The No. 20 Appalachian State Mountaineers (-7) are entering the Sun Belt Championship Game as favorites against the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns. The opening kickoff for this keygame is set for 12:00 p.m. ET and interested parties can catch the action live on ESPN.
Betting Preview: Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns vs. Appalachian State Mountaineers
Louisiana is the road underdog in this SBC game and is currently being given 7 points. The Ragin’ Cajuns are also receiving +210 moneyline odds while the Mountaineers are -270. Oddsmakers have placed the over/under (O/U) at 56 points. There could be some decent in-game betting opportunities in this showdown.
After the game’s O/U was initially set at 57.5, Sharp bettors are siding with the under.
Each of these teams has been profitable this year as the Ragin’ Cajuns have gained 4.0 units and the Mountaineers are up 3.0 units.
The Ragin’ Cajuns are 10-2 straight up (SU), including 7-1 SU against conference opponents. The Mountaineers are 11-1 SU overall and 7-1 SU in conference play.
The Ragin’ Cajuns continue to be on a roll after a 31-30 win over Louisiana-Monroe last week in which Levi Lewis completed 15-of-23 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns. Elijah Mitchell (102 yards on 19 rushes) and Raymond Calais (107 yards on eight carries, one TD) led the ground attack while Ja’Marcus Bradley (four receptions, 127 yards, one TD) and Jarrod Jackson (four catches, 66 yards) shared the receiving duties in the win.
The Appalachian State Mountaineers enter this one having just earned a 48-13 win over Troy. The team’s defensive secondary allowed the Trojans to air it out for 304 yards. Reggie Todd was a bright spot in the loss for Troy, accounting for 82 yards on five catches. For Appalachian State, Zac Thomas completed 28-of-34 passes for 326 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Darrynton Evans (82 yards on 13 rush attempts, two TDs) mounted the running game while Thomas Hennigan (11 receptions, 140 yards) and Malik Williams (six catches, 42 yards, two TDs) led the pass-catching attack in the win.
When analyzing offensive play-calling, each of these teams sports a similar run-pass ratio on the season. Louisiana has run the ball on 59.6 percent of its offensive possessions while Appalachian State has a rush percentage of 60.8. Having said that, the Ragin’ Cajuns have produced 274.2 rush yards/game (including 249.4 per game against Sun Belt opponents) and have 40 scores on the ground this year. The Mountaineers haven’t been quite as successful. They’re averaging 226 rushing yards per game (237.6 in conference) and have 31 total rush TDs.
The Ragin’ Cajuns offense has averaged 226.2 yards in the air overall (218.6 per game versus conference opposition) and has 21 passing scores so far. The Mountaineers have produced 211.1 pass yards per outing (232 in the SBC) and have 26 total pass TDs.
Defensively, Louisiana has allowed opponents to run for an average of 172.3 yards and pass for 197.6 yards per game. The Appalachian State defense has allowed 186.8 yards per game to opposing passers and 134.3 yards per game to opposing runners. The Mountaineers are giving up an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of only 4.45 to opponents, while the Ragin’ Cajuns have allowed a 4.97 ANY/A.
Thomas has connected on 195-of-302 passes for 2,253 yards, 22 TDs and six INTs for Appalachian State. His adjusted net yards per pass attempt stands at 7.38 for the year and 11.50 over his past two outings. In the other huddle, Lewis is up to 2,177 passing yards this year. He’s completed 179-of-272 attempts with 19 passing touchdowns and only three interceptions. Lewis has a pristine 8.22 ANY/A for the year, although that number sits at 10.03 over the last two outings.
Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns at Appalachian State Mountaineers Betting Pick
SU Winner: Appalachian State, ATS Winner: Appalachian State, O/U: Over
Team Betting Trends
- The O/U for Louisiana’s previous game was set at 71.5. The under cashed in the team’s 31-30 triumph over Louisiana-Monroe.
- Louisiana has rushed for 6.1 yards per attempt over its past three games and 6.4 over its last two.
- Appalachian State has averaged 5.7 yards per carry over its last three contests and only 5.5 over its last two.
- Appalachian State has lost two fumbles this season while Louisiana has lost eight.
- Over its last three matchups, Louisiana is 1-2 ATS and the under cashed in two of those three.
- Louisiana has won 11 of its last 12 games SU, with a 10-point defeat to Appalachian State on October 9th accounting for the only loss over that span.
- The Over/Under for Appalachian State’s last outing was set at 64.5. The under cashed in the team’s 48-13 victory over Troy.
- In its last three games, Appalachian State is 2-1 ATS and the under cashed in two of those three.
- The Ragin’ Cajuns offense has created five pass plays of 40 yards or more, while the Mountaineers have accounted for 13 such plays.
- The Louisiana defense has allowed nine pass plays of 40+ yards, while Appalachian State has given up one such play.
- The Louisiana offense has created 33 rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while Appalachian State has created 30 such runs.
- The Ragin’ Cajuns defense has allowed 14 rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while the Mountaineers have given up 15 such runs.
- The Appalachian State defense has notched 29 sacks on the year while Louisiana has 26.