Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:00 AM EST
Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl
Friday, Dec. 21 - Thomas Robinson Stadium, Nassau, Bahamas
Florida Intl +7 -105 over Toledo
4:00 PM EST. Jason Candle, a Mount Union product like his predecessor and former boss Matt Campbell, inherited a good Toledo program and kept it humming. Candle usually fields the best team and usually delivers when he does, with a 22-8 overall straight up record and 13-7 ATS mark as a favorite of a touchdown or more. We're fans of Candle's work but we also have to figure out whether the favorite is overpriced or the underdog is underpriced and in this case, we’re suggesting that the chalk is getting a bit too much credit. This one is all about skewed numbers by both sides, so let’s start with the Golden Panthers.
The Golden Panthers played the 127th ranked strength of schedule with a fortunate +9 in the net turnovers department. Against that 127th ranked schedule, FIU only managed to rank 93rd in offensive efficiency. FIU head coach Butch Davis has seen his team overachieve in each of the past two years but he is 5-3 in bowl games. The Panthers were a perfect 3-0 ATS as an underdog this year and this time around, they certainly have to feel disrespected.
Five of Toledo’s seven wins this season came against VMI (FCS), Bowling Green, Ball State, Kent State, and Central Michigan. Toledo also blew out Western Michigan when the Broncos lost their quarterback Jon Wassink to a season-ending injury during the game. in other words they have mostly taken advantage of cupcakes which oversells their quality. The Rockets only significant win was in a basketball score (66-43) on turf against Nevada in September.
Toledo was blown out by Northern Illinois, Buffalo, Fresno State, and Miami. They went 0-4 ATS against those four teams. Toledo allowed at least four touchdowns in seven of its 11 games versus FBS opponents. The weather figures to favor the team from Florida, as Toledo will leave chilly Ohio on Dec. 17 with four days to get acclimated to the heat. Meanwhile, FIU has a nice short flight over to the Bahamas, which has to feel like a business trip. Toledo did face the tougher schedule, taking on seven bowl teams this season while FIU faced only three -- the fewest of all bowl teams. Toledo was just 2-5 ATS against bowl teams, while FIU was 3-0 ATS this year. Finally, which team do you think is having more fun this week? A team from cold Ohio going to the Bahamas for four days or a bunch of players from Florida that have been spending days on the beach their entire lives? Now throw 7 points into the equation and this choice is not a difficult one.
We should mention that quarterback James Morgan, Conference USA’s Newcomer of the Year, will be forced to sit out the Bahamas Bowl because of a sore shoulder, according to comments made by FIU coach Butch Davis in a Miami Herald story posted on Wednesday. The number went from -4½ to -7 as soon as the news broke so there is that to deal with but we still like the situation for the underdog and the fact that a team usually rallies around a significant injury.
Open an account today at and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks.
FIU +7 -104 (Risking 2.08 units - To Win: 2.00)