The regular season and championship Saturday have concluded in college football, and now, the bowl schedule has been set. And, we’re obviously keenly interested in the Florida schools that are involved in the upcoming games, including the two “New Year’s 6” contests.
Here are the matchups again with the initial odds from Las Vegas, courtesy of Vegasinsider.com
In the Gasparilla Bowl Thursday December 20th, USF is a surprising 2 1/2 point underdog to the Marshall Thundering Herd. Marshall, out of Conference USA, did pull off an upset of Florida International on the final day of the regular season. And, you are probably aware that the Bulls lost their last five games in a row doing them no favors with the oddsmakers. Still, it’s interesting that in a game that is essentially a home one for USF, they are not at least favored.
The following day on Friday December 21st Butch Davis’ FIU Panthers will be playing Toledo in the Bahamas and the Rockets have been installed as a six-point favorite in that one. While that might be surprising, Toledo did win four of their last five games and scored at least 45 points in all four wins.
On Thursday December 27th. the Miami Hurricanes get a rematch with the Wisconsin Badgers out of the Big Ten in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Wisconsin handled Miami in the Orange Bowl a year ago, and the Canes obviously have payback on their mind. Miami played well in their last two wins of the regular season at Virginia Tech and against Pitt. So the Hurricanes being installed as a four-point favorite looks about right
One line that is surprising is the Peach Bowl for Saturday December 29th. That’s when the Gators take on the Michigan Wolverines out of the Big Ten. And, the oddsmakers already have great belief in Jim Harbaugh and his team, installing them as a seven-point favorite. Florida won their final three games of the regular season to finish with a 9-3 record, while Michigan was wiped out by Ohio State in their rivalry game two weeks ago.
Still Vegas believes much more in Harbaugh and the Big Ten, at least initially, in this one.
And finally, UCF is playing New Year’s afternoon in the “New Year 6” Fiesta Bowl against LSU, and they still aren’t getting very much respect. That’s because the oddsmakers have the Tigers favored by 7 1/2 over the unbeaten Knights. UCF however, is going to be undaunted coming off of their blowout win over Memphis in the American Conference Championship Game 58 to 41.
LSU meantime has dropped three games, including their 7 overtime 74 – 72 lost to Texas A&M two weeks ago. The SEC traditionally has the deepest and most talented league in college football, and that has to be why Vegas is disrespecting UCF once again.
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