college football

Middle Tennessee vs. Toledo: Bahamas Bowl betting odds, preview, and pick

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

December 15th, 2021

Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium in Nassau, Bahamas is the site for Friday’s seventh annual Bahamas Bowl, as the college football bowl season kicks off. The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders will represent Conference USA in this contest against the MAC’s Toledo Rockets.

Let’s dig into the matchup before giving out our best bet in the Bahamas Bowl.

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (6-6) at Toledo Rockets (7-5), 12:00 p.m. ET, ESPN

Fri, December 17 2021, 5:00 PM

Middle Tennessee






O 50







U 50

When Middle Tennessee has the ball

The Blue Raiders are led on offense by third-string quarterback Nick Vattiato, who’s been highly inconsistent with the nation’s 62nd-ranked aerial assault.

Vattiato’s best performance to date came in a 50-10 slaughter of Florida International on Nov. 13, when he went 20-for-24 through the air for 147 yards and two touchdowns. But just one week earlier, Vattiato had a wretched game, throwing five interceptions.

The freshman could have his work cut out for him fighting 17 mph winds in Nassau, as well as Toledo’s 20th-ranked pass stoppers (197.5 yards allowed per game).

Middle Tennessee also features an unremarkable committee of running backs – headmanned by senior Martell Pettaway (74 carries, 359 yards, three touchdowns) – that ranked 97th in rushing yards per game in 2021 (123.0).

When Toledo has the ball

Freshman quarterback Dequan Finn and junior running back Bryant Koback have formed a dynamic one-two punch for a Rockets offense that’s 31st in the country in yards per game (435.3).

Finn has completed just 59.7% of his passes this year, but is averaging 8.8 yards per attempt, and has tossed just one interception. He’s also thrown 16 touchdowns, and rushed for another eight.

Koback has run for at least 100 yards in five straight games, accumulating 10 of his 15 rushing touchdowns on the year in that stretch.

Though the Blue Raiders’ defense is a decent 53rd in opponent yards per game this year (377.1), Toledo shouldn’t be intimidated.

Middle Tennessee vs. Toledo betting trends

  • Middle Tennessee is 1-7 ATS in its last eight games in December
  • Toledo is 4-1 ATS in its last five non-conference games
  • The Over is 4-0 in Middle Tennessee’s last four bowl games
  • The Over is 9-3 in Toledo’s last 12 Friday games

The verdict

The Rockets averaged 43.2 points over their final five games, as they went 4-1 to close out the season. This was a team that lost by just a field goal to No. 8 Notre Dame earlier in the campaign, and lost four of their five games by only one possession.

Middle Tennessee can’t match that résumé, as they lost to their only ranked opponent – No. 24 UTSA – by two touchdowns. Lay the points with Toledo in the Bahamas Bowl.

Score prediction: Toledo 35, Middle Tennessee 20

NCAAF pick: Toledo -10.5

Middle Tennessee vs. Toledo pick powered by The Quant Edge

Our predictive engine is calling for Toledo to win on the moneyline in the Bahamas Bowl.