The Highlights

  • The Sun Belt Conference has divisions for the first time.
  • Arkansas State got a huge break being put in the West, since they’ll avoid Troy and Appalachian State, who are in the East.
  • Though they’re the favorite, Arkansas State is a great bet to by the Sun Belt in 2018. 

2018 Sun Belt Conference Odds

The biggest Sun Belt news this offseason was the announcement of two divisions and a conference title game. Red Wolves flags should have gone up for every handicapper out there, as App State and Troy go to the East, leaving Arkansas State in the West. My two worst-ranked Sun Belt teams are Texas State and ULL, both slotted in the West and scheduled to be road opponents for Arkansas State.

The Sun Belt East could have a surprise contender, as Troy must replace plenty of lost experience, ranking 117th overall in returning production. The Trojans also had one of the worst 2nd Order Win totals (2.2) in 2017, indicating there could be some regression in luck for 2018. Appalachian State will have to replace quarterback Taylor Lamb, who committed to play for #Yosef before Barack Obama’s second term started.

We will cautiously look for value in the East division odds for Georgia Southern.  The triple option is never leaving Statesboro, and the defense returns almost everyone on the two-deep depth chart.  The Eagles also host all the #Funbelt top teams in Appalachian State, Troy, and Arkansas State.

The West division and the entire conference belong to the Arkansas State Red Wolves. I could bore you advanced stats such as Arkansas State having 1.8 2nd Order Wins last year, quarterback Justice Hansen leading an offense that was 11th in points per game, or how the Red Wolves offensively were 29th in explosiveness and 25th in efficiency.

The bottom line — Arkansas State is going to be in the Sun Belt Championship Game. I have the Red Wolves -4 against App State, -5.5 against Troy, and -9 against Georgia Southern on a neutral field. The Red Wolves should be the favorite in the championship game, allowing this bet an easy hedge at any point. Take this future up to +100 and feel safe that you will have a great shot to cash in early December.

The Pick:  Arkansas State +140

Credit:

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Arkansas State quarterback Justice Hansen

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