Nothing says bowl season like Christmas Eve in Honolulu, and the Hawaii Bowl features the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders and the San Diego State Aztecs meeting for the first ever time. Which team will get a win as an early Christmas present? We’ve got all the latest college football betting odds and a Middle Tennessee State vs. San Diego State prediction.
Middle Tennessee State vs. San Diego State Betting Preview
San Diego State (-7)
San Diego State (-260), Middle Tennessee State (+220)
- Game Time
8 p.m. ET
Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex, Honolulu, HI
- Predicted Weather
76.2 degrees, cloudy, 10.7 mph winds
- How to Watch
It’s Christmas Eve, so put out some cookies and milk for Santa Claus, then settle in for the Hawaii Bowl. Are you looking to make a little gold on the Aztecs? Can the Blue Raiders bolster your bank account after the festive season splurge? Let’s take a look at the Middle Tennessee State vs. San Diego State odds to see if there’s value anywhere.
Both teams finished the regular season 7-5, but San Diego State is favored by a score in the Hawaii Bowl. Every Middle Tennessee State defeat this season has been by more than one score, so if you’re high on the Aztecs taking the win, backing them against the spread will net you a slightly better return than simply backing San Diego State on the moneyline.
Despite a low-scoring bowl season so far, there’s potential for Middle Tennessee State and San Diego State to be a high-scoring affair. Both teams have averaged over 25 points of offense per game over the last three games to end the season.
It’s all very much dependent on which Aztec offense shows up, as they struggled to put up points early in the year. Let’s take a look at our Middle Tennessee State vs. San Diego State prediction to see if they surpass the 48-point line in Honolulu.
Prediction for Hawaii Bowl Middle Tennessee State vs. San Diego State
This Christmas Eve matchup will mark the second time that each team has played in the Hawaii Bowl, with the two programs having contrasting fortunes. Middle Tennessee State was on the wrong end of a high-scoring game with Hawaii in 2016. Meanwhile, the Aztecs smashed Cincinnati 42-7 the previous year. Will there may a reversal of fortunes when the two teams tussle on Saturday evening?
The Blue Raiders come into this game riding the hot hand. After suffering a mid-season slump following their shock win over the Miami Hurricanes, Rick Stockstill’s team finished the year with wins over Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, and Florida International. A win in the Hawaii Bowl would give them an eighth win of the year, equalling a program best since their 10-3 campaign in 2009.
There’s no doubt that Middle Tennessee can win in the Hawaii Bowl.
With Chase Cunningham at quarterback, the offense has the capability to stretch the field with explosive plays. Cunningham has averaged seven yards per attempt on the way to 2,920 passing yards and 19 scores.
While the touchdown passes have been spread around, Jaylin Lane leads the team with 829 receiving yards. DJ England-Chisolm showcased against Miami that he can be a big-play threat. Running back Frank Peasant has 11 total touchdowns, with over 1,000 scrimmage yards. But does the offense have enough to overcome one of the stingiest scoring defenses in the nation?
San Diego State has allowed just 20.2 points per game this year, ranking 21st out of the 131 FBS teams. Brady Hokes’ team has held opposing offenses under 20 points in seven games this year. Michael Shawcroft and Jonah Tavai have made their presence felt in opposition backfields all season long, tallying 24.5 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks between them. The Aztecs have allowed just 6.6 yards per passing play, which could be the key to San Diego State winning this Hawaii Bowl matchup.
Allowing 28.1 points per game and 7.5 yards per pass attempt, the Middle Tennessee State defense has had less success than the Aztecs unit. Although San Diego State’s offense struggled early in the year, quarterback Jalen Mayden has the potential to electrify a game. He’s coming off a difficult game against Air Force but has shown the resilience to bounce back once already this season.
Watch out for the San Diego State special teams to be a difference maker too. Multi-use special teams weapon Jack Browning is the team’s highest-scoring player. Meanwhile, running back Jordan Byrd has a kickoff and punt return touchdown this year and faces a Middle Tennessee State unit that was the only team in the C-USA to allow a kickoff return touchdown during the 2022 college football season.
Middle Tennessee State 21, San Diego State 30