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UCF Knights Betting - Gasparilla Bowl Odds
The UCF Knights failed to live up to their own lofty expectations in 2019, but they can still post their third straight 10-win season with a victory over the Marshall Thundering Herd in the Gasparilla Bowl. UCF is the biggest favorite of bowl week. The Knights are -17.5 per the college football betting odds against their former Conference USA rivals, and only Sun Belt powerhouse Appalachian State is anything close to as big of a favorite. This will be the fourth time in the last 10 years that UCF is going bowling in the nearby Tampa Bay area. The Knights’ three previous trips to the area saw them head to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, where they went 1-2. They will be playing in Tampa proper at Raymond James Stadium this year though, and this should be a home game for the Knights.
Gasparilla Bowl Odds
UCF Knights -17.5
Marshall Thundering Herd +17.5
UCF won eight straight games against Marshall as a member of Conference USA from 2005 to 2012. All but two of those games were decided by double digits, and the Knights hammered the Thundering Herd 54-17 in their last meeting back in 2012.
Dillon Gabriel has been largely solid as the Knights’ freshman quarterback. Gabriel has completed 59.4 percent of his passes this year for 3,393 yards with 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He has had some accuracy issues, particularly on timing routes, but he has improved as the season has worn on.
Unfortunately, he will not have his best receiver available for this game. Gabriel Davis has decided to skip the Gasparilla Bowl and his senior season to focus on the 2020 NFL Draft. Davis is expected to be one of the top receivers available after catching 72 passes for 1,241 yards with 12 touchdowns in 2019.
That will open the door for Tre Nixon to take on a much larger role. Nixon has been the No 2 receiver all season with 47 receptions for 776 yards and seven touchdowns alongside Davis. Expect Gabriel to target Nixon the most, while Marlon Williams slides into Nixon’s former role.
The Knights have a great ground game, running for 5.1 YPC in 2019. Josh Heupel rotates four running backs to keep everyone fresh, and they have all found paydirt at least five times this season. Adrian Killins is the home run threat with his speed and agility, while Otis Anderson is the most reliable runner of the bunch.
Marshall has an above average defense. The Thundering Herd are allowing 3.8 YPC, but they played in the worst conference in the country this year in Conference USA. They were obliterated by Cincinnati earlier in the season, and Marshall lost to both Charlotte and Middle Tennessee State too.
This offense relies on Brenden Knox to run the ball effectively. Knox ran for 1,284 yards and 11 touchdowns this season, as Doc Holliday turned to the big bruiser more and more as the campaign progressed. He closed out the year carrying the ball 33 times for 146 yards and a touchdown in an overtime win over Florida International, and he opens things up for quarterback Isaiah Green when he runs effectively.
That’s often needed as Green isn’t a great passer. Green is a dynamic runner and the second leading rusher on the team if you discount sack yardage. However, he is completing just 57.5 percent of his passes, averaging 7.2 YPA with 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions on the year. He completed less than 45 percent of his passes in his last two games, so UCF’s defense could take advantage. The Knights are conceding only 6.1 YPA per pass.
Regular Season Recap
The Knights were looking to win their third straight conference championship to start the season. UCF got off to a great start by thrashing FAMU, Florida Atlantic, and Stanford, but they couldn’t get past Pittsburgh in the Steel City.
The Panthers put together one of their best offensive performances of the season against the Knights. Pittsburgh racked up 30 first downs and 439 total yards on this defense to become the first team to beat UCF in the regular season since 2016. That defeat humbled the Knights, but it didn’t ruin their conference championship hopes. Instead, those dreams were dashed in Cincinnati in early October.
UCF’s run defense was gashed by Cincinnati, resulting in a 27-24 loss for the Knights. Michael Warren II ran 23 times for 133 yards against this front seven, and Gabriel threw three costly interceptions in the defeat. Davis had an incredible night, catching 13 passes for 170 yards, but it wasn’t enough to get past the Bearcats.
After the defeat, the Knights won three straight games before falling on the road against Tulsa. Their run of poor performances on the road continued with a narrow win over Tulane prior to UCF’s season finale with USF.
There was never a doubt that the Knights would emerge victorious. UCF finished the evening with more than twice as many yards as its in-state rival, routing USF 34-7. Gabriel threw for 270 yards and two touchdowns, while Killins ran for 115 yards and a score. USF turned the ball over three times in the loss, managing just 250 total yards. The result led to USF firing Charlie Strong on Sunday, as it was his third straight loss to UCF.
2019-20 College Bowls Betting Schedule
||LOCATION / TIME
|College Football Playoff
||Atlanta, GA / 4 PM
||No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4 Oklahoma
||Glendale, AZ / 8 PM
||No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson
||CFP National Championship
||New Orleans, LA / 8 PM
|Selection Committee Bowl Games
||Arlington, TX / Noon
||No. 10 Penn State vs. No. 17 Memphis
||Miami Gardens, FL / 8 PM
||No. 9 Florida vs. No. 24 Virginia
||Pasadena, CA / 5 PM
||No. 6 Oregon vs. No. 8 Wisconsin
||New Orleans, LA / 8:45 PM
||No. 5 Georgia vs. No. 7 Baylor
|Other Bowl Games
||Nassau, Bahamas / 2 PM
||Buffalo vs. Charlotte
||Frisco, TX / 7:30 PM
||Kent State vs. Utah State
||Atlanta, GA / 12:00 PM
||Alcorn State vs. North Carolina A&T
||New Mexico Bowl
||Albuquerque, NM / 2 PM
||Central Michigan vs. San Diego State
||Orlando, FL / 2:30 PM
||Liberty vs. Georgia Southern
||Boca Raton Bowl
||Boca Raton, FL / 3:30 PM
||FAU vs. SMU
||Montgomery, AL / 5:30 PM
||Arkansas State vs. Florida International
||Las Vegas Bowl
||Las Vegas, NV / 7:30 PM
||No. 19 Boise State vs. Washington
||New Orleans Bowl
||New Orleans, LA / 9 PM
||No. 20 Appalachian State vs. UAB
||Tampa, FL / 2:30 PM
||Marshall vs. UCF
||Honolulu, HI / 8 PM
||BYU vs. Hawai'i
||Shreveport, LA / 4 PM
||Louisiana Tech vs. Miami (Fla.)
||Quick Lane Bowl
||Detroit, MI / 8 PM
||Eastern Michigan vs. Pittsburgh
||Annapolis, MD / Noon
||North Carolina vs. Temple
||The Bronx, NY / 3:20 PM
||Michigan State vs. Wake Forest
||Houston, TX / 6:45 PM
||No. 25 Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M
||San Diego, CA / TBA
||No. 16 Iowa vs. No. 22 Southern California
||Phoenix, AZ / 10:15 PM
||Air Force vs. Washington State
||Camping World Bowl
||Orlando, FL / Noon
||No. 15 Notre Dame vs. Iowa State
||First Responder Bowl
||University Park, TX / 12:30 PM
||Western Kentucky vs. Western Michigan
||Music City Bowl
||Nashville, TN / 4 PM
||Louisville vs. Mississippi State
||Santa Clara, CA / TBA
||California vs. Illinois
||Charlotte, NC / Noon
||Kentucky vs. Virginia Tech
||El Paso, TX / 2 PM
||Arizona State vs. Florida State
||Tucson, AZ / 4:30 PM
||Georgia State vs. Wyoming
||San Antonio, TX / 7:30 PM
||No. 11 Utah vs. Texas
||Mephis, TN / 3:45 PM
||Kansas State vs. Navy
||Tampa, FL / 1 PM
||No. 12 Auburn vs. No. 18 Minnesota
||Orlando, FL / 1 PM
||No. 13 Alabama vs. No. 14 Michigan
||Birmingham, AL / 3 PM
||No. 21 Cincinnati vs. Boston College
||Jacksonville, FL / 7 PM
||Indiana vs. Tennessee
||Idaho Potato Bowl
||Boise, ID / 3:30 PM
||Nevada vs. Ohio
||Armed Forces Bowl
||Fort Worth, TX / 11:30 AM
||Southern Miss vs. Tulane
||Mobile, AL / 7:30 PM
||Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Miami (Ohio)
NCAA Football Teams
2019 NCAA Football Schedule
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