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College Football Odds & Betting Picks for Appalachian State vs. Coastal Carolina: Betting Value Lies With Mountaineers

College Football Odds & Betting Picks for Appalachian State vs. Coastal Carolina: Betting Value Lies With Mountaineers article feature image

Austin McAfee/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Coastal Carolina running back Reese White.

  • Coastal Carolina has strung together an incredible season thus far, but the Chanticleers now face their toughest remaining challenge in the Mountaineers of Appalachian State.
  • While the Chants are expected to pull off wins in the rest of their games, Mike Calabrese is rolling with the Mountaineers on the Surf Turf.
  • Check out Calabrese's full betting analysis with updated odds below.

Appalachian State vs. Coastal Carolina Odds

Appalachian State Odds +4.5 [BET NOW]
Coastal Carolina Odds -4.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline +160 / -191 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 47 [BET NOW]
Time Saturday, noon ET
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Appalachian State is the lone remaining threat to derail Coastal Carolina’s perfect regular season, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI).

The FPI, which gives Coastal Carolina a 59.3% chance of beating the Mountaineers on Saturday on “The Surf Turf” at Brooks Stadium, also gives it a 72% or chance better at defeating each of its final three opponents.

Appalachian State opened as a four-point underdog, but that number has already bubbled up to six points at some sportsbooks. What’s interesting is that despite the line movement, tickets and overall handle are fairly split on this Sun Belt showdown.

The reason? Sharps appear to be keeping their money on the sideline, as they await word on the availability of App State fifth-year senior quarterback Zac Thomas.

.@AppState_FB HC @coach_sclark update on QB Zac Thomas who was taken off the field on a stretcher during today's win over Georgia State. @WFMY #wfmysports @_amandaferguson

— Brian Hall (@bhallwfmy) November 15, 2020

If the Mountaineers’ veteran receives the green light just a week after being carted off against Georgia State, I’ll be on the ‘Neers moneyline in this spot. If App State is forced to go with backup Jacob Huesman, who has seen action in 18 career games, the line would need to reach the key number of seven for me to entertain a play on the road underdog.

Appalachian State Mountaineers

The word out of Boone, N.C., is that Thomas’ hospital stay was short-lived and purely precautionary. Reading the tea leaves, if Thomas practices on Thursday and Friday, it’s safe to assume he’ll be suiting up in Conway, S.C.

However, if Thomas is ruled out, that doesn’t necessarily mean the Mountaineers are cooked. Thomas, while experienced, has still only posted a QBR of 70.6 (45th) this season.

In Shawn Clark’s first season as head coach, App State has leaned even more heavily on its run game than it did under Eli Drinkwitz. In 2019, the Mountaineers ran for 231 yards per game (16th). Yet this season, that figure has increased to to 261 yards, putting App State in the top 10 nationally.

The Mountaineers are also the only team in the FBS to have five separate running back break the century mark in a game this season. This reliance on its running game would help mitigate the loss of Thomas. It would also mesh well with the defense App State is facing this week.

Coastal Carolina has been difficult to pass on so far, checking in at 13th nationally in yards allowed through the air with a Sack Rate of 10.64% (seventh). On the ground, the Chanticleers are slightly more vulnerable.

Louisiana racked up 236 yards on just 30 carries on Oct. 14, falling to Coastal Carolina on a last-second field goal. Seeing as App State’s identity is already ground and pound, I think the blueprint is not only available, but preferable.

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Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

The Chanticleers have overachieved this year behind a well-balanced offense that commits very few penalties (second) and rarely turns the ball over. Quarterback Grayson McCall sports a 16-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

This formula has worked to perfection against a schedule that has featured few disruptive defenses. Five of the Chanticleers’ wins have come against teams ranked 74th or worse in defensive Havoc rating, which has inflated Coastal Carolina’s average turnover margin.

On Saturday, they’ll be facing off against the fourth most disruptive defense in all of college football. The Mountaineers’ secondary is breaking up 7.86 passes per game, which is on pace to be the highest average since 2010 when Oregon defended 7.85 passes per contest.

Then, we have last week’s cancellation against Troy. Had the game been canceled earlier in the week instead Friday, the Chanticleers would have been gifted a de facto bye week. Prepping for Troy instead of App State means Coastal Carolina is only fresher in a physical sense; not a mental one.

Finally, the coaching carousel rumors swirling around head coach Jamey Chadwell have the potential to distract both him and his team. South Carolina fired Will Muschamp on Sunday, with Chadwell emerging as a serious candidate, according to the betting markets.

Historically, we’ve seen Group of Five teams negatively impacted by situations like this, particularly during bowl season.

Betting Analysis & Pick

Coastal Carolina has been punching above its weight all season (AP No. 15; SP+ 37th) and catches Appalachian State in a rare underdog spot.

In my option, the Mountaineers (SP+ 28th) have the defense and running game to tilt this game in their favor. If Thomas starts, I’ll be playing App State on the moneyline. If Huesman gets the nod, I’ll play the Mountaineers if they’re catching seven or more points.

Pick: QB Dependent App State Moneyline +185 | App State+7 or better.

[Bet Appalachian State now at PointsBet risk-free up to $250]

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