Independence Bowl Spread: 2017 College Football Bowl Odds, Prediction

Jeremy Perry | Updated Dec 21, 2017


Florida State had made a bowl game 35 straight seasons, the longest such streak in the country.

December 27, 2017, 1:30 PM ET
Independence Stadium
Pointspread +13 -110
Moneyline +400
Over / Under o +50


Betting Action


Pointspread -13 -110
Moneyline -525
Over / Under u +50


Betting Action


That streak appeared to be in grave danger when the Seminoles fell three games below .500. It was also in danger due to a scheduling and logistics problem which did not offer a guaranteed solution. However, Florida State was able to win two games, get a game rescheduled, win, and finish at 6-6 to push the bowl streak to 36 straight years. The bowl game isn’t sexy, but Florida State players should be happy to be playing in any bowl game at all. The Seminoles will take on Southern Mississippi in out-of-the-way Shreveport, Louisiana, in one of the low-key entries of the bowl season. It beats staying home for the holidays.

Golden Eagles vs Seminoles Spread and Betting Analysis

We’ve seen some clear action on Florida State in this contest. The Seminoles opened up as a 14.5-point favorite at SportsInteraction. However, the line has climbed all the way up to 16.5. USM has played well as a dog this season, covering four of five games in that role. Florida State was just 3-8 ATS on the season and that has to do with perceptions. They were supposed to be one of the best teams in the country but ended up barely qualifying for a bowl.

The most famous meeting between these two schools occurred in 1989, when a quarterback named Brett Favre – ever heard of him? – led Southern Miss to an upset victory over Bobby Bowden and Florida State. Back then, both schools were independents.

Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles

The Golden Eagles, in previous seasons, had been able to win the East Division of Conference USA. They fell short of the division title this year while also losing multiple times against SEC teams. The Golden Eagles fell to Kentucky as well as Tennessee. This is not one of the stronger USM teams in recent years. Southern Mississippi will need Florida State to play without passion or focus, which is possible, but not to be assumed.

Southern Mississippi beat Rice, Charlotte and Marshall to close the season after losing to UAB and Tennessee in previous weeks. The Golden Eagles have every reason to be confident that they are headed in the right direction.

Florida State Seminoles

Florida State finished the regular season 6-6, but the Seminoles played very good teams closely. They lost to Miami on a go-ahead touchdown in the final minute of regulation and lost to North Carolina State by one possession. This team lost star quarterback Deondre Francois in the first game of the season, a competitive loss to Alabama, and still fought hard the whole season. Replacement quarterback James Blackman showed promise but, due to his youth, was vulnerable to making big mistakes in fourth quarters of games. Southern Miss will try to bait him into more mistakes. What complicates the matter is that FSU lost head coach Jimbo Fisher to Texas A&M, so one doesn’t know what an interim staff will do. However, FSU players had grown tired of Fisher’s actions, so they could be refreshed by this change of leadership.

Taking a look at momentum, Florida State fell to 3-6 before winning its final three games to gain bowl eligibility. Florida State’s game with Louisiana-Monroe was postponed from earlier in the season. A number of teams which had games postponed by hurricanes earlier in the season were not able to reschedule and play the postponed game. Florida State was an exception. Had FSU not been able to play its 12th game, it would not have made this bowl game because its record would have been 5-6, insufficient for bowl eligibility.

Golden Eagles vs. Seminoles Prediction