Dollar General Bowl

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Dollar General Bowl

App State

vs.

Toledo

12/23/17

The Dollar General Bowl may be one of the only matchups not in the CFP that features two teams that won or had a share of its respective Conference title. But looking at the spread, it’s clear the MAC is considered on a higher level than the Sun Belt. Toledo was an early -7.5 point favorite over Appalachian State (as seen at 5Dimes Sportsbook) for the Game in Alabama.

Even though App. State got a share of the Sun Belt title, it was a bit of a disappointing season. It could’ve upset Wake Forest early, but fell by a point. LAte-season losses at UMass and ULM also don’t look great on the resume. The Mountaineers, despite having loads of experience, didn’t have one good win that stood out, although their dominance in the last three Games should be looked at, as they outscored opponents by a 121-30 Scoreline. No matter the level of opponents, that’s still an impressive run.

As for Toledo, you can’t fault them for much outside of a 28-point loss at Ohio. The Rockets ran through their Conference winning seven of their last eight Games by double digits. They weren’t challenged as much as App. State in non-conference, but still gave some fight to Miami (FL).

This spread is big because Toledo’s offense has been able to Scoreon every opponent this season, the Hurricanes included. Quarterback Logan Woodside has been close to unstoppable with 28 touchdowns and only five picks. Three of those interceptions came in the last two Games and they didn’t matter in the end result. He actually has 17 touchdowns less than a year ago, but that’s partly because the ground Game has been better with Terry Swanson and Shakif SeymOur totaling 26 TDs between them. And along with Woodside, no one has been able to stop top receiver Diontae Johnson (1,257 yards, 13 TDs).

The Mountaineers struggled to find consistency throughout the season, but it’s a wonder if they figured things out late in the year. This defense also held Georgia to 31 points and Wake to 20. If that defense can keep Toledo under 30 points, it could lead to a cover for App. State.

Toledo’s defense is another story, although still did enough against the MAC. The biggest problem for this Game may be Toledo’s rush defense, which is allowing 4.7 yards per carry. The Mountaineers have a balanced offense with senior Taylor LAmb at quarterback, but this group wants to run more than anything. Jalin Moore’s numbers are lower than a year ago, partly due to injury, but he’s still at 912 yards and nine touchdowns. LAmb adds mobility at quarterback (539 rushing yards), but he’s been extremely efficient through the air per usual with 27 touchdowns and only six picks.

These teams matchup fairly well and while Toledo’s offense is considered more potent, that doesn’t mean the spread should be over a touchdown. They actually met in the Camellia Bowl last season and while both defenses were better, the Game ended in a 31-28 win for Appalachian State. It was a back-and-forth contest with ASU’s ground Game being the difference and that could be the case again. App. State was favored by a point in that Game and that’s another reason this spread seems off.

 

The Mountaineers are 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record, while the Rockets are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six against the Sun Belt.

Our Pick – Toledo -6.5

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