Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#331 Florida International (FIU) vs.
#332 Central Michigan (CMU)
Saturday, September 25, 2021 at 12:00pm EDT
Written by David Delano

The Central Michigan Chippewas will host the Florida International Panthers in a non-conference matchup. Both teams are 1-2 overall. Central Michigan is rated No. 93 according to CBS Sports, and FIU is No. 115.

In 2020 FIUs went 0-5 last year and 0-3 in Conference USA. The Chippewas went 3-3 last season playing a Mid-American Conference-only schedule.

FIU coming off of blowout lost to Texas Teech

Back from last year's 0-5 team for FIU are seven offensive and nine defensive starters. The Panthers ranked 105th in the nation with 22.4 ppg offensively last year and 87th with 32.4 ppg allowed.

Now in his fifth season, head coach Butch Davis has compiled a 24-23 record at FIU. Davis has also spent time as the head coach at the University of Miami and North Carolina at the collegiate level and with the Cleveland Browns from 2001-2004.

FIU opened up this season with a 48-10 win as a 35 point favorite against Long Island, followed by a 23-17 overtime loss as a two-point dog against Texas State, and a 54-21 loss as a 20.5-point dog to Texas Tech last Saturday.

The Panthers are averaging 28.7 points and 413.3 yards per game this season. Senior quarterback Max Bortenschlager, a former transfer from Maryland, leads the team completing 43 of 78 passes for 236.7 passing yards per game, with six touchdowns, and two interceptions. The rushing attack was led by senior D'vote Price, who has 327 yards on 7.6 yards per carry and four touchdowns.

CMU looks to bounce back from loss to LSU

The Central Michigan Chippewas came into the season with reasons to be optimistic, returning 10 starters on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Last year, Central Michigan averaged 31.3 ppg, ranked 41st, and was 71st, allowing 30.2 ppg. The Chippewas are averaging 30 points and 424.7 yards per game through the first three games this season. Sophomore quarterback Jacob Sirmon has completed 52 of 85 passes for 187 yards per game, with five touchdowns and three interceptions. Third-year freshmen Lew Nichols III leads the ground attack with 323 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 4.8 yards per attempt.

The defense for Central Michigan is allowing 353.7 yards per game this season, 223.3 passing yards, and 130.3 rushing yards allowed.

The Chippewas are 1-2 this year, with both losses coming against Power 5 schools. Central Michigan lost to Missouri 34-24 as a 13.5-point dog to open the season, followed by a 45-0 win over Robert Morris on September. Last Saturday, Central Michigan failed to cover the spread for the first time this season, losing 49-21 to LSU as a 19.5-point road dog.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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Both of these squads are 1-2, but the Chippewas have looked much more impressive, despite the losing record. Central Michigan has faced the No.39 most challenging schedule according to, and FIU has only played against the No. 100 rated schedule. The Chippewas so far have still been better than the Panthers on both sides of the ball against better competition and will be playing at home, where they have covered the spread in five of their last six games as a favorite. Florida International has failed to cover the spreading in six straight games against a team with a losing record, so I will take Central Michigan here.

Prediction: Central Michigan Chippewas -10

Full-Game Total Pick

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FIU allowed 32.1 ppg last season and is allowing 29 ppg so far this year. Central Michigan is averaging 30 ppg and scored 24 points against Missouri and 21 points on LSU, so I feel confident that the Chippewas will hit the mid-30s against a less talented defense in this game.

It's tough to dwell on this year's numbers, as both teams have only faced opponents on a higher or lower level than what they will see when they meet head-to-head, but the Chippewas allowed at least 23 points in five of their six games last season, and FIU averaged just over 22 points per game.

Central Michigan has played to the over in eight of its last 11 home games, and 16 of the previous 22 FIU road games have gone over as well.

I have Central Michigan winning this game 35-23, sending this game over the total.


Prediction: Over 56

Written By David Marotta , "David Delano"

David Delano is a Bowling Green State University graduate with a passion for sports, traveling, and music. David loves to handicap MLB, NFL, NCAAF, NCAAB, NBA, WNBA, and is also a big fan of boxing and track and field. Over the years, David has worn several hats in the sports world, from being behind the camera to writing, filming, editing, scouting, and coaching, along with servicing his clients as a sports handicapper.  He is also an expert sports bettor. We are glad to have David on our Winners & Whiners team, and we recommend that you follow along with him every day.