Appalachian State vs. Louisiana Odds, Picks: Your Betting Guide for Tuesday’s Sun Belt Showdown (Oct. 12)
Mary Holt/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jordon Earle.
- The Appalachian State Mountaineers and Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns meet in Sun Belt action on Tuesday night.
- The Mountaineers have been bet way past the opening number, but it has now started to come back down.
- Check out Mike Ianniello's betting guide for Tuesday's Sun Belt showdown, including odds, picks, and predictions, below.
Appalachian State vs. Louisiana Odds
|Appalachian State Odds||-4.5|
|Moneyline||-190 / +160|
|Over/Under||57 (-115 / -105)|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.|
What a glorious sight it is to see Tuesday night college football back in action. While it might not be MACtion, we have a heavyweight fight in the Fun Belt.
Appalachian State and Louisiana have held at least a share of the Sun Belt Championship for each of the last five years, enter this matchup 4-1 overall, and are undefeated in conference play.
App State has dominated this matchup until last season when Billy Napier and Louisiana finally took down the Mountaineers after losing eight straight meetings.
There is no denying App State needs this game more being in the same division as Coastal Carolina. If the Mountaineers want to reach the Sun Belt Championship — and potentially secure a rematch with Louisiana — they will need to make a statement on Tuesday night.
Appalachian State vs. Louisiana Betting Preview
After what seemed like 14 years with Zac Thomas at quarterback, the veteran Chase Brice has taken over the reins following two years at Clemson and one season with Duke.
Brice was one of the worst quarterbacks in the country last season for the Blue Devils. He recorded just 10 big-time throws compared to 22 turnover-worthy plays, which was the most in the country.
This season, he has cleaned that up a bit with nine big-time throws already and just four turnover-worthy plays.
The Mountaineers rank 29th in the country in Passing Success Rate, and Brice leads the Sun Belt with 272 yards per game. App State has three good receivers, led by Corey Sutton — who ranks third in the conference in receiving yards — along with Thomas Hennigan and Malik Williams.
Throwing the ball over the yard is not what App State wants to do, though. Its identity is running the ball behind a pair of stud backs in Nate Noel and Camerun Peoples.
Noel leads the Sun Belt with 102.2 rushing yards per game, and Peoples sits second with 88.3 yards per game while leading the conference with eight touchdowns.
Nate Noel and Cam Peoples are carving up the Pirates
You love to see it pic.twitter.com/CX0ykJD9a9
— Sun Belt Pages (@SBPages) September 3, 2021
Both were a little banged up in the last game, but head coach Shawn Clark says they are 100% full speed for Tuesday night.
Appalachian State arguably had the best defense in the Sun Belt last season after allowing just 20 points per game and 4.9 yards per play. The Mountaineers finished the year 43rd in Rushing Success and third in Passing Success Rate.
All-American cornerback Shemar Jean-Charles is now with the Green Bay Packers, but the other 10 starters from last year are back. They have struggled a bit in pass coverage but rank 34th in stopping the run.
The Mountaineers return a pair of first-team All-Sun Belt defenders in cornerback Shaun Jolly and defensive end Demetrius Taylor. Jolly is allowing just a 42% completion rate against him, per Pro Football Focus.
I don’t know if any defensive player in the Sun Belt has been better than linebacker D’Marco Jackson this year. He leads the conference with 54 tackles — two more per game than the next player — ranks second with 10 tackles for loss and has added four sacks and an interception as well.
Pro Football Focus grades him as the best linebacker in the Sun Belt and sixth-best in the country, as he leads the way for a defense that ranks 25th nationally in Havoc rate.
Ragin’ Cajuns Offense
Back for his fifth year in Lafayette, Levi Lewis is one of those perfect dual-threat college quarterbacks who won’t play in the NFL but is a really successful college quarterback.
In 48 college games, he has thrown for 7,382 yards and 61 touchdowns while adding 867 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. Lewis is three passing touchdowns away from tying Jake Delhomme for the most in school history.
Lewis does enough to manage this offense, but similar to App State, the running game drives the bus. However, it’s taken a big step back after finishing 16th in Rushing Success last season.
After four years with the two-headed running back monster of Elijah Mitchell and Trey Ragas, who both are gone, and the team has struggled a bit to regain its identity on the ground.
The Ragin’ Cajuns were held to under 130 total yards rushing in three of their five games and have mostly relied on a pair of freshmen in Montrell Johnson and Emani Bailey, along with sophomore Chris Smith. All three have equally shared backfield duties, and the team ranks just 67th in Rushing Success, despite being 35th in Line Yards.
Louisiana flexed its muscles and looked like it hit a stride against Ohio in Week 3, posting 49 points and 562 total yards, but has struggled again in the last two weeks. Excluding the Ohio game, it’s averaging just 23.3 points and 353.3 total yards per game.
Ragin’ Cajuns Defense
Defensively, these teams are complete opposites.
The Mountaineers defense has struggled against the pass but is stout against the run. Conversely, the Ragin’ Cajuns defense is terrific at defending the pass but has had trouble stopping the run.
Louisiana ranks 33rd in the country in Pass Success Rate and is led by cornerback Mekhi Garner and two excellent safeties in Percy Butler and Bralen Trahan.
However, stopping the run continues to be a problem in Lafayette. The Cajuns finished the year 101st in Rushing Success last season, and they currently sit at 102nd this season. They allow over 171 yards per game on the ground.
Linebacker Lorenzo McCaskill is a great tackler, and Zi’Yon Hill leads the team in tackles for loss and sacks this year. Hill has been the only one able to create pressure for a defense that ranks 98th in Havoc rate.
Appalachian State vs. Louisiana Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Appalachian State and Louisiana match up statistically:
Appalachian State Offense vs. Louisiana Defense
Louisiana Offense vs. Appalachian State Defense
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Appalachian State vs. Louisiana Betting Pick
Appalachian State has been the class of the Sun Belt Conference since its inception in 2014. The Mountaineers have produced a winning record in every season and have had at least nine wins in each of the last six years.
The Mountaineers had won the conference championship in four straight seasons and had beaten the Ragin’ Cajuns in eight straight years. Then last year, Louisiana finally beat App State on its way to a shared conference championship.
Louisiana started the year as the favorite in the Sun Belt, with App State entering with the third-best odds. You can bet that doesn’t sit right with Clark’s squad. The Mountaineers have had this game circled ever since last year’s loss.
The Ragin’ Cajuns have really struggled to regain their identity without Mitchell and Ragas in the backfield, and they have been playing with fire all year. After losing to Texas, Louisiana escaped with wins over FCS Nicholls State by just three points and only beat South Alabama after two missed extra points.
On defense, App State will be able to take away the Cajuns’ run game and force Lewis to win with his arm. He went just 8-for-24 with 101 yards against it last year.
When the Mountaineers have the ball, Noel and Peoples will run wild all game. Both of them average over 5.3 yards per carry this season and should find success against a Louisiana defense that ranks 102nd in Rushing Success Rate and 121st in tackling.
This line opened under a field goal, but App State has taken a ton of money to put this line up to -5 at the time of writing. While the value is definitely gone in the number and I don’t like it as much, it’s still a Tuesday night game, which makes it hard not to get involved.
I would still rather back the Mountaineers to use their ground game to avenge last year’s loss on Tuesday night but wouldn’t touch it over -6.
Pick: Appalachian State -5 (Play to -6)
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