The Bahamas Bowl is played annually at Thomas Robinson Stadium in Nassau, Bahamas. The first Bahamas Bowl featured the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and the Central Michigan Chippewas and was played on Christmas Eve 2014. That game was the first FBS bowl game played outside of the United States or Canada by two teams from the United States since Auburn and Villanova met in the Havana Bowl in Cuba back in 1937.
With the Toledo Rockets playing in this year’s game, the Mid-American Conference has sent a team to each of the first five Bahamas Bowls. The Conference USA picked a tie-in to this bowl back up for 2017 after sending a team in 2014 and 2015 but stepping aside for a one-year bowl tie-in from the American Athletic Conference in 2016.
The betting favorite went 3-0 SU from 2014 to 2016 in this bowl game but covered the spread only once in those three games. After the first two Bahamas Bowls soared OVER their posted totals, Old Dominion’s 24-20 win over Eastern Michigan in 2016 stayed UNDER. That game was Old Dominion’s first-ever bowl appearance and Eastern Michigan’s first in 30 years.
In addition to being the first Bahamas Bowl, the 2014 Bahamas Bowl still stands as the most memorable game in the bowl’s early history as well. Western Kentucky entered the fourth quarter with the game seemingly firmly in hand with a 49-14 lead. Central Michigan scored five touchdowns in the quarter, including its last one with one second left on the clock. The Hilltoppers thwarted the miracle comeback with a two-point conversion stop to hold on for the win.
This year’s Bahamas Bowl will see the FIU Golden Panthers take on the Toledo Rockets. For handicapping info, a free pick and odds, check out our Bahamas Bowl Game Center.