FIU Golden Panthers vs. Toledo Rockets: NCAA Football Free Betting Pick

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Head Coach Jason Candle and the Toledo Rockets (-6) are coming into the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl as favorites against Coach Butch Davis and the FIU Golden Panthers. This daytime game is scheduled to kick off at 12:30 p.m. ET and ESPN will broadcast the action.

Betting Preview: Toledo Rockets vs. FIU Golden Panthers

FIU is playing the role of underdog and is currently getting 6 points in this game. The Golden Panthers are also receiving +185 moneyline odds while the Rockets are -230. Vegas has set the over/under (O/U) at 68.5 points, and if one side catches a lucky break early on, it will likely create a worthy live betting opportunity.

Early action has moved to both the Golden Panthers and the over. The line initially opened at -7 and the O/U was originally only 66.5.

The Golden Panthers have recorded 2.8 units so far and are 9-3 against the spread (ATS). The team has posted an O/U mark of 7-5.

The Rockets have lost 1.3 units for moneyline bettors this season. They’re 6-6 ATS and own an O/U record of 7-4.

The Golden Panthers are 8-4 straight up (SU) in 2018 while the Rockets are 7-5 SU.

The Golden Panthers look to get back in stride after a narrow 28-25 defeat to Marshall on November 24. The Golden Panthers defense allowed the Thundering Herd to eat up the clock by rushing for 154 yards on 32 attempts. On the offensive side of the ball, the Golden Panthers completed 25-of-38 passes for 201 yards and two interceptions. James Morgan went 21-for-33 for 177 yards and two interceptions while Christian Alexander completed four-of-five for 24 yards. Anthony Jones (just 32 rushing yards on 11 attempts, one TD) and Napoleon Maxwell (96 yards on nine carries, one TD) provided the running attack while Maurice Alexander (five receptions, 28 yards) and CJ Worton (five catches, 62 yards) handled the receiving duties in the defeat.

Toledo just picked up a 51-13 win over Central Michigan. Eli Peters completed 14-of-30 passes for 180 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Bryant Koback (124 yards on 22 rush attempts, two TDs) and Art Thompkins (51 yards on 10 carries, one TD) handled the running game as Desmond Phillips (seven receptions, 52 yards) and Jon’Vea Johnson (three catches, 87 yards, one TD) led the receiving attack in the win.

FIU has run the ball on 55.3 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Toledo has an overall rush percentage of 58.6 percent. The Golden Panthers have run for 171.6 yards/game and have 23 scores on the ground this year. The Rockets are putting up 223.6 rush yards per game and have 29 total rushing TDs.

If the numbers so far this season are any indication, then it’s looking like the Rockets might hold an advantage when it comes to effectiveness in the ground game. Their running backs has generated 5.3 yards per carry while the defense has allowed a YPC of 4.7 to opponents. The Golden Panthers have registered 4.7 yards per carry while allowing 5.0 yards per rush attempt to opponents.

The Golden Panthers offensive scheme has tallied 250.7 yards per game in the air overall and has 26 passing scores so far. The Rockets have produced 224.9 pass yards per contest and have 29 total pass TDs.

Defensively, FIU appears to have the upper hand when it comes to limiting the pass. The team has allowed opponents to run for an average of 198.4 yards and pass for 188.3 yards per game. The Toledo defense has given up 259.0 yards per game to opposing passers and 176.0 yards per game to opposing runners. The Golden Panthers are allowing an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of just 4.77 to opponents, while the Rockets have given up a 5.80 ANY/A.

Passing-wise, Morgan is up to 2,496 yards this season, and has connected on 64 percent of his 295 attempts with 24 passing scores and only seven interceptions. He has an 8.48 adjusted net yards per pass attempt overall, although that number sits at 5.83 over the last two games.

We’re expecting the Golden Panthers to control tempo by feeding their running backs early and often. Along with Austin Maloney (475 yards, five TDs), Napoleon Maxwell (571 rush yards, five rush TDs) and Anthony Jones (174 rush yards, three rush TDs) have been significant focal points in the FIU offensive scheme.

Eli Peters has managed to complete 113-of-213 passes for 1,442 yards, 13 TDs and seven INTs for Toledo. His ANY/A sits at 5.95 for the year and 7.41 over his last two outings.

The Rockets also prefer to utilize their backfield. Jon’Vea Johnson (556 receiving yards, six TDs) has contributed lately, but Bryant Koback (683 rush yards, 11 rush TDs) and Art Thompkins (441 rush yards, four rush TDs) have seen plenty of touches recently.

FIU Golden Panthers at Toledo Rockets Free Prediction

SU Winner: FIU, ATS Winner: FIU, O/U: Over

Team Betting Trends

  • The Toledo defensive unit has tallied 34 sacks on the year while FIU has just 20.
  • Toledo has lost six fumbles this season while the FIU offense has lost four.
  • The Golden Panthers offense has tallied 11 pass plays of 40 or more yards, while the Rockets have accounted for nine such plays.
  • The FIU defense has allowed five pass plays of 40 or more yards, while Toledo has given up 11 such plays.
  • The FIU offense has created 17 rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while Toledo has created 23 such runs.
  • The Golden Panthers defense has allowed 19 rushing plays of 20+ yards, while the Rockets have given up 22 such runs.
  • Toledo has won five of its last six games SU, with a -23-point loss to Northern Illinois on November 7th accounting for the only slip-up over that stretch.
  • FIU, as a team, has averaged 5.3 yards per carry over its past three games and 6.4 over its last two.
  • Toledo has averaged 6.0 yards per carry over its last three contests and 6.9 over its last two.