Another college football bowl season is upon us. This Saturday’s Independence Bowl features an exciting matchup between UAB and BYU. BetMGM’s NCAAF betting odds currently have the BYU Cougars as 7-point favorites.
Can BYU cover the spread? What are the best bets for this bowl game? Here are my recommendations, plus everything else that you need to know about this year’s Independence Bowl.
Independence Bowl Game Information
Before I reveal my picks for this game, here are the main things that you should know about this game.
- Date: Saturday, Dec. 18th
- Time: 3:30 P.M. EST
- Venue: Independence Stadium in Shreveport, LA
- Participants: UAB and BYU
BYU -7 (-110)
BYU finished the regular season as the 12th-ranked team in the country (AP). The Cougars are 29th in points per game, averaging 33.5. As for UAB, they are 58th in this category, averaging 29.4 points per game.
However, I think this is a little misleading because BYU has had to play some very talented defenses. They faced Boise State, Baylor, and Utah, who all allow less than 21 points per game on average. BYU scored 67 total points in those games.
However, UAB’s defense is solid as well, ranking 41st in points allowed, allowing just under 23 points per game. UAB has one of the best run defenses in the nation, only allowing 104.2 yards per game. However, their passing defense ranks 52nd, allowing 235.5 yards per game.
Against Boise State, who has the 32nd ranked passing defense (206.9 yards per game), BYU quarterback Jaren Hall had 302 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Against Utah, which only allows 195.3 passing yards per game (24th), Hall had 149 passing yards, three touchdowns, and 92 rushing yards.
BYU’s offense has faced better competition than UAB, and they still performed well. I think the talent on BYU’s offense will be too much for the Blazers, so the Cougars should cover this spread.
Over 54.5 (-110)
With BYU’s offensive talent discussed above, they have a good chance of putting up a lot of points. The Cougars averaged 22.3 points against Utah, Baylor, and Boise State.
BYU won their last five games of the season, averaging 43 points during that stretch. So it wouldn’t surprise me if BYU put up at least 30 points against UAB.
As for UAB, they have shown that they can put up points against similarly ranked defenses. They faced UTSA on the road on Nov. 20th. UTSA is the 44th ranked scoring defense (23.62), while BYU ranks 47th (24.17). In that game, UAB still managed to score 31 points. UAB won three out of their last four, averaging 36.5 points in that stretch. I think they can hold their own in this game to make the point total go over.
BYU Money Line and Both Teams 20+ Points (+140)
This may be a safer parlay option for those who think UAB can keep this game close. Here, BYU only has to win the game outright as long as both teams score at least 20 points.
Given the number of points both teams have put up this season, as I discussed earlier, I like the chances of both BYU and UAB scoring at least 20 points each.
See More Bowl Game Odds
These are three bets that I think are worth looking at in the Independence Bowl. Do you agree with these picks, or do you believe UAB can win this game? Are there other bowl games that you want to place bets on?
You can find all of the latest odds here at BetMGM, the safest and most reliable site for all of your online sports betting needs. So, create an account today. Don’t forget to check out the promotions tab, where you could receive a risk-free bet of up to $1,000.