The Gasparilla Bowl was first played in 2008 as the St. Petersburg Bowl, before a series of corporate name changes (Beef ’O Brady’s, Bitcoin). The current moniker is taken from the famous Gasparilla Pirate Festival, an annual parade and party held across the bay from St. Petersburg in neighboring Tampa, Florida.
Played at Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays of MLB, the Gasparilla Bowl is one of only three NCAA bowl games to take place in a baseball stadium.
The game pits a representative from the American Athletic Conference against an opponent from the Atlantic Coast Conference or Conference USA. However, contingencies allow for the Mid-American and Sun Belt conferences to compete on occasion, and the Southeast Conference sent Mississippi State in 2016.
Given that wide pool of potential participants, which includes no less than six in-state universities, it’s no surprise to see the Sunshine State well represented in Gasparilla Bowl history.
In 2008, the hometown University of South Florida rolled over Memphis 41-14 in the inaugural game, covering as 10.5-point favorites in the Bulls’ only appearance. The following year, the University of Central Florida lost 45-24, failing to cover as 2.5-point underdogs. Florida International University fell 20-10 to Marshall as 4-point dogs in 2011.
Favorites tend to excel in this one, compiling a 6-3 record against the spread through 2016. Overall, favorites had cashed in with a cover three of four times when the spread was set at 7 points or more.
This year’s Gasparilla Bowl will see the Marshall Thundering Herd take on the UCF Bulls. For more handicapping info, a free pick and odds, check out our Gasparilla Bowl Game Center.
|Year||Bowl||Team||Score||Team||Score||Spread||ATS Sportsbook||SU Sportsbook|
|2008||Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl||Memphis||14||South Florida||41||-10.5||S.FLA||S.FLA|
|2009||Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl||Central Florida||24||Rutgers||45||-2.5||RUTGER||RUTGER|
|2010||Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl||Louisville||31||Southern Miss||28||+2||LOUISV||LOUISV|
|2011||Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl||Florida International||10||Marshall||20||+4||MARSHL||MARSHL|
|2012||Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl||Ball State||17||Central Florida||38||-7.5||C.FLA||C.FLA|
|2013||Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl||Ohio||20||East Carolina||37||-14.5||ECU||ECU|
|2014||St. Petersburg Bowl||NC State||34||Central Florida||27||-2||NC State||NC State|
|2015||St. Petersburg Bowl||Connecticut||10||Marshall||16||-3||Marshall||Marshall|
|2016||St. Petersburg Bowl||Miami Ohio||16||Mississippi State||17||-14.5||Miami Ohio||Miss.State|
|2018||Gasparilla Bowl||Marshall||30||South Florida||20||+3||Marshall||Marshall|