Temple Owls vs. Florida International Golden Panthers Gasparilla Bowl Free Pick - Odds

December 21, 8:00 PM EST

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
Temple -7

In the only college bowl game on Thursday, Dec. 21, the AAC’s Temple Owls square off against the Florida International Golden Panthers, out of Conference USA in the 2017 Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburgh. Game time on ESPN has been set for 8 p.m. (ET).

Temple vs. Florida International Game Overview

The Owls followed up last year’s run to an AAC title with a straight-up 4-4 record in conference play as part of a 6-6 record overall. The closed out the season with a 43-22 victory against Tulsa as 4.5-point road favorites to become bowl eligible. This was their third SU win in their last four games as part of a 6-2 run against the spread over their last eight contests. The total went OVER 57 points in their season finale and it has gone OVER in their last five games.

Sophomore quarterback Logan Marchi has sat out his last five games for Temple with a lower body injury and he remains questionable for this game. In his place, junior quarterback Frank Nutile has thrown for 1,356 yards and 11 touchdowns against seven interceptions. He completed 20-of-28 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns in that recent victory against Tulsa. Temple added another 193 yards on the ground in that game in one of its more complete efforts this season. One concern for this upcoming matchup could be a defense that has allowed an average of 27.7 points a game.


Florida International wrapped up its season on a strong note with back-to-back victories as a home underdog against Western Kentucky and Massachusetts to improve to 8-4 SU with a 6-6 record ATS. The total went OVER in eight of those 12 games including those final two wins. The Golden Panthers started to season with a lopsided 61-17 road loss to the AAC’s Central Florida Knights as 17-point underdogs.

The Golden Panthers could once again be without Thomas Owens as their top receiver. He is still considered questionable for this bowl after missing his last three starts. In his absence, senior quarterback Alex McGough completed six passes to Bryce Singleton for 111 yards and three scores in that season-ending victory against UMass. On the year, he has thrown for 2,791 yards and 17 scores. Florida International is another team that has had issues keeping opponents out of the end zone with a points-allowed average of 28.5.

Temple vs. Florida International Game Betting Trends

  • The Owls are a perfect 4-0 ATS in their last four games against C-USA, but they fall to 1-4 ATS in their last five games played at a neutral site. The total has gone OVER in five of their last seven games in a nonconference matchup.
  • The Golden Panthers have gone 0-4-1 ATS in their last five neutral-site games and they are 2-7 ATS in their last nine games against a nonconference opponent. The total has stayed UNDER or ended as a PUSH in six of their last seven December games.
  • This will be the first meeting in recent memory between these two Mid Major programs.

Temple vs. Florida International Free Game Prediction

This should be a good early-season bowl game between a pair of teams that closed out their regular season on a solid note. Florida International could have a bit of an edge behind its potent passing attack aided by some level of home field advantage with the game being played at Tropicana Field.

While the top play in this AAC/C-USA tilt could be the OVER on the current total line, I am going with a ‘best bet’ pick that the Golden Panthers do go on to win this game both SU and ATS as touchdown underdogs.

Free Pick: 
Take Florida International +7