Bowl season 2020 gets started with two teams that finished behind where the wanted in Group of Five conferences as the Appalachian State Mountaineers take on the North Texas Mean Green from Brooks Stadium in Conway, South Carolina.
App State finished the 2020 regular season at 8-3, going 6-2 in the Sun Belt, with losses only to the eventual conference co-champions Louisiana and Coastal Carolina. Quarterback Zac Thomas helped negate a terrific defense with his turnover rate, throwing 19 touchdowns but 11 interceptions on the season across 2,075 yards through the air. Running backs Camerun Peoples and Daetrich Harrington combined for 252 carries and 1402 yards on the season and 14 touchdowns. But what makes App special is how they can get stops, holding opponents to just 4.1 yards per rush and 4.9 yards per play.
North Texas was expecting a big season, but limped to a 4-5 finish, 3-4 in Conference USA. Losses to bad teams such as Southern Miss and Charlotte was not how this season was expected to go. But Jaelon Darden is one of the most exciting players in C-USA however, with 1,190 yards receiving in just nine games. Where they struggle is in stopping people conceding 6.6 yards per play and 5.5 yards per rush. That’s a problem against App State.
Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming
You can watch Appalachian State vs. North Texas in the Myrtle Beach Bowl on Monday, December 21 at 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. You can stream it via WatchESPN or the ESPN app with a cable or streaming service login.
Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends
Point spread: Appalachian State (-21) vs. North Texas
Point Total: 64.5
Money line: Appalachian State (-1250) vs. North Texas (+700)
Bet splits against the spread
Appalachian State -21 (71% of handle, 54% of bets)
North Texas +21 (29% of handle, 46% of bets)
The Best Bet
21 points is just too many for a UNT team that might have a reason to show up on Monday. North Texas is pretty bad, and Appy should control the game via running the ball pretty easily. But the Mean Green can make enough plays in the passing game with Jaelon Darden to keep it within three scores. The bowl game backdoor should be wide open enough here for the cover.
Pick: UNT +21
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