College Football Picks: Toledo To Rocket Past Appalachian State In Camellia Bowl

Toledo Rockets players walking on the field

Jay Pryce

Wednesday, December 7, 2016 5:40 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016 5:40 PM UTC

Appalachian State looks to defend its Camellia Bowl crown as it hosts Toledo on Dec. 17 (5:30 p.m. ET) in Montgomery, Ala. Check out our free college football pick, betting preview and game analysis here.

Appalachian State Mountaineers (9-3 SU, 6-6 ATS)

App State is the reigning Camellia Bowl champion, topping Ohio 31-29 on a last-second field goal in 2015. Kicking off as 8-point favorites on college football odds, the Mountaineers rallied from a 24-7 deficit to win. It was the first bowl victory for a newly-minted FBS team.

Head coach Scott Satterfield, a former Toledo assistant, won the Sun Belt championship for the first time in program history this season. App State owned the conference’s second-highest scoring offense with 29.1 points per game and the top scoring defense in allowing 17.0 PPG.

The running game is where the Mountaineers dominate offensively. Tailback Jalin Moore, who rushed for 1,367 yards, was named offensive player of the year at the team banquet. Marcus Cox, though, is still the main man in the backfield and needs 40 rushing yards to give him 5,000 in his career.

The defense is record setting. It allowed 94 points total in Sun Belt play, the fewest ever in an 8-game schedule. Linebacker Eric Boggs is the primary force. He led the team with 92 tackles. Boggs also picked up 3 sacks and 3 interceptions.


Toledo Rockets (9-3 SU, 6-5-1 ATS)

Toledo is making its third straight postseason trip, winning each of the last two appearances against Arkansas State (63-44) and Temple (32-17). The Rockets finished second in the Mid-American Conference West Division behind ranked and unbeaten Western Michigan and are for back-to-back 10-win seasons with a victory on college football picks.

Offense is the feature piece of the Rockets. They average 7.0 yards per play, sixth-most efficient among FBS programs. The team is very effective in the red zone, too, scoring on 92.7 percent of possessions (eighth nationally).

Logan Woodside is the man under center. He owns a eye-popping 43:9 touchdown-to-interception ratio, the most passing scores in the nation. He has tossed for 3,882 yards on 271 of 392 attempts. Only 31 receivers in the country caught double-digit touchdowns this year, and three of them play for Toledo: Michael Roberts (15), Cody Thompson (10) and Jon’Veas Johnson (10).

Some trends to consider: Toledo is 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS when kicking off in a bowl game with a line of a field goal or less. The Rockets are also 4-2 SU and ATS against Sun Belt conference foes, going off 4.4-point favorites on average.


Final Analysis

App State’s defense is what wins games. It didn’t square off against a ton of powerhouse offenses in the Sun Belt, though. The team’s three losses, in fact, occurred in five games where it met units posting 30 points or more per game entering the contest.

Toledo scored fewer than 31 points in a game once all season. The Mountaineers showed they can light up the scoreboard as well, scoring more than 30 points in 7 contests this season. But 5 of those occurred in huge mismatches when going off 20-point chalk or greater. The Rockets have too much firepower and win this by a touchdown.

NCAAF Free Pick: Toledo -1Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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