Betting preview for EasyPost Hawai'i Bowl: Middle Tennessee State vs. San Diego State

By Adam Burke  ( 

December 18, 2022 09:35 PM

Previewing the EasyPost Hawai'i Bowl: Middle Tennessee State vs. San Diego State

It's the most wonderful time of the year, and there are 43 college football bowls to wager on. VSiN is here to help bettors sort through them all and find the value. Be sure to check out our College Football Bowl Betting Guide, our homepage for individual bowl previews and our running best bets file.

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This is the preview for the EasyPost Hawai'i Bowl

Middle Tennesse State vs. San Diego State (-7, 49.5)

Date: Saturday, Dec. 24, 8:00  p.m. ET

Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex (Honolulu)

Betting splits: 64% of handle, 54% of bets on San Diego State -7

One of the biggest early line moves of the bowl season came in the Hawai'i Bowl between Middle Tennessee and San Diego State. The opening line of -3.5 from DraftKings quickly shot up to -6 as other books started to open their numbers. The line settled in at -7 and hasn’t really moved since for the Christmas Eve tradition unlike any other.

San Diego State was last in the Hawai’i Bowl in 2015 and absolutely trucked Cincinnati by a 42-7 count. Rashaad Penny ran back the opening kickoff for a touchdown and ran the ball 52 times on 64 plays. I wouldn’t expect the same result here, but the Aztecs' offense did improve greatly when Jalen Mayden took over at quarterback. Mayden led the team in passing yards after his first start, despite not playing all of September.

However, the Aztecs don’t have that standout running back that they’ve had in previous seasons. They only averaged 4.1 yards per carry, five different running backs have had at least 46 carries, and no running backs have had more than 91. The unfortunate thing here for Middle Tennessee is that the Blue Raiders threw a lot more during the regular season, outgaining San Diego State by nearly 1,200 yards through the air, but still only managed 0.02 more yards per play.

Chase Cunningham may be as healthy as he’s been over the last 24 months going into the game, and he had a fine 19/9 TD/INT ratio while throwing for 2,920 yards. Frank Peasant is a solid back that had 4.5 yards per pop and nine touchdowns. Both teams played weak schedules, but MTSU played the 127th-ranked schedule in the country, while San Diego State played the 90th.

Yards per play differential is often a catalyst for line movement in the bowl season, especially when used in concert with strength of schedule. As limited as the San Diego State offense was, they finished the season +0.06 YPP, while MTSU finished -0.34 while playing one of the worst FBS schedules in the nation.

Finally, keep in mind that San Diego State basically plays in Hawaii every other year. Sometimes teams can treat this like a vacation in paradise. - Adam Burke

Related links

Matchup page for EasyPost Hawai'i Bowl

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