Boca Raton Bowl Memphis vs Western Kentucky Game Info and Betting Odds

Posted by Derrick Harper on December 19, 2016 in

Western Kentucky heads to their third consecutive bowl game after winning their second consecutive Conference USA title in a 58-44 barnburner against Louisiana Tech in the conference title game. The Memphis Tigers roll in having won three of four, including a 48-44 shootout over the Houston Cougars in the last game of the regular season. Let’s take a look at this bowl game matchup as well as the rest of the college football betting lines for bowl season.

NCAAF: Boca Raton Bowl (Tuesday, December 20) Memphis vs Western Kentucky

When: Tuesday, December 20, 7:00pm ET
Where: FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, FL
Radio: Memphis Tiger Sports Network / Hilltopper IMG Sports Network
Live Stream: WatchESPN
NCAAF Odds: Western Kentucky (-5), O/U 79.5

Why should you bet on the Tigers?

Despite the fact that Memphis has had to go with a new head coach and a new starting quarterback this season, they still have scored almost 40 points per game. Quarterback Riley Ferguson has dominated defenses this year, including his 409-yard performance against then-#20 Houston. He threw four touchdown passes in that game. The weakness for Memphis comes on defense. They allowed 27 points per game for the season, but that includes a shutout of SMU. It also includes an average of 49.5 points permitted in their four losses. So if you like Memphis, you think that their defense will show up against the Hilltoppers.

Why should you put your money on the Hilltoppers?

Western Kentucky led Conference USA in yards permitted per play, with 5.12, which ranked #29 in the nation. On offense, they ranked #7 in yards per game with 517.4, and they put up 45.1 points per game, second best in the nation. Quarterback Mike White has thrown 34 touchdown passes against just six picks, and tailback Anthony Wales averages 6.8 yards per attempt, gaining 1,376 yards on the season and scoring 24 touchdowns. In three of their last five games, the Hilltoppers have held the opposition in single digits, but they did permit 502 yards through the air against Louisiana Tech.

Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction

I like Memphis to win this game straight up — the American Athletic Conference offers significantly better competition than does Conference USA, and that win over Houston should be a huge confidence booster. I predict a final score of Memphis 48, Western Kentucky 44.