The Appalachian State Mountaineers are used to coming into their bowl game with a Sun Belt Conference title to their name, but they were eclipsed by two teams this year.
Even though they were the third-best team in the Sun Belt, the Mountaineers still boast a solid squad and are considerable favorites in the Myrtle Beach Bowl against the North Texas Mean Green.
Appalachian State produced four more regular-season wins and has a much more formidable defense than the program out of Conference USA.
The Mountaineers have won each of the five bowl games they have participated in since moving up to the FBS in 2014. North Texas enters South Carolina on a three-game postseason losing streak and without a bowl win since the 2014 Heart of Dallas Bowl.
Myrtle Beach Bowl Information
Date: Monday, December 21
Start Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: ESPN.com or ESPN app
Spread: Appalachian State (-19.5)
Moneyline: Appalachian State -910 (bet $910 to win $100): North Texas +575 (bet $100 to win $575)
Daily Fantasy Tips
Trust App State's Offensive Stars
Zac Thomas, Camerun Peoples and the rest of App State's offensive stars could run rampant against the North Texas defense.
Thomas, a senior quarterback with 2,075 passing yards, could tear apart a North Texas passing defense that allows 265.9 passing yards per game.
Peoples could be the main beneficiary of the Mean Green's poor coverage in the other aspect of the offense. North Texas gives up 243.6 ground yards per contest. Peoples and Daetrich Harrington both have more than 100 carries and seven touchdowns, but Peoples owns 212 more rushing yards.
A year ago, the Mountaineers earned 403 total yards in their New Orleans Bowl win over the UAB Blazers, who have been one of the best Conference USA programs over the past few years.
In its eight victories this term, Appalachian State averaged 37.4 points per game and failed to hit the 20-point threshold on a single occasion. Appalachian State's defeats came to three conference championship game qualifiers. North Texas is nowhere near the level of the Marshall Thundering Herd, Coastal Carolina Chanticleers or Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns.
With that in mind, put your trust in Thomas and Peoples first and then build around them with one or two other top producers from the App State offense.
Look at North Texas' Depth at Wide Receiver
One of the best wide receivers hardly anyone knows about starred for North Texas during the regular season.
Jaelon Darden led the FBS with 19 touchdown catches and finished third behind Alabama's DeVonta Smith and Ole Miss' Elijah Moore in receiving yards. However, Darden will not participate Monday after he declared for the 2021 NFL draft.
Darden's absence, combined with North Texas' poor defense, makes the case stronger to pick Appalachian State to cover the massive spread.
To complement App State's offensive stars, you should mix in one or two depth pieces at wide receiver for North Texas.
Only three other wide receivers produced double-digit receptions. Deonte Simpson was the lone member of that group to have more than 20 catches.
Simpson seems like the logical replacement for Darden's production. The sophomore is coming off a four-catch, 103-yard performance against UTEP.
Appalachian State's defense could be tough to break since it allows fewer than 170 passing and rushing yards per contest. If North Texas wants to remain competitive, it will need Simpson and a few others to chip in with Darden out, and the potential number of targets for them could help pad a daily fantasy lineup loaded with Mountaineers.
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