Gasparilla Bowl Prediction: Georgia Tech vs. UCF Odds, Spread, DFS Picks, and More

    Will Georgia Tech or UCF end the 2023 football season in style? Step this way for the latest odds, DFS picks, and a Gasparilla Bowl prediction.

    We’ve got a little Friday night lights action in Tampa as the 6-6 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the 6-6 UCF Knights come together for the Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl.

    Will UCF or Georgia Tech see the 2023 college football season out in style? Ahead of the game, we’ve got the latest college football betting odds, DFS picks, and a Gasparilla Bowl prediction.

    Gasparilla Bowl Betting and DFS Preview

    All odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook and correct as of Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023. Want to take advantage of the Gasparilla Bowl odds? Visit the College Football Network live college football odds page to place bets in your state.

    • Spread
      UCF -5
    • Moneyline
      UCF -198, Georgia Tech +164
    • Over/Under
      66.5 points
    • Game time
      6:30 p.m. ET
    • Location
      Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
    • Predicted Weather at Kick
      59 degrees, 8 mph winds, cloudy intervals
    • How to Watch
      ESPN, FuboTV

    Looking to gamble on Georgia Tech this Friday night? Are the Knights a nailed-on money spinner in bowl season? If you take advantage of the Gasparilla Bowl odds, consider some of the following factors before you part with your hard-earned cash.

    In a bowl season rarity, Georgia Tech and UCF are just one year removed from their last meeting. In fact, the Yellow Jackets and Knights have gone into battle twice in the past four seasons, with UCF emerging victorious in both, stemming the tide of what has previously been a one-sided head-to-head in favor of Georgia Tech who won three straight from 1996 to 2000.

    UCF won both of the last two by comfortable margins, but it’s more the form of the two teams this season — plus several high-profile opt-outs for the Yellow Jackets — that is informing the Knights entering the game as a five-point favorite. While both teams are 6-6, UCF snapped a mid-season losing streak to go 3-1 down the stretch, including a 45-3 win over Oklahoma State.

    Although Georgia Tech is 6-2 covering the spread as an underdog this season, and UCF hasn’t covered as a single-digit favorite this year, our Gasparilla Bowl prediction details why we think there’ll be an exception. Rounding out the betting odds, the high points total is reflective of two 30+ point average offenses, but the last four UCF games came under the line.

    Top DFS Picks and Fantasy Plays

    Georgia Tech Depth Chart | UCF Depth Chart

    • QB Haynes King, Georgia Tech
    • QB John Rhys Plumlee, UCF
    • QB Timmy McClain, UCF
    • RB Jamal Haynes, Georgia Tech
    • RB Dontae Smith, Georgia Tech
    • RB Trevion Cooley, Georgia Tech
    • RB RJ Harvey, UCF
    • RB Johnny Richardson, UCF
    • RB Jordan McDonald, UCF
    • WR Malik Rutherford, Georgia Tech
    • WR Eric Singleton Jr, Georgia Tech
    • WR Dominick Blaylock, Georgia Tech
    • WR Javon Baker, UCF
    • WR Kobe Hudson, UCF
    • WR Xavier Townsend, UCF
    • TE Dylan Leonard, Georgia Tech
    • TE Alec Holler, UCF

    There’s just one college football game on Friday to compile your DFS team. If you’re new to DFS, Fanduel’s one-game contests allow you to select four Flex positions from the quarterback, running backs, wide receivers, and tight end positions in one-game slates. One-game slates give you an MVP that scores 1.5x the points of a normal player.

    Kicking off your Gasparilla Bowl picks at that MVP position, there’s a clear contender in UCF running back RJ Harvey. The diminutive rusher has handled the rock 20 times or more in each of the Knights’ last four games, scored multiple touchdowns in each, and led all UCF players with 260.7 fantasy points. He has a very favorable matchup here, too.

    Another player with a touchdown in each of their last four is Georgia Tech quarterback Haynes King. The former Texas A&M dual-threat hasn’t put up huge yardage as a passer but has at least one rushing score in over half of Georgia Tech’s games this season. He has almost double the fantasy points of the next highest-scoring Yellow Jackets fantasy asset.

    Harvey and King might put a significant dent in your DFS budget, so while there may be more obvious players to round out your winning lineup, you’re going to need a value pick and that could come in the form of UCF wide receiver Xavier Townsend who averages over 10 yards per catch, but also over 10 yards per carry as a versatile, explosive, under-the-radar weapon.

    Prediction for the Gasparilla Bowl

    Okay, so we’ve furnished you with the Gasparilla Bowl odds and some DFS picks. Now, it’s time to close this thing out with our prediction. Which team gets to seven wins and who leaves 2023 with a losing record? Can Georgia Tech overturn recent results or will UCF continue their winning streak against the Yellow Jackets?

    After steadying the Georgia Tech ship last season, Brent Key’s first full season as the head coach of the Yellow Jackets has seen him lead the team to a bowl game for the first time since 2018.

    MORE: Bowl Game Opt-Out Tracker

    They’ve overcome preseason expectations with an offense that has averaged 31.2 points per game, largely predicated on the ground game and dual-threat ability of Haynes King.

    They’ve also unearthed a star in pass catcher Eric Singleton Jr., recently named to the CFN Freshman All-American Team, after tallying 706 yards and six touchdowns this year. Meanwhile, Jamal Haynes and Dontae Smith have averaged over five yards per carry for a rushing offense that ranks 17th in the nation for yards per game and ninth for yards per carry.

    While that’s impressive, UCF ranks fifth in the nation with 5.65 yards per carry, in the top 25 for rushing touchdowns, and fifth for rushing yards per game. Harvey has been the catalyst, but Johnny Richardson and a combination of the two quarterbacks have also added over 1,000 rushing yards.

    The result has been 32.5 points per game for Gus Malzahn’s team this season.

    With two ground games powering the offense, run defense should decide the outcome.

    The Yellow Jackets have allowed 225.67 rushing yards per game, 5.41 yards per carry, and 28 rushing touchdowns, all worse than UCF. They’ll also be without star defensive lineman Kyle Kennard, who takes 21.5 career tackles for loss with him to South Carolina via the portal.

    Prediction: Georgia Tech 27, UCF 35

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