

Louisiana vs. Houston Betting Preview

  • Spread
    Houston (-7)
  • Moneyline
    Houston (-260), Louisiana (+220)
  • Over/Under
    57 points
  • Game time
    3 p.m. ET
  • Location
    Independence Stadium, Shreveport, LA
  • Predicted weather
    26.5 degrees, sunny, 13.2 mph winds
  • How to watch
    ESPN, fuboTV

‘Twas the Friday before Christmas, and in Shreveport, Louisiana, folks were looking for betting odds they could hammer. Against the spread, straight up, or the over/under, could the Ragin’ Cajuns steal the Houston Cougars’ thunder? The Independence Bowl is upon us, a gift from the Gods, so let’s examine the Louisiana vs. Houston odds.

Although Louisiana’s defense might have other ideas, there is one line that is an easy win from this Independence Bowl matchup. Of Houston’s matchups this season, 83.3% have covered the over. Additionally, all but two of their games have totaled less than the 57-point line.

The Cougars’ stellar offense and not-so-stellar defense are a recipe for a high-scoring game. Will their offensive firepower be enough to get the win and cover the touchdown spread? Houston has failed to cover as a spread favorite seven times this season. Meanwhile, Louisiana is 2-2 covering as a spread underdog.

As our Louisiana vs. Houston prediction details, taking the Houston moneyline, but hedging with Louisiana against the spread while hammering the over, might be the most financially beneficial way to enjoy the Independence Bowl.

Prediction for Independence Bowl Louisiana vs. Houston

Despite losing head coach Billy Napier, a Sun Belt championship was still the expectation for Louisiana this season. Likewise, after an exceptional 2021 campaign, Houston was expected to mount an AAC title tilt this fall. Neither team lived up to the lofty preseason predictions, with the result being the two teams meeting in Shreveport for the Independence Bowl.

While there’s been disappointment for both teams, this matchup should provide great entertainment for Cougars and Ragin’ Cajuns fans, as well as casual college football enthusiasts alike. Louisiana won the last matchup between the two teams 31-28 in 2006, but Houston holds a healthy 6-3 advantage after winning six consecutive games between 1949 and 2003.

Houston is favored to avenge that 2006 defeat, and there’s one reason why. Their offense. Well, technically, there’s two reasons why.

The first is quarterback Clayton Tune, an unparalleled leader who has dragged Houston to a 7-5 record that, without him, they simply wouldn’t have. Tune has garnered national attention with his swash-buckling performances, throwing for a career-high 3,845 passing yards and 37 touchdowns. He’s also added five touchdowns on the ground.

The second reason is his go-to wide receiver target, Nathaniel “Tank” Dell. One of the most electric receivers in the nation, Dell has accounted for 1,354 yards and 15 touchdowns of Tune’s total production. He’s a simply unstoppable force of explosion, elusiveness, and contortionistic body control. Between them, they’ve pushed the Houston offense to 37.2 points per game.

Although both players have made all-star game commitments ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft, their decision to play in the Independence Bowl skews this Louisiana vs. Houston prediction towards the Cougars. Without them, this game could have a completely different outlook.

To say Louisiana’s offense is less explosive is an understatement. They’ve averaged 10 points less per game, with Michael Desormeaux’s team ranking just 75th in the nation for scoring offense.

The Ragin’ Cajuns will also be without leading receiver Michael Jefferson (810 yards, seven touchdowns) for the Independence Bowl, compounding their offensive woes.

However, for as much as Louisiana’s offense has had its difficulties this season, they won’t meet much resistance as Houston’s defense has been less than the sum of its parts this year. The Cougars’ unit is packed with star talent but has allowed 33.5 points per game, ranking 118th in the nation.

That, combined with a decent Louisiana defense, should make for a close clash. However, it would be a foolish man that bets against Tune and Dell delivering an eighth win of the season for Houston. Consider it a Christmas gift for Cougars fans before the duo departs for the NFL.

Prediction: Houston 35, Louisiana 30