FIU vs. Marshall Line at -4: St. Petersburg Bowl Betting

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Dec/20/2011
FIU vs. Marshall Line

The FIU vs. Marshall line was coming in at -4 in favor of Florida International for Tuesday night’s St. Petersburg Bowl.  You can bet this game at Sportsbook.com and receive up to $250 in FREE CASH.  Use promo code CARRIE STROUP

Sportsbook.com Line & Total: Florida International -4 & 48.5

Opening Line & Total: FIU -4 & 49.5

FIU is trying to close out the winningest season in school history with a fourth straight victory, while Marshall looks to finish the 2011 campaign with a winning record when the two schools clash in Tuesday’s St. Petersburg Bowl.

This game features two huge talents with Thundering Herd DE Vinny Curry (11 sacks, 6 FF, 21 TFL this year) and Golden Panthers WR T.Y. Hilton (8 rec. TD in 2011, 6 career return TD). These teams have two common opponents, as both schools beat Louisville, and FIU topped UCF 17-10 at home, but Marshall lost 16-6 at UCF. Like many evenly-matched football teams, the winner will likely be the school that doesn’t turn the ball over. And in this instance, that team is FIU, with just one turnover in the past three games. Marshall has coughed it up 11 times in its past three games. The Panthers also have a more consistent offense and a top-notch special teams unit led by Hilton.

The Panthers have been very efficient on offense lately, scoring 33.3 PPG on 339 total YPG in the past three contests. Hilton has found the end zone in each of these games, including a 97-yard punt return TD against Florida Atlantic. Hilton is a big reason his team leads the nation in punt return average (15.9) and ranks fifth in kick returns (26.3 avg). But the Panthers have many more contributors than just Hilton. Senior QB Wesley Carroll has thrown 14 TD and only 4 INT this year, but he’ll have to watch out for Curry and Marshall star safety Omar Brown who had 4 INT in one game against UAB in October. FIU RB Kedrick Rhodes has piled up 1,121 rushing yards and 8 TD this season. Rhodes has five 115-yard performances in 2011, including 117 yards on 20 carries (5.9 YPC) the last game at Middle Tennessee. He has helped the team rush for 515 yards (172 YPG) in the past three contests, but Marshall has held its past two opponents to 171 yards on 66 carries (2.6 YPC).

After scoring a mere 13.2 PPG in their first six games this year, the Thundering Herd offense has been much more potent in the second half of the season, averaging 30.8 PPG.  Freshman QB Rakeem Cato’s confidence is growing, and he’s coming off a tremendous performance against East Carolina. He completed 23-of-29 passes for 341 yards, 2 TD and 0 INT in leading his team to a 34-27 overtime win. Junior WR Aaron Dobson caught both of the touchdowns, giving him six scores in the past five games. Marshall’s running game has been weak all year, reaching 200 yards just once (217 vs. Rice). At 123 rushing YPG, the Herd rank 92nd in the nation in run defense. Meanwhile, the Panthers have the 23rd-best run defense in the land, allowing only 121 YPG.

Marshall is 6-1 in bowl games since 1998 and FIU played in its first-ever bowl last year, and won a 34-32 thriller over Toledo with a last-second field goal.

- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter

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