Free NCAA Football Boca Raton Bowl Prediction: Western Kentucky vs. Appalachian State Odds
Looking for Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs. Appalachian State Mountaineers free bowl game picks? College football betting sees the Hilltoppers taking on the Mountaineers in the Boca Raton Bowl on Saturday, December 18, 2021, at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, FL. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NCAA football season long so stay tuned for more FREE college football game predictions like this Hilltoppers Mountaineers free pick.
College Football Handicapping Analysis: Boca Raton Bowl
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (8-5) vs. Appalachian State Mountaineers (10-3)
Date: Saturday, December 18, 2021
Time: 11:00 pm EST
Venue: FAU Stadium
NCAA Football ATS Spread Odds: W. Kentucky +3 / App State -3 (Bet Now!)
NCAA Football Moneyline Odds: Hilltoppers +125 / Mountaineers -140
NCAA Betting Total Odds: O/U 68
Boca Raton Bowl college football sees the Hilltoppers and Mountaineers meet at FAU Stadium in a game that can be seen on ESPN flagship channel and the ESPN APP.
The Mountaineers are favored by 3 points in this Boca Raton Bowl matchup with the Hilltoppers on Saturday, December 18, 2021.
Western Kentucky joined Conference USA in 2014 and this program has only missed out on bowl season one time since. The 3 – 9 2018 season accounts for that lone absence but this has been a winning program going back even further than their recent affiliation with FBS football.
All of that is history but it is a good one for a Hilltopper’s program that is making their 2nd straight trip to the post-season under Ty Helton. Let’s make no mistake that the Hilltoppers were only 5 – 6 when they got the call in 2020 when so much was happening with bowls and games being canceled at the time.
The Mountaineers might still only be remembered for that big win over Michigan that changed how the Sun Belt Conference was seen around the nation. Well, this team is also under a 2nd-year head coach who put a 10-win season together that followed up last year’s 9 – 3 finish.
A disappointing loss in the Sun Belt title game now has App State playing early in bowl season festivities but the line setters still seem to like their chances to find a win over the Hilltoppers.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
Western Kentucky was the leader in many of the Conference USA stats and rankings and I mean just about everything, man. Here, see for yourself that the Conference USA final regular-season team rankings show the Hilltoppers at the head of the table in so much shit it would take me an hour to write it all out.
So, where can we start because we can certainly go on about plenty of stories about how good this team was in so many aspects, but yet at 8 – 5 playing in one of the opening bowl games of the season.
I think I can start with that wild Marshall second half because I wrote up that Conference USA title game here the following weekend when the Hilltoppers went up against UTSA. I called for a 48 – 41 final score and it was 41 – 49, you do recall? Good, I hope you jumped on that over but I thought the Hilltoppers would also come out Conference USA Champs.
Anyway, the accolades and awards are already starting to go to Hilltopper QB Bailey Zappe. Zappe was named the Conference USA MVP and he put up some fucking numbers this year, man. No, not just numbers… FUCKING NUMBERS!
We have seen some epic seasons for QBs in the history of college football but 5,570 yards and 56 TD passing darts? Can he get the record of 5,833 passing yards in one season with one big game this weekend? Wait, you mean with a 263-yard outing the dude can hold the record for yards put up in one campaign?
Yeah, he is going to pull that off as long as he is still standing up so let’s just hand that to him now.
DeAngelo Malone also won the Top-Defender Award representing this Toppers front line. Malone had 8 sacks and caused 4 fumbles to go along with those 88 tackles.
Appalachian State Mountaineers
Another 10+-win season! It is just what the Mountaineers do anymore and this program certainly wants to be seen as the cream of the crop out the little, biddy, Sun Belt Conference. This may still be a conference that is nothing power-5 related but there are many who would argue that there are some teams that could give anyone trouble.
Appalachian State is that team and they are likely going to put the title game loss behind them and come out with a vengeance. Even with it being just the second year in charge for Coach Clark, this program will still want to put up an impressive 11-win season to build on what is to come in 2022.
Before we get there, sing it with me… Hi Hi Yikas!
I know, all right, so why do the line setters like Appalachian State to win by a field goal?
That is a good question because the defense is likely going to be more tested than they have been all season. The Mountaineers defense has been impressive in 2021 and you see it in the rankings. This team is ranked 16th in the land allowing only 19.3 points a game and the offense responds to that vibe.
App State is the 24th ranked team in the nation putting up 34.2 PPG so they can shut you down and they can put points on the board. That’s a damn good combination to have on your side.
Chase Brice got himself over the 3,000-yard passing mark in last week’s title game loss and Mr. Noel out of the backfield is always ready to cause damage. Noel is at 1,078 yards rushing and Camerun Peoples has another 825 yards on the ground.
Corey Xavier Sutton only needs 96 yards to get over the 1,000-yard mark but he really just got shut down last week. Sutton only managed 2 catches for 28 yards and that certainly better not happen in this final game wearing that #2 jersey for the Mountaineers senior wideout.
NCAA Football Handicapping Trends
- Over is 5-0 in Hilltoppers’ last 5 games as an underdog.
- Over is 5-0 in Hilltoppers’ last 5 non-conference games.
- Over is 6-2 in Hilltoppers’ last 8 games in December.
- Over is 6-2 in Hilltoppers’ last 8 neutral site games.
- Over is 5-2-1 in Mountaineers last 8 vs. CUSA.
4* Free Boca Raton Bowl NCAA Betting Final Analysis:
That total is up there, isn’t it? I would say that 68 seems high but it really doesn’t intimidate me much. I can see a 44 – 37 type of game playing out getting us over the 80 mark. So. Over 68 it is. I like the upset to happen too so I will give that 44 part of my prediction to the Hilltoppers.
4* Free Boca Raton Bowl NCAA Betting Pick: Over 68
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