Independence Bowl Odds And Betting Preview — UAB Vs BYU

The 2021 Independence Bowl takes place this Saturday as the BYU Cougars go up against the UAB Blazers (2:30 p.m. CT, ABC). The Cougars will become the highest-ranked team to participate in the game. They were ranked No. 13 in the country in the final College Football Playoff rankings of the season.

The Independence Bowl is played at Shreveport’s Independence Stadium. The historic venue has hosted the game annually since 1976. Last year’s game was canceled, so this year’s edition brings a new level of excitement.

Adding to that excitement is the recent rollout of sports betting in Louisiana. In-person wagering is available at nine brick-and-mortar casinos, and mobile betting is projected to launch in the coming weeks.

Three Bossier City casinos have begun accepting in-person sports bets: Horseshoe Hotel & Casino, Margaritaville Resort Casino, and Boomtown Casino Hotel. All three are located just a short drive away from Independence Stadium, meaning the sports betting scene in Shreveport/Bossier City is sure to be busy this weekend.

Also Read: New Orleans Bowl Odds And Betting Preview Louisiana vs. Marshall

Independence Bowl Betting Odds

BYU (10-2 SU, 5-7 ATS) is listed as a favorite of more than a touchdown on most notable sportsbooks. The best moneyline price on UAB (8-4 SU, 8-3-1 ATS) is +260 on FanDuel.

In terms of the total, it can be found at 54.5 or 55. The OVER went 7-5 for both teams during the regular season.

DraftKingsUAB +7 (-120)
BYU -7 (+100)
UAB +220
BYU -275
Over 54.5 (-115)
Under 54.5 (-105)
FanDuelUAB +6.5 (-110)
BYU -6.5 (-110)
UAB +260
BYU -260
Over 55 (-110)
Under 55 (-110)
PointsBetUAB +7 (-121)
BYU -7 (+100)
UAB +210
BYU -265
Over 55 (-110)
Under 55 (-110)
CaesarsUAB +7 (-115)
BYU -7 (-105)
UAB +220
BYU -270
Over 54.5 (-110)
Under 54.5 (-110)

Also read: 5 Tips For Betting On College Football Bowl Games

Point Spread Analysis And Pick

While BYU may be disappointed to not get an invite to a New Year’s Six bowl, the Cougars still have plenty to play for. With a record of 10-2, BYU can finish the season with consecutive 11-win seasons for the first time since 2007.

The Cougars have a fantastic QB/RB combo with Jaren Hall and Tyler Allgeier. Together they lead a well-balanced offensive attack that can make things happen in a variety of ways. On the season, Hall completed 63.9% of his passes for 2,583 yards, 20 touchdowns, and five interceptions. Allgeier is one of the top RB’s in the country, as he ranks eighth nationally with 1,409 rushing yards, and his 20 touchdowns are tied for the national lead.

Overall, the Blazers might need to play a near-perfect game in order to hang around with the Cougars. That may be a difficult task considering how undisciplined UAB has been this season. In fact, no team has allowed more penalty yards per game than the Blazers. They are flagged 9.3 times per game (second-most in the country), and their 91.7 penalty yards per game are the highest in the nation. That is not a great recipe for success against a well-coached BYU team that should be very physical in the trenches.

BYU head coach Kalani Sitake is 3-1 in bowl games, and the last 2 wins have come by 31 and 26 points.

BYU is also a bit more battle-tested than UAB. The Cougars went a perfect 5-0 against Pac-12 teams this season and also added a win over Virginia of the ACC. UAB went 8-4 with the nation’s 82nd toughest schedule, and aside from a Week 2 matchup against Georgia, its schedule was hardly something to write home about.

When the Cougars won during the regular season, they tended to win big. Eight of their 10 wins this season came by 7 points or more.

Our pick: Back BYU -6.5.

Also read: Breaking Down Each Louisiana Mobile Sportsbook Bonus Offer

Over/Under Analysis And Pick

BYU scores a lot of points in bowl games under Sitake. In 4 bowl games under Sitake’s leadership, the Cougars have scored an average of 39 points. They scored 33.5 points per game in the regular season to go along with a strong 457.1 yards per game of total offense. Look for Hall and Allgeier to lead the Cougars to scores early and often. The Blazers’ penalty problems should help the Cougars as well.

UAB likes to run the ball, and its run game got better near the end of the season. The Blazers ran for 220 yards or more in four of their last six games. On the season, DeWayne McBride ran for over 1,100 yards and averaged nearly 7.0 yards per carry.

UAB is also capable of making big plays down the field through the air. WR Trea Shropshire and TE Gerrit Prince both averaged more than 20 yards per catch, and together they combined for 14 touchdown catches.

Overall, the chains should be moving at a decent pace when both teams have the ball, and there should be enough big plays to take this one over the total.

Our pick: Roll with the OVER 54.5.

All odds used were available at the time of publishing on Thursday, December 16.

About the Author

Connor Grootenhuis

Connor Grootenhuis is a Content Manager and sportswriter covering all things sports betting. Based in the Bayou State of Louisiana, he is a lifelong sports fan and a believer that every loss is a bad beat and every win is easy money.