NCAAF Gasparilla Bowl Ga. Tech vs. UCF Betting Preview (Friday Night)

Written by:
Tony Caliente
Published on:

It’s Tampa as the site of the Gasparilla Bowl Friday evening, where the 6-6 (5-3 in ACC) Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets meet the 6-6 (3-6 Big 12) Central Florida Knights.


UCF, finishing 3-1 in its last four, makes a third Gasparilla Bowl appearance in the last five seasons (winning in 2019 and 2021).

Georgia Tech, meanwhile, earns a 46th bowl game, but first in the Gasparilla. It’s the Ramblin’ Wreck’s first bowl since 2018.   

Central Florida is a 4½-point favorite (total at 67½), according to college football odds.

Moneyline is UCF -190, Ga. Tech at +163.

Georgia Tech is leading the all-time series, 3-2, UCF having won the last two. 

Run, Wreck, Run

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets feature a potent ground game.  

Tech was the conference leader in rushing (197.1 yards per game), third in total offense (429.1 yards/game) and fourth in scoring (31.2 points/game).

Quarterback Haynes King (2,755 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, 15 interceptions) has been a bit of a wild card through the air, but his nine rushing touchdowns leads the team. He and Jamal Haynes (team-leading 931 yards) have nearly 1,600 ground yards (16 touchdowns).

Frosh wideout Eric Singleton (47 receptions, 706 yards, six touchdowns) leads the arsenal    

Tech wasn’t the best of units on defense (32.1 points/game and 450/1 yards/game) this season.

UCF Loaded With Talent

Give the UCF Knights some credit, as in averaging 31.1 points/game the past two seasons.

UCF is able to move the chains with balance, 492.3 yards/game (259.3 passing, 233.2 rushing).

Quarterback John Rhys Plumlee (2,073 passing yards, 13 touchdowns, eight interceptions) went 23-of-27 against Houston (253 yards, one touchdown) in the season’s final game.

Leading rusher R.J. Harvey (1,296 yards, 16 touchdowns) had a 206-yard. three-touchdown game against Oklahoma St. last month.

UCF surrendered 26½ points/game, though tighter (39 points in last three) in the latter portion.

It’s the Knights

There are any number of props available, as per Georgia Tech vs. Central Florida wagers.

Tech will be trying to control this game with its ground game, best in the ACC.

While the Ramblin’ Wreck can move the needle on the scoreboard, the UCF Knights appear to have more skilled players on the roster. That, and a venue closer (84 miles) to its campus.

Take the UCF Knights -4½ in the Gasparilla Bowl. Go under, too.

- Tony Caliente,

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