On Wednesday night in a Sun Belt Conference matchup, Appalachian State hosts Coastal Carolina. With “Fun Belt” games being played on weeknights again, Wednesday’s App State/CCU game is the only football game on TV.
Coastal Carolina has only been in the FBS since 2017, but their rise has been meteoric. Last year they were 11-1 and finished the season ranked 14th in the country. This season they are 6-0 and ranked 14th in the country.
Appalachian State, while unranked, has been one of the best Sun Belt programs since joining the FBS in 2014. In fact, the Mountaineers have finished each season with a winning record since joining the conference. Currently, App State has a 4-2 record and as a result they are small underdogs at home against a tough team.
The question for Saturday’s game is if CCU can beat a tough App State team on the road on Wednesday night.
Below, I go over how I think the game will go and my favorite bets.
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Coastal Carolina vs Appalachian State Prediction
Even after half of their regular season games have been played, we have no idea how good Coastal Carolina is this year. Currently, the Chanticleers have an average scoring margin of +33 which is the best in the FBS. However, CCU has only played cupcakes. Unfortunately for Coastal Carolina, Appalachian State is not a cupcake.
Stylistically, Coastal Carolina’s offense is not one of those high-octane offenses. The Chanticleers currently average only 64.8 offensive plays per game which is the fewest in the Sun Belt, and the 16th fewest in the FBS. Additionally, CCU has a rushing play percentage of 63% which is the 11th most in the FBS and surprisingly the most in the Sun Belt.
App State is going to be a tough opponent for Coastal Carolina. Surprisingly their offense has exceeded my expectations this season as quarterback Chase Brice, a Clemson and Duke graduate transfer, has played surprisingly well. However, despite Brice’s success, Appalachian State’s strength lies in their defense.
While App State did poorly against Louisiana last week, they have been able to hold the line on defense this season. The Mountaineers have allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete only 56.2% of their passes which is ranked 26th in the nation. If App State can contain CCU’s rushing attack, they will do well against CCU on third-down passing situations.
Against Georgia State, Marshall, Miami (FL), and East Carolina, App State defended the run well. If they can do well against Coastal Carolina, they should avoid getting blown out.
Prediction: Coastal Carolina 24, App State 21
Coastal Carolina vs Appalachian State Best Bets
Best Bet: Under 59.5 Points (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
Wednesday’s game is what is known as a “trap game” as you can easily be trapped into betting on the favorite because you think their odds are good. Coastal Carolina is the obvious pick to win as they have dominated over the last two years. Additionally, they have the best margin of victory this season.
However, App State will be Coastal Carolina’s toughest opponent so far this season, and they will be playing at home. That is why I am avoiding taking either team’s spread.
Despite not taking a side, I believe that the point total for Wednesday’s game has been set too high at 59.5 points. I see two possible scenarios for the game:
One, Coastal Carolina jumps to an early lead, and then seeks to run down the clock when they have the ball. Two, that App State keeps the score close with good defense. For both scenarios, the Under is likely to hit as 59.5 points is a high bar to reach.