The college football bowl season kicks off on a Tuesday for the first time this year when the Florida International Golden Panthers battle the Marshall Thundering Herd in the Beef O'Brady's Bowl. This bowl game will be played in St. Petersburg, Fla and will be the fourth game of the season.

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The college football bowl game odds opened up with the Golden Panthers as 4.5 point favorites over Marshall. The early betting trend by the public saw 60% of the money on FIU, but the line started to drop and now can be found as low as 3.5 at some offshore sportsbooks. This is often an indication of smart money, but there is more to this game than just a line. Click Here for Odds on all the BCS Games

The Golden Panthers finished with an 8-4 record on the season and that is a franchise record at FIU. The Panthers hope to carry this momentum into the game against Marshall. When the Panthers take the field, the offense will grab the spotlight. Wesley Carroll is under center and has been hot down the stretch avoiding costly upsets that will hurt any college team. His top target is T.Y. Hilton who is arguably the best player on the field. Hilton is a playmaker and owns most of the receiving records on the Panthers. The Thundering Herd will have their hands full on defense.

The Herd comes in with a nice little streak, winning four out of the last six games to become bowl eligible and nab this invite. On defense they have a big piece to work with as Vinny Curry, the 2011 C-USA Defensive Player of the Year will lead the team in this game. This unit caused 28 turnovers on the season and can drastically change this game.

On offense freshman signal-caller Rakeem Cato is under center, but he is not playing like a freshman. He was 23 of 29 for 341 yards and two touchdowns against East Carolina and if he puts up that kind of output in this game the Herd could win this game.

The Golden Panthers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games as a favorite and 1-6 ATS in their last seven games on turf. The Thundering Herd is 7-1 ATS in their last eight games in December and 6-1 ATS in their last seven Bowl games

The Herd has an edge on defense and that will be enough to keep this game close, so the points are the play.

Beef O'Brady's Bowl Pick Against the Spread: Marshall +4.5