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The Motor City hosts its first bowl game of the year this season on Sunday night in a standalone duel in primetime. Making college football picks on the clash between the Florida International Golden Panthers and the Toledo Rockets should be relatively easy, and here at Cappers Info, we have the ins and outs for the game that you need to know in order to be successful and cash in big!
Little Caesars Bowl Matchup: Florida International Golden Panthers vs. Toledo Rockets
Date: Sunday, December 64th, 8:30 ET
Location: Ford Field, Detroit, MI
Little Caesars Bowl Line: Toledo -1.5
Golden Panthers Notes: The Golden Panthers are playing in their first bowl game in team history on Sunday, and if they have the same sort of success in their first bowl game is their brethren, the Florida Atlantic Owls, they're going to be in great shape. We have to give Head Coach Mario Cristobal all the credit in the world for getting this team to .500 and winning the Sun Belt this year in a season in which many thought that this would be a last place team. Truth be told, a very difficult schedule really didn't play into the hands of the Golden Panthers, though they nearly claimed a scalp from a big time conference against the Maryland Terrapins, Texas A&M Aggies, and Rutgers Scarlet Knights. QB Wesley Carroll is the only many on this roster to have played in a bowl game before. He took the Mississippi State Bulldogs to the Liberty Bowl in 2007 and won the game 10-3 in one of the ugliest displays that we college football bettors have seen in a bowl game. Still, he can rally this team around and can show them that they have the ability to win this duel in spite of the fact that the Little Caesars Bowl odds are stacked against them. The Golden Panthers have a fantastic running game that once had three men rush for 100+ yards in a game against the Troy Trojans earlier this year. RB Darriet Perry rumbled for 707 yards and 14 scores this year, while his backup, RB Darrian Mallary had 669 yards on the ground with two scores. Meanwhile, Carroll did have the best season that an FIU QB has ever had, throwing for 2,483 yards and 15 TDs.
Rockets Notes: We'd probably feel a lot better about the Rockets if we didn't know that they were the last team to get into a bowl game this year. Their fellow MAC squad, the Temple Owls, were left home in spite of the fact that they had the exact same record at 8-4. Where Toledo gets the nod is the fact that it really stood in the face of adversity this season when it lost starting QB Austin Dantin. Since that point, the ball has been in the hands of QB Terrance Owens, who has played spectacular ball in his freshman campaign. Owens has thrown for 1,112 yards and 12 TDs, which is five scores more than Dantin had for the rest of the season. Keep a very close eye on WR Eric Page in this one, as he had 94 grabs for 1,081 yards and eight TDs in his second season with the Rockets. Page might only be 5'10", but he is a speedy receiver that has some fantastic hands. Page is averaging right at nine catches per game over the last nine games. RB Adonis Thomas averaged over six yards per carry this year, and it is a shame that he really doesn't get the ball in his hands enough to make a tremendous impact on some games. Still, Toledo's top back had 905 yards and visits to pay dirt this year. Defensively, the Rockets might have allowed 28.1 points per game this year, but if you take out the 41 the Arizona Wildcats scored and the 65 the Northern Illinois Huskies put on the board, you realize that this was a very respectable 'D' all season long.
The Final Word: The Golden Panthers might be the better team in this game in spite of the fact that they came from the worse conference and had a worse record. This was a significantly harder schedule that they had to play to get to this point, and it is going to show on Sunday night with a big time triumph over the Rockets.
Little Caesars Bowl Free Pick: Florida International +1.5
Little Caesars Bowl Prediction: Florida International 31 – Toledo 19