Free Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl Prediction: Thundering Herd vs Bulls Odds
Looking for Marshall Thundering Herd vs. USF Bulls free picks? Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl sees the Thundering Herd taking on the Bulls Thursday December 20th at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NCAA football season long so stay tuned for more FREE college football predictions like this Marshall USF Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl free pick.
College Football Handicapping: Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl
(8-4) Marshall Thundering Herd vs. USF Bulls (7-5)
Date: Friday, December 21st 2018
Time: 8:00 pm EST
Venue: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
NCAA Football Spread: Marshall -2.5
NCAA Betting Total: 55.5
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South Florida definitely has the travel advantage in the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla as it’s basically a home game in Tampa, Fl. That being said the Bulls find themselves underdogs when they play Marshall on Friday December 21st. USF doesn’t exactly come into this contest on a hot streak as they’ve dropped five in a row to end the regular season.
Does USF’s struggles make Marshall the play in their fifth bowl game in six years? The Thundering Herd won 5 of their last 6 games before suffering a regular season finale ending defeat 20-41 at Virginia Tech. Does traveling actually help Marshall and their fan base who can enjoy a nice Sunshine State vacation a couple days before Christmas?
Marshall Thundering Herd
How much stock do you put in Marshall’s 8-4 season considering they were favorites in 9 of those games? Basically the Thundering Herd beat the teams they’re supposed to and lose to the ones they’re supposed to such as a 20-37 defeat to NC State as 6 point ‘dogs. Then again Marshall dropped a 10 point contest to Mid Tennessee as 10 point favorites and lost to Southern Miss by 2 as 3 point favorites.
South Florida is great vs. the pass (197.2 ypg) which could spell trouble for Marshall freshman QB Isaiah Green who completed only 55% of his passes this year. RB Brenden Knox did go for over 200 vs. Virginia Tech’s 105th ranked rush defense and the Bulls give up nearly 250 on the ground this year. Tyre Brady was a Conference USA 1st team pick so maybe Marshall can find a passing game to go with the rush attack – if they even need to.
The Marshall defense may be the biggest reason they are favored in this ‘neutral site’ game that is being played at USF’s home field. The Thundering Herd allow only 103.9 ypg on the ground and have an equally astute air defense that is 70th in the country. USF has a pretty balanced offensive attack but Marshall held three of their last six opponents to 13 points or less.
The Bulls aren’t a bad pick in the Gasparilla Bowl for a number of reasons. First off, they’re playing at their home field even though this is technically considered a neutral site game. USF also performs great this time of year, winning 5 of their last 6 bowl games. Also, the 4-week break specifically Blake Barnett who missed 2 of the last 3 regular season games.
The USF offense vs. the Marshall defense is definitely going to be the matchup that determines this outcome. The Bulls could have a newfound excitement on offense with former NFL QB Shaun King a possible -and popular – choice to call plays with OC Sterlin Gilbert accepting a job at McNeese St. The Bulls averaged 35.6 ppg in 7 wins to start teh year but were held to 17 or less in 3 of the last 4.
The O/U for this game is set at 55.5 and USF’s inability to stop the rush will definitely be put to the test. The five game losing streak to close out the season was placed largely on the defense (although the offense didn’t help much either) as they allowed 35+ points to 4 of 5 opponents.
NCAA Football Handicapping Trends
- Thundering Herd are 6-0 ATS their last six bowl games
- Thundering Herd are 1-4 ATS their last five overall
- Bulls are 0-4 ATS their last four home games
Free Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl NCAA Football Pick
The big factor in this game is how much of an advantage home field is going to be for USF? The Bulls have played Texas Tech and South Carolina in bowl games the last two years so how will they get up for ‘lesser’ competition? Will the month layoff let the Bulls get healthy or are the players that are going to be returning going to be that much rustier?
4* Free NCAA Betting Pick: Marshall -2.5
There’s a reason Marshall is favored even though they are traveling for a bowl game in their opponent’s home stadium. There’s a lot of questions surrounding the USF offense right now, starting with whose going to be calling the plays and extending to who is going to be receiving them in their headset at QB.
The Marshall defense is an underrated group that should have a solid game under such a beleaguered offensive attack. Plus the Thundering Herd can run all day on the USF defense.
Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl Free Score Prediction: Marshall 38 – USF 16
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