Last Updated Dec 22, 2021, 10:36 AM

Bahamas Bowl Picks, Predictions and Odd: Middle Tennessee vs. Toledos

Dec. 17, 2021
Jonathan Willis
VI Betting Expert

The Bahamas Bowl features the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders taking on the Toledo Rockets from the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium in Nassau, Bahamas. Opening kick is set for 12:00 p.m. ET and will air on ESPN.

Score Prediction

Toledo 34, Middle Tennessee 20

Best Bets

Toledo -10 (-110) at Circa Sports

Bahamas Bowl Predictions

Bowl season will get started on Friday with the Bahamas Bowl. Middle Tennessee will take on Toledo in the only bowl game played outside the United States. This will be the second trip to the Bahamas Bowl for both the Blue Raiders and the Rockets. The Blue Raiders lost 45-31 to Western Michigan in 2015, while the Rockets fell 35-32 to Florida International in 2018.

This will be the first meeting between Middle Tennessee and Toledo. The Rockets are heavy favorites after ending the game on a three-game winning streak. The Blue Raiders needed to score 24 unanswered points against Florida Atlantic in their season finale in order to become bowl eligible, and this defense will get toasted by a good Toledo offense on Friday.

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Bahamas Bowl Betting Resources

  • Matchup: CUSA vs. MAC
  • Date: Friday, December 17, 2021
  • Venue: Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium
  • Location: Nassau, Bahamas
  • TV-Time: ESPN, 12:00 p.m. ET

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 6-6
  • ATS: 6-5-1
  • O/U: 5-7

The Blue Raiders are down to their third string quarterback. Chase Cunningham suffered a season-ending injury in late October, and former FSU quarterback Bailey Hockman announced that he was stepping away from the sport in September. That has forced Rick Stockstill to start freshman Nick Vattiato under center for the last month.

Vattiato had a disastrous debut. He threw five interceptions in his first start against Western Kentucky, but he has been better in his last three starts. Vattiato has been less mistake prone, tossing just one interception, but he hasn’t averaged more than 6.2 YPA in any game.

It doesn’t help matters that Middle Tennessee has one of the worst run games of all the bowl teams. Martell Pettaway has had some nice outings to close out the season though, running the ball 29 times for 227 yards and a score in the Blue Raiders’ last three games.

Middle Tennessee has an extremely opportunistic defense. The Blue Raiders lead the nation with 31 forced turnovers, and that has helped them make up for a mediocre offense. However, Toledo is the least turnover prone offense in the country with just six turnovers this year.

Toledo Rockets Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 7-5
  • ATS: 7-5
  • O/U: 6-6

Dequan Finn has been great since replacing Carter Bradley as Toledo’s starting quarterback. Finn is completing under 60% of his passes, but he is averaging 8.8 YPA with 16 touchdowns and just one interception. Additionally, Finn has become the second leading rusher on the Rockets and is averaging 4.2 YPC with eight touchdowns.

First Team All-MAC running back Bryant Koback is the top offensive option on Toledo. Koback ran for over 1,200 yards and 15 touchdowns in the regular season, and he has been electric in his last five games. He didn’t carry the ball more than 21 times in any game, yet he ran for 100 yards or more each time out with 10 touchdowns in that stretch.

This pass game relies on the big play. The three leading receivers on Toledo are averaging at least 14.4 YPR, and they will take deep shots on play action.

Toledo has a pretty good defense. The Rockets are allowing 22.0 PPG and 348.9 YPG, ranking in the top 35 in both categories nationally. The pass defense has been particularly good with Sam Womack and Tycen Anderson earning First Team All-MAC accolades.

Inside the Stats - Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

  • Record: 6-6
  • VI Ranking: 100
  • Points Scored: 206
  • Points Allowed: 319
  • PS/G: 17.2 (79th)
  • PA/G: 26.6 (102nd)

Inside the Stats - Toledo Rockets

  • Record: 7-5
  • VI Ranking: 88
  • Points Scored: 210
  • Points Allowed: 146
  • PS/G: 17.5 (77th)
  • PA/G: 12.2 (18th)

Key Players to Watch

  • MTST: Quincy Riley - DB (39 tackles, 5 INT, TD)
  • TOL: DeQuan Finn - QB (126/211, 1,862 yards, 16 TD, INT)
  • TOL: Bryant Koback - RB (190 carries, 1,281 yards, 15 TD)

Bahamas Bowl Betting Conclusion

It’s going to be tough for Middle Tennessee to move the ball in this game. The Blue Raiders just aren’t that potent on offense with their third-string quarterback, and their defense won’t be able to create the turnovers that led to them getting bowl eligible. Toledo should roll in this game.

Bahamas Bowl Betting Trends

  • Toledo has failed to cover the spread in five of its last six games when playing in December.
  • Middle Tennessee has gone OVER the point total in five straight games when playing in December.
  • Toledo has won four of its last five games.
  • Middle Tennessee has lost four of its last five games after winning the game prior.

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