Gasparilla Bowl - FIU Live Dogs Over Temple

Gasparilla Bowl

Swinging Johnson

Saturday, December 9, 2017 7:14 PM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017 7:14 PM UTC

The Temple Owls and the Florida International Golden Panthers will meet at Tropicana Field, home of the Gasparilla Bowl, on Thursday December 21st. Let's check out the college football odds and get on the right side of the action.

Temple (6-6 SU, 6-6 ATS) vs. Florida International (8-4 SU, 6-6 ATS)

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Free College Football Pick: FIU +7Best Line Offered: at Bovada
  • Florida International is 11-2 ATS in their last 13 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game.
  • Florida International is 5-1 ATS in their last six games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
  • Florida International is 5-1 ATS in their last six games as an underdog.
  • Temple is 1-5 ATS in their last six games following a straight up win.
  • Temple is 1-4 ATS in their last five non-conference games.
  • Temple is 1-4 ATS in their last five neutral site games.

These teams are similar in that they both have balanced offenses with Temple a bit more prolific in the passing game, averaging 251 yards per game versus 238 for FIU, while the Panthers rushing attack has yielded greater results (165 versus 136 YPG) than the Owls'. Their most recent common opponent is U Mass where Temple secured an early season 29-21 victory, yet failing to cover the number as 14 ½ point home favorites.

The Minutemen were also fodder for the Golden Panthers as FIU outgunned U Mass 63-45 and easily covered as 2 ½ point home dogs. That meeting occurred in early December and it was a game that saw FIU set a school record with 674 total yards. Panthers QB Alex McGough was brilliant, tossing for three touchdowns and 296 yards while rushing for 108 yards and a trip into the end zone.

Deciding on your college football picks during bowl season can be tricky because the three to four-week rest can work in different ways for different teams. Some squads will get rusty while others will take the time to lick their wounds, get well, and be highly prepared for their postseason battle. I make this observation because I believe the latter applies to Florida International. Butch Davis, former head coach of Miami and North Carolina, is a grizzled veteran and has coached in games far more important than the Gas Bowl. He understands the delicate balance needed between resting and preparing. In addition, the venue is St. Petersburg which is about a four-hour car ride north of FIU while it is roughly 16 hours south of Temple. The warm weather and friendly locale will definitely favor Davis's crew.

The college football odds are reflecting Temple as the neutral site favorites but it seems to me like the Golden Panthers have a sizeable coaching advantage coupled with a boatload of momentum heading into this one. On paper, these teams are stacked fairly evenly and I am confounded as to why FIU is a seven-point dog. But it is the season of giving and I believe the bookies are giving us a touchdown head start that we probably won't even need - but we'll take it just in case!

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