FIU vs. Marshall: Betting the Spread for the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl

Johnathan CaceCorrespondent IDecember 19, 2011

GAINESVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 21: Coacg Mario Cristobal of the Florida International University Golden Panthers directs play against the Florida Gators, November 21, 2009 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Florida International takes on Marshall on Tuesday in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg. FIU is 8-4 in the Sun Belt and Marshall is 6-6 in Conference USA. Vegas currently has the Golden Panthers as a four point favorite over the Thundering Herd.

There are two players that you need to know, FIU receiver T.Y. Hilton and Marshall defensive end Vinny Curry.

Hilton is 50 yards away from a 1,000 yard season, as well as 111 yards rushing. He is also a threat in the return game, amassing 512 kickoff return yards and 186 punt return yards including one, 97-yarder that he returned for a touchdown.

His 201 yards and two touchdowns against Louisville earlier this season were both career highs. Hilton has scored a touchdown in his past three games.

Curry is second in the country in tackles for a loss and has 11 sacks on the season which is sixth. He also has three blocked kicks and six forced fumbles.

Unfortunately for Marshall, the team outside of him is nothing to write home about. The Thundering Herd are only scoring 22 points per game which is 98th in the country, while giving up 30. When this team loses, it typically loses in a big way.

Florida International has relied on defense to get to eight wins. Opponents have only scored 20 or more points four times all season while scoring 26 points per game.

Between Hilton and running back Kedrick Rhodes, who is averaging 93 yards per game on the ground, this game will be too much for an anemic Marshall offense. FIU should cover comfortably.