This weekend features several intriguing college football games for fans and bettors to take in, including the Appalachian State Mountaineers squaring off against the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns.
Both teams have put together terrific campaigns thus far. #20 Louisiana is 11-1 this year and will likely secure a good bowl bid with a win here. Appalachian State (unranked) has been nearly as hot, as it’s on a six-game winning streak and finished the season 10-2.
These two teams played each other Oct. 12, and the contest was ever close. Louisiana took down Appalachian State by 28 (41-13) after it built a 20-3 lead by the end of the first quarter.
The Mountaineers will be looking for some good old-fashioned payback with this matchup.
Without further ado, here are our picks and predictions for the Sun Belt Championship Game, which is set for 3:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, Dec. 4, at Cajun Field in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Please note that all odds and lines are current as of 10 a.m. EST on Tuesday, Nov. 30.
Appalachian State vs Louisiana Prediction
Louisiana dominated on both sides of the ball this year, scoring a tick over 31 points per game while permitting just 18. They were consistently excellent week in and week out, and beat teams in multiple styles.
Close games? The Ragin’ Cajuns won six one-possession games as they were always clutch in the fourth quarter.
Blowouts? They can do that too as they won the other five games by two or more touchdowns.
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Appalachian State, on the other hand, was a bit more consistent with their margins of victory. Their offense overwhelmed teams by routinely scoring 30+ points, but their defense also stayed strong throughout the year.
The Mountaineers ranked 16th in opponents’ points per game (19.7) and allowed only 31 points in their last four games.
Appalachian State will need another strong defensive effort here against Levi Lewis, who thew for 2,437 yards this season with a stellar 18:4 TD:INT. He’ll face a Mountaineers defense allowing 206.3 yards per game through the air this season — the 31st-lowest average.
- For more CFB betting tips, check out our CFB Week 14 Best Bets.
Chase Brice posted some strong numbers as well: He’s compiled 2,901 passing yards with a 22:10 TD/INT ratio thus far. He too may find it difficult to throw as Louisiana also has a stellar defense. It held opponents to just 203.6 passing yards per game (28th nationally).
Given how strong both defenses are, we may see a lower-scoring game than what we all saw back in October. That said, Louisiana’s offense has already roasted Appalachian State’s defense once this year. so Lewis and co. should find a way to put enough points on the board to prevail here by less than a touchdown.
Appalachian State vs Louisiana Prediction: Louisiana 27, Appalachian State 23
Appalachian State vs Louisiana Best Bets
Best Bet: Louisiana Moneyline (+120) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
It’s not going to be a blowout for Louisiana like last time, but they should still be able to get the job done against Appalachian State.
While the Mountaineers’ defense is one of the nation’s best, I still like the Ragin’ Cajuns to score 25+ points here, which they’ve done in eight of their 12 games this season. They’ve also scored 98 combined points in their last three games, averaging 32.6 per contest during that span.
The Ragin’ Cajuns defense has also been close to impenetrable this year, yielding more than 20 points just four times all season. While Brice will likely be one of the best quarterbacks they’ll face this year, Louisiana should do enough on both sides of the ball to come out on top in our CFB bet of the day.
Best Bet: Louisiana +2.5 (-110) at Caesars
I was definitely surprised when I saw this line, especially after Louisiana won by more than two scores earlier in the season. It also comes in with the better record and in the latest AP Top 25.
While Appalachian State is favored, I don’t think they’re the better team here, even though this contest should be relatively close. With how Louisiana has played down the stretch, I’m taking them against the spread on our CFB gameday odds.
As noted, the Mountaineers’ defense has been tremendous lately and should be able to keep the game close. This will likely be a one-possession game given the defensive talent on both sides.