First Responder Bowl Betting Preview: Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns vs. UTSA Roadrunners – Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020

The 2020 Servpro First Responders Bowl will take place on Saturday, December 26, 2020 and will feature the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns taking on the UTSA Roadrunners.

The 2020 Servpro First Responders Bowl is being played at the Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas, Texas with the kickoff scheduled to take place at 3:30 PM ET on ABC.

Servpro First Responders Bowl History

The Servpro First Responders Bowl will be playing in its 3rd year under the new name and sponsor. In the past, this bowl has been referred to as the Dallas Football Classic, Ticket City Bowl, Heart of Dallas Bowl and the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl.

The bowl was first played in 2011 in Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas, Texas, where it is still played today. This is the third year that Servpro is the main sponsor for this bowl, and also under the new name, F1rst Responder Bowl. Two years ago, this bowl had to be cancelled due to the weather!

The following are the previous First Responder Bowl game history, under the previous names:

  • January 1, 2011 Texas Tech 45 Northwestern 38
  • January 2, 2012 Houston 30 Penn State 14
  • January 1, 2013 Oklahoma St 58 Purdue 14
  • January 1, 2014 North Texas 36 UNLV 14
  • December 26, 2014 LA Tech 35 Illinois 18
  • December 26, 2015 Washington 44 Southern Miss 31
  • December 27, 2016 Army 38 North Texas 31
  • December 26, 2017 Utah 30 West Virginia 14
  • December 26, 2018 Boise St vs. Boston College (Cancelled)
  • December 30, 2019 Western Kentucky 23 Western Michigan 20

The 2020 First Responders Bowl will feature two teams arguably in different places mentally right now. You have a Louisiana team that has a chip on their shoulder, after their matchup against Coastal Carolina was canceled.

Their opponent, UTSA, enters this matchup after having a solid season. However, both teams will fight for one last victory to close out the season.

Date: Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020

Time: 3:30 p.m. EST

Venue: Gerald J. Ford Stadium – Dallas, TX

Watch On: ABC

The Teams

Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (9-1)

The Ragin’ Cajuns’ chance at redeeming their only loss against Coastal Carolina was cancelled due to the coronavirus. Without time to reschedule, they will have to take out any frustrations on UTSA.

A few weeks ago, Louisiana barely escaped a 27-24 win against Appalachian State. In that outing, quarterback Levi Lewis struggled heavily and uncharacteristically, throwing 8-23 for 101 yards.

However, as a team they were able to overcome adversity as running back Elijah Mitchell added 95 yards and Trey Ragas provided two scores on the ground. Those two together have provided the team an average of 5.4 yards per carry.

UTSA Roadrunners (7-4)

UTSA’s season has had a handful of ups and downs. This team began the year with three straight victories and a lot of high hopes, but then lost their next three. The Roadrunners went on to split their next couple of games before being able to try again for another three-game winning streak.

Louisiana has a tendency to split up the carries on offense. But it is no secret that the Roadrunners rely heavily on Sincere McCormick. He is arguably the second best running back in the nation or at least top five in some cases.

McCormick has rushed the ball 226 times this year for 1,345 yards and 11 touchdowns. To free up McCormick, quarterback Frank Harris is a dual threat that has ten touchdowns passing and eight touchdowns rushing.

Odds For This Event

The market is assuming this one could be a blowout. For the spread, BetOnline has the odds currently set at:

UTSA: +13.5 (+100)

LA-Lafayette: -13.5 (-120)

*odds are subject to changes

Free Betting Pick

Louisiana is a legitimate top 25 team and UTSA did not compete against any teams ranked in the final College Football Playoff (CFP) Rankings top 25. UTSA will have their hands full trying to stop the aggressive running of Mitchell and Ragas, especially when the Roadrunners defense has allowed roughly 21 points or less in their last three games.

Louisiana is also highly upset and motivated to perform well. After their rematch against Coastal Carolina was cancelled, the only team to beat them, they should set their anger issues on this game.

Overall, Louisiana is a more complete team that is looking to finish out the year strong. This one could become a two touchdown lead by the second half.

One thing is for sure, this game will not be very high scoring. Roadrunners D is decent. Cajuns are a great team. Both teams will run and chew up some clock. This leads us to playing the Under as our official play!

Spooky Express Bowl Pick: Under 57

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