Appalachian State vs. Louisiana Opening Odds: Spread, Total for 2021 Sun Belt Championship Game
Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images. Pictured: Head coach Billy Napier of the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns
App State at ULL Odds
|App State Odds||-3|
|Time||Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via WynnBet. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.|
One of the Group of 5’s best rivalries will be reignited Saturday when Appalachian State heads to Lafayette to take on the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns.
We’ve got a disagreement in the betting market about who should be favored here — FanDuel opened at ULL -1.5, while WynnBet has App State -3.
Louisiana had another great regular season at 11-1, with its only loss in the opener to Texas. But the Cajuns went just 5-7 against the spread. And six of those wins came by single digits.
When it mattered most, ULL took care of business. It dominated App State in mid-October, 41-13, running for 246 yards while holding the Mountaineers to just 76 yards rushing. App State did have four turnovers in that game.
Since, these two teams have both been winning, but going in opposite directions.
Our power ratings make App State a 4.6-point favorite on the road in this game, with the total at 57.3. ESPN’s SP+ makes App State a 2.1-point favorite.
So even though FanDuel opened at ULL -1.5, it’s likely the rest of the market follows with App State favored.
The underlying metrics don’t love the Ragin’ Cajuns, and the Mountaineers were great down the stretch. They covered five of the last six games, with their only ATS loss by half a point.
How App State Got Here
There was really only one significant bump in the road for the Mountaineers this season, and that came against Louisiana back on Oct. 12.
App State lost twice this season, although a two-point defeat to then-No. 22 Miami was nothing to scoff at. The 41-13 drubbing at the hands of the Cajuns, though, was a noteworthy blow.
That loss left the Mountaineers at 4-2 overall, and they bounced back to win six straight games to end the season. A win the following week on Oct. 20 over then-No. 14 Coastal Carolina was the key victory, since the following five were all by 24 points or more.
While Chase Brice was capable under center (2,666 passing yards, 20 touchdowns, 10 interceptions), the Mountaineers’ dynamic running back duo was the key offensively all season.
Nate Noel and Cameron Peoples dominated the Sun Belt, with each running for more than 700 yards and combining for 1,754 and 17 touchdowns.
How Louisiana Got Here
Billy Napier might not be around for much longer in Lafayette, but his final act might be finally breaking through against App State in the conference championship game. In Napier’s first two seasons back in 2018 and ’19, the Ragin’ Cajuns lost to the Mountaineers at this stage, 30-19 and 45-38.
Napier is reportedly one of Florida’s top candidates for its head-coaching vacancy and rightfully so. After a 7-7 season in his first year with the Ragin’ Cajuns, Napier’s program has gone 32-5, including a 22-2 mark in conference play.
After a 20-point loss to open the season against Texas, Louisiana survived a couple scares to stay unbeaten. The Cajuns had five wins by five points or fewer, including a five-point victory over UL Monroe to conclude their regular season on Saturday night.
Chris Smith and Montrell Johnson combined for more than 1,500 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns this season, while Levi Lewis threw for 18 TDs to go with just four interceptions.
That win over App State was clearly the most impressive performance for Napier’s 2021 team. They outgunned the Mountaineers by 244 yards and ran for 246. Now can they do it again?
Past Sun Belt Championship Game Winners
*Conference title game was canceled due to COVID-19