Appalachian State vs. UL Lafayette Odds, Pick: Will Defenses Hold Up in Sun Belt Shootout?
Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns quarterback Levi Lewis (17).
- Appalachian State vs. UL Lafayette odds are on the move it gets closer to kickoff in what should be an electric Sun Belt showdown.
- These teams are a combined 9-1, and ULL has covered all five games this season behind one of the nation's best rushing attacks.
- Our analysts break down the game, their favorite sides and how they're looking to live bet it.
App State vs. UL Lafayette Odds
- Odds: UL Lafayette -2.5
- Over/Under: 69.5
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN2
Odds as of Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET and via PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
There could not have been a better serving of weeknight college football than a possible preview of the Sun Belt Championship Game — two teams with explosive offenses that are a combined 9-1 this season.
Things have gone well so far for new Appalachian State head coach Eliah Drinkwitz. Four victories, including a road win over North Carolina, have the Mountaineers as one of the highest ranked Group of Five teams again.
Louisiana-Lafayette is 5-0 against the spread this season and will look for revenge from last year’s Sun Belt title game.
Market Moves for App State-ULL
There’s been a bit of disagreement around the market as to which side deserves to be the favorite.
App State opened -2 in Las Vegas on Sunday, and Louisiana reached as high as -3 earlier this week before being bet back down to ULL -1. App State has generated 59% of actual money. Regardless of your preference, it’s clear sharp bettors saw value in taking points on either side.
The movement on the total has been nothing out of the ordinary, going from 68.5 to 70 on 65% of both bets and dollars. — Danny Donahue
Wilson: Will Explosive ULL Get it Done?
The Ragin’ Cajuns have developed one of the most explosive rushing attacks in the nation, ranking No. 4 in the nation with 18 carries of 20-plus yards. The Cajuns are averaging 7.34 yards per carry, second behind only Oklahoma and well ahead of No. 3 Georgia.
Appalachian State efficient has remained efficient under Drinkwitz, its new coach. The Mountaineers rank top 25 in yards per play and top 10 in third down conversions.
There have been hiccups in the stat sheet thus far, as Appalachian State is 126th in penalty yards and 123rd in opponent redzone points per attempt.
But most troubling, the offensive explosiveness of the Scott Satterfield-era has dissipated.
Appalachian State ranked 31st in plays from scrimmage over 20 yards in 2018. That number has taken a drastic drop to outside the top 100 for the Mountaineers in 2019. The defense has been just as disappointing, ranking 94th in total defense and an opponent yards per play of 5.91 to rank 84th.
The Ragin’ Cajuns rush explosiveness should not be stopped by the Appalachian State defense.
While the Mountaineers are still efficient on offense, they are not nearly as explosive as seasons past.
This may be the perfect game to play live as both defenses will struggle and there could be an opportunity to take both teams as an underdog.
I will take the more explosive offense to score just enough to cover and secure home field for the Sun Belt championship game. — Collin Wilson
Collin’s Pick: ULL -1
Stuckey: How to Bet This Live
Both teams profile very similarly: two potent offenses (they’re each one of the the 10 teams in the country averaging over 44 points per game) with plus special teams and some questions on defense. Both feature run-first offenses although App State is much more capable in the passing game with reigning SBC Offensive Player of the Year QB Zac Thomas and a group of experienced receivers, led by Kansas State transfer Corey Sutton.
Both offenses also returned two of the most experienced offensive lines in the country. And while Louisiana’s running backs get all of the pub (ULL averages 7.4 yards per carry, second to only Oklahoma in all of FBS), its offensive line sets the tone.
As a group, the ULL OL ranks 2nd in the nation in Line Yards, per Football Outsiders, trailing only Georgia in that category — as well is in the top 3 in Opportunity Rate and Stuff Rate. ULL should move the ball with ease on the ground as it can do against almost any team in the country.
While App State has a more than capable passing offense, the pass rush and secondary are the strengths of a very suspect Louisiana defense. The Ragin’ Cajuns defensive front simply can’t stop the run. Look no further than its 130th rank in Stuff Rate, per Football Outsiders. It’s a group that ranks in the bottom 5 in most defensive line advanced stats. App State should be able to gash ULL all night long.
We may see a ton of runs by both teams, which always makes an over 70 tough, but I think each will have a ton of success throughout, so it’s over or nothing in regards to the total. Both teams have been excellent in finishing drives as well. App State has scored touchdowns on 18 of 19 redzone drives, while Louisiana has punched it in on 25 of 32 opportunities.
In regards to the side, I think App State has a slightly better defense and quarterback, which may end up giving it the edge, but after accounting for the homefield advantage and major revenge angle, this is basically a coin flip in my book.
In a game that I expect to be a high-scoring Fun Belt affair, I’ll gladly wait to bet the side live, ideally getting both sides at plus 4 or better in what could come down to which team has the ball last. — Stuckey