Old Dominion vs Appalachian State Odds, Picks & Predictions: Betting Value on Mountaineers

Old Dominion vs Appalachian State Odds, Picks & Predictions: Betting Value on Mountaineers article feature image

David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Appalachian State running back Nate Noel.

  • Old Dominion takes on Appalachian State in Saturday afternoon Sun Belt action.
  • The Mountaineers enter as favorites and have something to play for, which my give them value in the betting market.
  • Dan Keegan breaks down this game and shares his top pick below.

Old Dominion vs Appalachian State Odds

Saturday, Nov. 19
2:30 p.m. ET
Old Dominion Odds
-115o / -105u
Appalachian State Odds
-115o / -105u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Old Dominion hits the road after back-to-back crushing home losses, scoring a total of three points across the previous two weeks. Their once-promising season has skid to a halt in November.

Appalachian State will play host and look to seal a bowl bid. Their own promising season has been up-and-down in recent weeks, but they will look to salvage the campaign and head to postseason play.

Can the ‘Neers rely on their offense to punish the Monarchs and earn a bowl spot? Or does Old Dominion have what it takes to keep this close? Let’s look at the matchup.

Old Dominion Monarchs

Life in the Sun Belt started swimmingly for Ricky Rahne and crew. They began the season with an upset of Virginia Tech and won their first two outings in league play, including a romp over otherwise unbeaten Coastal Carolina.

But injuries on offense and poor defensive play have combined to sink the season for the Monarchs.

The injury bug has been difficult for the Monarchs to overcome after star tight end Zack Kuntz and wide receiver Ali Jennings went down. Kuntz was lost for the season in early October, and Jennings was ineffective while playing through an ankle injury in the last few weeks. He underwent surgery earlier this week.

Without Kuntz and without Jennings, the passing game has cratered. Last week against James Madison, the Monarchs mustered only 227 yards of total offense; quarterback Hayden Wolff was held to 12-of-22 passing for 115 yards and was intercepted twice.

Without a passing attack to speak of, the Dukes were able to load the box and shut down star running back Blake Watson, who has had 21 carries for 50 total yards in the past two outings.

ODU’s modus operandi this season has been to rely on big plays – they sport the 10th most explosive offense in FBS but rank 128th in Success Rate. Without Jennings, the big play spigot has dried up.

Old Dominion’s defense was never considered a shutdown unit, but the lack of offense in recent weeks puts the defense in a difficult place.

Since their stunning win in Myrtle Beach, the Monarchs have given up 27 points per game to conference foes. (That number would be even higher if Marshall’s offense weren’t so poor — the Herd controlled the ball and drove into scoring territory at will but couldn’t finish drives, attempting five field goals and turning the ball over in scoring position twice.)

The Monarchs defense is strong at “bend-don’t-break” football. They rank 73rd in defensive success rate but 14th in finishing drives. Unfortunately in this matchup, App State is strong at finishing their own drives (ranking 15th).

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App State Mountaineers

The Mountaineers have had an up-and-down season, with the peaks of wins at Texas A&M and hosting College GameDay to the valleys of a no-show loss to Texas State and their current two-game losing streak.

But they can still ascend to the heights of bowl eligibility with another win this season.

App’s offense has been strong all season. While the two-headed running back duo of Nate Noel and Camerun Peoples has been inconsistent due to injury, quarterback Chase Brice has been productive all year.

Brice has passed for 2,377 yards and 25 touchdowns, and has protected the ball — something that had been a bugaboo previously in his college career — throwing only six interceptions.

App’s offense is well-balanced, ranking 28th in EPA/pass and 51st in EPA/rush. They’re also balanced in how they move the ball, ranking 49th in Success Rate and 50th in explosive plays.

Most importantly for this matchup, they are strong in finishing their drives. They are also extremely good at preventing Havoc, so they won’t bail out Old Dominion’s struggling offense with short fields.

App’s poor defense has been their Achilles' heel in causing some of their losses.

It's solid at slowing down the rush, ranking 28th in Rushing Success Rate, but can be susceptible to big plays and ranks 93rd in preventing explosives. That might be a problem against a full-strength ODU, but the Monarchs' big-play offense has evaporated.

Old Dominion vs Appalachian State Matchup Analysis

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Old Dominion vs Appalachian State Betting Pick

Appalachian State heads home after a pair of tough road division losses — to recent division rival Coastal and long-time rival Marshall — and will need this game to meet their goals. It's a home game, Senior Day for Brice, Peoples and company, with bowl eligibility on deck.

While the recent results haven’t gone App’s way, it's still intact and can play its football. Old Dominion, meanwhile, has lost key players, and its offense has completely stalled. The Monarchs can no longer make a bowl.

ODU's two advantages are nullified in this game, with App's offense able to finish their drives, and no more Jennings means no more explosive plays.

I trust App in this spot to cover the number with so much still to play for. I’ll take the Mountaineers at anything under 17.

Pick: Appalachian State -15.5 (Play to -17)

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