Dollar General Bowl
Appalachian State Mountaineers (5-7 SU, 6-6) vs. Toledo Rockets (11-2 SU, 7-6 ATS)
Date/Time: Saturday, December 23, 2017 at 7:00 P.M. ET
Where: Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama
by Jerbeek, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: App +8/Tol -8
Over/Under Total: 63
The Appalachian State Mountaineers and the Toledo Rockets will travel to Mobile, Alabama to play in the Dollar General Bowl. Appalachian State finished tied for 1st with Troy in the Sun Belt Conference. Toledo defeated Akron 45-28 in the MAC championship game. Appalachian State coach Scott Satterfield is in his 5th as head coach for the Mountaineers and they have won their past 2 bowl games. Toledo coach Jason Candle is in his 2nd year as head coach for the Rockets.
Appalachian State has a dual threat QB as Senior QB Taylor Lamb has thrown for 2,606 yards and rushed for 539 yards. He has been responsible for 32 touchdowns as he has thrown for 27 and ran for 5. Lamb is a 4 year starter with cumulative stats of 9,655 yards passing and 90 touchdown passes and 1,964 yards rushing and 23 touchdowns. RB Jalin Moore leads the Mountaineer rushing attack with 5.7 yards per carry for a total of 912 yards and 9 touchdowns. The Mountaineer offense has been at full throttle the last 2 games as they rushed for over 300 yards in both games and put up 94 points. They average 5.4 yards per rush against teams that give up 4.7 yards per carry and they are averaging 33.4 points per game.
Toledo is averaging 39.2 points and over 500 yards per game. Logan Woodside is in his 3rd year as the starting QB and he thrown for 3,758 yards and 28 touchdowns. RB Terry Swenson is also having a great Senior season as he has rushed for 1,319 yards and 14 touchdowns. Sophomore WR Diontae Johnson has burst onto the scene with 1,257 yards receiving and 13 touchdowns. The Rockets are very good on offense as they are averaging 7.2 yards per play against teams that average 5.9 yards per play.
On defense, Appalachian State has only allowed 21.9 points per game against teams that average 25.0 points per game. They have been giving up 5.5 yards per play so yardage wise they are a pretty average team. The defense has played very well the last 3 games as they only allowed a total of 30 points in the 3 games.
Toledo’s defense has struggled a bit against the run as they have allowed 4.7 yards per rush against teams that average 4.2 yards. Overall they have allowed 5.6 yards per play against teams that average 5.3 yards. Typically the way for the Rockets to win is to outscore the other team and hope the defense does just enough as evidenced in their 54-51 early season win against Tulsa.
This game is a rematch of last year’s Raycom Media Bowl which was won by Appalachian State by a score of 31-28. In that game, Appalachian State kicked a 4th quarter field goal to take the lead, Toledo got down all the way to the Mountaineer 8 yard and then missed a field goal with under 2 minutes to go. Toledo had a tough time stopping the Mountaineer run game as QB Lamb ran for 126 yards and the team had a total of 297 yards rushing.
Jerbeek’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: One of the strategies that I find to be very successful in bowl games is to play on teams that are underdogs that will outrush their opponents. I think in this game the Rockets will have trouble stopping the Mountaineers dual threat that Lamb provides and Appalachian State will outgain Toledo on the ground. My projection on the game is for Appalachian State to win by a score of 35-31. My recommendation is to play Appalachian State plus the 8 points. - If you went to the store and two of the same exact product were sitting side by side; One for $105.00 and one for $110.00, which would you buy? THE CHEAPER ONE OF COURSE! So why are you still betting at -110 odds when you could be betting at -105? Dump your overpriced bookie TODAY and start enjoying the benefits of discounted odds at the web’s BEST sportsbook: 5Dimes!