MetroBet’s predictions for the Bahamas Bowl and Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
Florida International Golden Panthers vs. Toledo Rockets (-4.5)
Moneyline: Florida International +170, Rockets -195
Betting Total: 59 points
Time (Eastern), TV: 12:30 p.m., ESPN
The fifth annual Bahamas Bowl will be contested between the Florida International Golden Panthers (8-4) and the Toledo Rockets (7-5) on Friday afternoon at Thomas Robinson Stadium in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas. Those hoping for idyllic conditions will be disappointed, as the forecast calls for rain and high winds throughout the day. That bodes well for Toledo and their run-heavy offense.
Bryant Koback gets the bulk of the carries for the Rockets, and he’s rushed for 316 yards and four TDs in his last two games alone. Quarterback Eli Peters has been in good form too, and it shows on the scoreboard. Toledo has tallied 45 or more points in four of their last five contests. Expect the Rockets to feed Koback and his fellow halfbacks early and often in the bad weather against a Golden Panthers defense that was 100th this season in rushing yards allowed per game (198.4).
FIU signal caller James Morgan is fine at what he does and Toledo has been susceptible to the pass this year, but the rain and wind will inhibit his effectiveness.
Prediction: Toledo wins, 35-21
The play: Toledo -4.5
Western Michigan Broncos vs. BYU Cougars (-12)
Moneyline: Broncos +395, Cougars -470
Betting Total: 49.5 points
Time (Eastern), TV: 4 p.m., ESPN
The blue turf of Albertsons Stadium in Boise, ID plays host to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, which pits the Western Michigan Broncos (7-5) against the BYU Cougars (6-6) this Friday afternoon.
The Broncos were clearly not the cream of the crop in the MAC this year, as they were crushed in consecutive weeks by Toledo and Ohio. They even lost a game to Ball State before grabbing a bounce-back win against the mediocre Northern Illinois Huskies to end their regular season. This slide coincides with a change at quarterback to Kaleb Eleby after Jon Wassink went down with an ankle injury. Eleby is certainly not to blame for his team allowing an average of over 43 points per game. However, Western Michigan could have some difficulty moving the ball against the Cougars, who allow just 21.7 points per game.
BYU also made a mid-season change at quarterback, and though freshman Zach Wilson posted the same 3-3 record that senior Tanner Mangum had before he was benched, Wilson’s unit was good for 31 points per game, compared to 21.2 with Mangum under center (per oddsshark.com).
The point spread is rather large for a bowl game, but BYU would be the pick. However, the Over looks fairly appealing at just 49.5 points. Five of the last six Cougars games have exceeded 50 points, while the Over has cashed in the last four Broncos games.
Prediction: BYU wins, 38-24
The play: Western Michigan v. BYU Over 49.5 points