Boca Raton Bowl 2021: Western Kentucky vs. App State Odds, Daily Fantasy Tips

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistDecember 17, 2021

Western Kentucky quarterback Bailey Zappe looks to throw a pass against Michigan State during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
Al Goldis/Associated Press

The Boca Raton Bowl is a rare must-watch attraction during the opening week of the FBS bowl season.

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers quarterback Bailey Zappe is in pursuit of the FBS single-season passing yards record. Zappe has 5,545 passing yards and 56 touchdown passes going into Saturday's matchup against the Appalachian State Mountaineers.

The Sun Belt Conference runner-up does not have a prolific passer like Zappe, but it has a running back with a knack for performing well in the postseason. Camerun Peoples ran for 317 yards and five touchdowns in the 2020 Myrtle Beach Bowl. He could be in for another high bowl total against a WKU defense that gives up 161.3 rushing yards per game.


Boca Raton Bowl Info

Date: Saturday, December 18

Start Time: 11 a.m. ET 


Live Stream: ESPN.com and ESPN app


Boca Raton Bowl Odds

Spread: Appalachian State (-3)

Over/Under: 66.5

Moneyline: Applachian State -140 (bet $140 to win $100); Western Kentucky +120 (bet $100 to win $120)

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.


Daily Fantasy Tips

Bank On Bailey Zappe To Break Single-Season FBS Passing Record

Zappe needs 288 passing yards to break the FBS single-season passing record held by B.J. Symons (5,833).

The Western Kentucky quarterback is averaging 426.5 passing yards per game, and he is coming off a 577-yard, four-touchdown outing in the Conference USA Championship Game. He will likely break the record at some point in the second half unless the Hilltoppers offense goes off in the first half.

Zappe was brought to Western Kentucky by offensive coordinator Zach Kittley, who is leaving after the Boca Raton Bowl to hold the same role with the Texas Tech Red Raiders, the program with whom Symons set the record in 2003.

Western Kentucky typically throws the ball between 40 and 50 times in each contest, so Zappe will have ample opportunities to break the record. He is also four touchdowns away from tying Joe Burrow's single-season passing touchdown mark.

Zappe is a must-start at quarterback for Saturday's six-game slate if you are playing daily fantasy contests. The only argument against starting him at quarterback in DFS contests is to use a contrarian approach since the WKU signal-caller is likely to be rostered at a high percentage.

If you start Zappe, you must stack him with one or two of his top weapons. Jerreth Sterns and Mitchell Tinsley both had more than 1,200 receiving yards, and they combined for 26 scoring catches.

Daewood Davis and Malachi Conley are third and fourth on WKU's receiving stat chart, and they have 15 touchdown catches between them. The latter is third on the roster with 71 receptions.

Some combination of Zappe and his top targets should get you off to a fantastic start in DFS contests on Saturday's humongous slate.


Put Trust in Another Camerun Peoples Bowl Spectacular

Peoples was one of the early stars of the 2020 bowl season for his 317-yard, five-touchdown performance against the North Texas Mean Green.

The App State running back likely will not reach that total Saturday, but he has a good chance to rack up a high total against a not-so-good WKU run defense.

Western Kentucky let up 304 rushing yards to the UTSA Roadrunners in the C-USA Championship Game. Sincere McCormick was responsible for 204 of those yards on 36 carries.

The Mountaineers should take some parts of UTSA's game plan and implement it for the Boca Raton Bowl. A successful run game could be the answer to keeping Zappe off the field and keeping up with whatever the Hilltoppers passing attack throws at the App State defense.

App State is no stranger to high-scoring postseason games. It won a 56-28 shootout last season in the Myrtle Beach Bowl. And the Mountaineers have scored at least 30 points in every postseason appearance during their six-game bowl winning streak.

Peoples should get the bulk of the carries. Quarterback Chase Brice and running back Nate Noel will also contribute to the ground game. They had 23 carries for 95 yards between them in the Sun Belt Championship Game.


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