The class of the Big East Conference this season takes on an SEC power when 10-2 Louisville squares off against 11-1 Florida in the Sugar Bowl Wednesday, Jan. 2 at the Superdome in New Orleans (8:30 pm ET, ESPN).
The early Sugar Bowl betting odds showed the Gators, who went 7-1 in SEC play but missed out on a berth in the conference championship game because of a loss to Georgia, as 13-point favorites over the Cardinals. Louisville started 9-0, lost two in a row, but then salvaged their season with a come-from-behind victory at Rutgers.
Faves are 4-1-1 ATS in the past 6 Sugar Bowls, while this game has trended UNDER in the last decade (7-3). [ More Sugar Bowl betting trends, matchup stats and more, click here ]
Betting Line: Those siding with the visitors in this one saw the Cardinals listed as 14.5-point underdogs earlier this week at . Meanwhile, the over under line was 45.5 in early betting at BetOnline.
Louisville Bowl History
|1998||Motor City Bowl||Marshall||48||Louisville||29||-3.5||MARSHL|
|1999||Humanitarian Bowl||Louisville||31||Boise State||34||4.5||BOISE|
|2000||Liberty Bowl||Colorado State||22||Louisville||17||1.5||COLOST|
|2003||GMAC Bowl||Miami (Ohio)||49||Louisville||28||13||MIA.OH|
|2004||Liberty Bowl||Boise State||40||Louisville||44||-9.5||BOISE|
|2005||Gator Bowl||Louisville||24||Virginia Tech||35||-9.5||VTECH|
|2006||Orange Bowl||Wake Forest||13||Louisville||24||-10||LOUISV|
|2010||St. Petersburg Bowl||Louisville||31||Southern Miss||28||2||LOUISV|
|2011||Belk Bowl||Louisville||24||North Carolina State||31||-1.5||N.C.ST|
Florida Bowl History
|1996||Sugar Bowl||Florida||52||Florida State||20||3||FLA|
|1997||Capital One Bowl||Penn State||6||Florida||21||-15||Push|
|1999||Capital One Bowl||Michigan State||37||Florida||34||-1||MICHST|
|2006||BCS Championship Game||Florida||41||Ohio State||14||-7||FLA|
|2007||Capital One Bowl||Michigan||41||Florida||35||-10.5||MICH|
|2008||BCS Championship Game||Florida||24||Oklahoma||14||3||FLA|
|2010||Outback Bowl||Penn State||24||Florida||37||-7||FLA|
|2011||Gator Bowl||Florida||24||Ohio State||17||2.5||FLA|
How They Match Up:
Offensively, the game matches up Florida's No. 76-ranked offense (26.8 PPG) against a Cardinals defense that ranks No. 37 at 23.8 PPG. The Gators passing attack has averaged 143.9 yards per game, less than the Cardinals give up through the air (193.8 YPG on average).
Defensively, the Cardinals feature the league's No. 50-rated road run defense, allowing 155.4 yards per game. Florida, meanwhile, ranks No. 61 in rushing offense at home.
Last time out for Louisville, they were a 20-17 winner as they battled Rutgers on the road. Louisville covered in the match as a 3.5-point underdog, while 37 combined points moved the game UNDER for totals bettors. The Cardinals grabbed a Week 14 victory over the Scarlet Knights in their last game, winning 20-17 at Rutgers Stadium.
Florida won its last outing, a 37-26 result against Florida State on November 24. Florida covered in that game as a 7-point underdog, while the 63 combined points took the game OVER the total. Mike Gillislee tore up the turf for 140 rushing yards in the latest Gators game, a 37-26 win over the Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium.
Louisville Cardinals Trends:
When playing in January are 1-1
When playing on turf are 8-2
After outgaining opponent are 8-2
When an underdog on the road are 6-4
Florida Gators Trends:
When playing in January are 7-3
When playing on turf are 7-3
After outgaining opponent are 8-2
When favored at home are 10-0
A few Cardinals at Gators trends to consider:
Louisville is 10-2 SU in its last 12 games
Louisville is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
Florida is 12-1 SU in its last 13 games
Florida is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games