College Football - Offensive Mismatch Calls To Fade Memphis In Boca Raton Bowl

WKU Hilltoppers

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, December 7, 2016 4:53 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016 4:53 PM UTC

The Boca Raton Bowl features the Memphis Tigers taking on the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in a battle between the AAC and Conference USA. Let’s review the college football odds and get on the right side of this one.

Memphis vs. Western Kentucky

The Memphis Tigers are coming off their biggest win of the season after knocking off No. 20 Houston in what would be Tom Herman’s final game as the Cougars’ head coach. Memphis let a 17-point halftime lead slip away as the Cougars came roaring back but Memphis responded with a 72-yard game-winning drive to seal the deal and get the 48-44 victory as four-point home dogs. Memphis is now 3-1 both straight up and against the spread over their last four contests.

Meanwhile, the Hilltoppers have reeled off seven consecutive wins and have been a veritable ATM for those who have backed them in their college football picks by covering in six of those seven contests. Western Kentucky also won the Conference USA championship in a 58-44 shootout over Louisiana Tech, covering the 12-point impost that the college football odds makers were dealing. It was sweet revenge for a Hilltoppers squad that dropped a 55-52 decision back in October to La-Tech, despite scoring three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to keep it close. Western Kentucky has now won back-to-back Conference USA championships.

This is a game that features offense, and plenty of it. Memphis averaged 39.5 PPG (17th) and surrendered an average of 27 points per game (55th). On the flipside, Western Kentucky has been even more offensively prolific, boasting the 5th ranked passing attack in the nation with an average of 336.8 yards through the air and lighting up the scoreboard with an average of 44.9 PPG, good for 2nd in the nation. Defensively, the Hilltoppers have allowed 24.1 points per game which ranks them 24th in the country.

On the surface, it looks like Western Kentucky has just too much firepower for the Tigers to handle. Alabama head coach Nick Saban called Western Kentucky’s wideout superstar Taywan Taylor as good as any the Tide had faced this season. Alabama rang up a 38-10 victory over the Hilltoppers back in September but Taylor has been virtually unstoppable with 1586 receiving yards (2nd in the nation) and 16 TD receptions. The knock on Western Kentucky is that they have faced only one legitimate big-time opponent in Alabama but little else in the way of elite opposition. Therefore it’s not surprising the Hilltoppers only role as an underdog this season came against the Crimson Tide.

Despite Memphis playing a heartier schedule, I can’t help being seduced by the pass-catch combination of Western Kentucky’s White-to-Taylor. In addition, the Hilltoppers boast a top five run stop unit which will make Memphis a one-dimensional offense allowing the Hilltoppers to key on man matchups. The Tigers simply don’t have that next level of receiver that will allow them to keep pace with the Western Kentucky juggernaut.

Free College Football Pick: Western Kentucky -4 Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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