Boca Raton Bowl Spread: 2017 College Football Bowl Odds, Prediction

Payton Matthews | Updated Dec 19, 2017

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Tuesday’s Boca Raton Bowl might feature two off-the-radar schools in Akron and Florida Atlantic, but it’s a big-name coaching matchup -- and also a home game for the Owls.

December 19, 2017, 7:00 PM ET
FAU Football Stadium
Pointspread +23.5 -110
Moneyline +1250
Over / Under o +65


Betting Action


Pointspread -23.5 -110
Moneyline -2750
Over / Under u +65


Betting Action


It’s the first-ever meeting between Akron and Florida Atlantic. The Owls are one of a few teams fortunate enough to play in a bowl game in their home stadium.  Akron and FAU did both play Buffalo this year. The Zips won at home on Oct. 28, 21-20. The Owls lost in Buffalo on Sept. 23, 34-31.

Zips at Owls Spread and Betting Analysis

That 22-point spread is by far the biggest of any bowl game this year; No. 2 as of this writing is Florida State at -16 against Southern Miss in the Dec. 27 Independence Bowl.

This Boca Raton Bowl coaching matchup isn’t one you would normally see in such a minor bowl game. Akron is led by Terry Bowden, who was quite successful at Auburn from 1993-98. His first Tigers team finished unbeaten – the only major school to finish so in ’93 — but wasn’t eligible to play in a postseason game due to NCAA probation. Bowden has been at Akron since 2012.

FAU is coached by Lane Kiffin. He has led programs at powerhouses Tennessee and Southern Cal and spent 20 games in charge of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders. Last year, Kiffin was the offensive coordinator at Alabama. However, when he took the FAU job, Nick Saban opted to dump Kiffin before the national championship game. Who knows if the Tide win that if Kiffin is still around.

Akron is in its fourth bowl game.  It was most recently in 2015, beating Utah State 23-21 for the first bowl win in school history. It’s the third bowl for FAU and first since 2008.

Akron Zips

The Zips (7-6 SU, 9-4 ATS) were the champions of the Mid-American Conference’s East Division but were routed 45-28 by state-rival Toledo in the conference title game. This will be a homecoming for redshirt freshman quarterback Kato Nelson (909 yards, 8 TD), who is from nearby Hollywood, Fla. He was recruited by FAU. Nelson began the season as the backup to Thomas Woodson, but when Woodson was suspended three games for violating team rules, Nelson played well enough in relief to keep the job – although Woodson could see some action considering he’s a senior. The Zips aren’t a great offensive team, averaging just 25.6 points and near the bottom nationally in rushing at 108.5 ypg.

Florida Atlantic Owls

Some believed Kiffin would get another Power 5 conference job after the remarkable one-year turnaround he accomplished with the Owls (10-3 SU, 9-4 ATS), who were 3-9 in each of the previous three seasons under Charlie Partridge. FAU enters on a nine-game winning streak and routed North Texas 41-17 in the Conference USA Championship Game. Kiffin’s specialty is offence, and FAU has a terrific one in ranking Top 10 nationally in points (39.8 ppg – not less than 30 once during the winning streak) and rushing (283.2 ypg). Sophomore running back Devin Singletary has run for 1,796 yards and leads the country in scoring with 30 TDs (29 rushing, one receiving). FAU was 5-2 ATS at home this year.

Boca Raton Bowl Prediction