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College Football Betting Online: Tropicana Field is a baseball stadium, but once a year football game invades it. The Gasparilla Bowl, formerly the St. Petersburg Bowl, is preparing for another contest after the conclusion of the college football season.
This will make it a decade of football at the home of the Tampa Bay Rays, and the recent games have been classics. The Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl is hoping to pair together two teams that will once again make it a competitive affair in 2017.
The 2017 Gasparilla Bowl will take place on Thursday, December 21, 2017 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. ESPN will televise this game, which will be held at 8 p.m. ET.
Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl Odds at BookMaker.eu
Temple Owls -7
Florida International Panthers +7
With a 6-6 record, the Temple Owls barely qualified for a bowl, but that mediocre record fails to show how well the Owls are playing heading into bowl season. They got a matchup against an 8-4 Florida International team, but despite the better record, the Panthers are expected to lose by a touchdown.
After a 3-5 start, the Owls have gone 3-1 to close the year and squeeze out bowl eligibility. The transition to Frank Nutile as the starting QB has redefined this offense. With Logan Marchi struggling under center, it’s surprising the Nutile experiment didn’t start sooner.
While Nutile struggled against UCF, allowing four interceptions, he’s been lights out against the rest of his college football opponents. In his other four starts, he’s amassed at least 224 yards in each game and has nine touchdowns to two interceptions.
It’s hard to discount his struggles against the Knights completely, but the Panthers aren’t on the same level. The passing defense for Florida International has struggled all year and the defense has been a liability at time.
Temples defense isn’t dominating either, but the team should fare well enough against the Panthers who rank No.74 in points per game.
The Golden Panthers are trending in the right direction, but they did even worse than Temple against UCF and lost late in the year to FAU and Old Dominion. The defense has allowed 45-points or more in two of the team’s last three games and has allowed 37-points in five games this year. The offense has gone off against teams like Massachusetts and Marshall, but has been highly inconsistent.
Gasparilla Bowl Format
The St. Petersburg Bowl has a conference tie-in with the American Athletic Conference, with the team that makes it facing off against a team from either the Atlantic Coast Conference or Conference USA. If they don’t have enough eligible teams to fill the void, the St. Petersburg Bowl will accept a team from either the Mid-American Conference or the Sun Belt.
While these are the main conferences tied to the St. Petersburg Bowl, it’s not a hard and fast rule. For instance, Mississippi State participated just last year and it comes from the SEC. However, the bowl game will look for teams that are tied into it first before moving on.
Gasparilla Bowl Game Results
|2016 ||Mississippi State ||Miami (Ohio) |
|2015 ||Marshall ||Connecticut |
|2014 ||North Carolina State ||Central Florida |
|2013 ||East Carolina ||Ohio |
|2012 ||UCF ||Ball State |
|2011 ||Marshall ||FIU |
|2010 ||Louisville ||Southern Miss |
|2009 ||Rutgers ||UCF |
|2008 ||South Florida ||Memphis |
There weren’t very many nail-biters in the first several years of this bowl game, with only one game through 2013 ending within a single-digit margin. That close game came in 2010 when Louisville knocked off Southern Miss by a score of 31-28. The Cardinals rallied to tie the game and Chris Philpott hit a 36-yard field goal with 6:30 remaining for the win.
The games have been much better of late. North Carolina State beat UCF by a touchdown in 2014, Marshall beat Connecticut 16-10 in 2015 and last year was a classic, as Mississippi State rallied on for a 17-16 victory over Miami of Ohio. The Bulldogs trailed by nine points in the third quarter and scored a touchdown to pull close. Westin Graves hit a field goal early in the third quarter and the Mississippi State defense held strong the rest of the way.
Mississippi State was favored by 12 points in that game, so it didn’t cover but Miami of Ohio backers on the moneyline left shaking their heads on what could have been a lucrative wager.
Notable MVPs in past St. Petersburg bowls include Rutgers wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, Marshall wide receiver Aaron Dobson, Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles and North Carolina State quarterback Jacoby Brissett.
The bowl was the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl until this year when Bad Boy Mowers took over as the sponsor and changed the name to the Big Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl.
Most All-Time Wins at Gasparilla Bowl
|2 ||Marshall ||2011, 2015 |
This bowl game hasn’t been around for too long, and thus there is only one repeat champion in its history. Marshall has pulled the feat, but it’s hard to know if the Thundering Herd will be returning to this game soon.
Central Florida has the most all-time appearances at the St. Petersburg Bowl, making it there three times with one victory. It makes sense with the proximity to the game that the Knights would be a common participant. There are a whole host of schools which may be able to join Marshall as two-time winners of the St. Petersburg Bowl if they return to the game in 2017.
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