The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns take on the Appalachian State Mountaineers on Saturday afternoon in the Sun Belt Championship game (2:30 p.m. CT, ESPN). Both teams enter this matchup playing their best football of the season.
After dropping their season-opener against Texas, Louisiana (11-1 SU, 5-7 ATS) has won a school-record 11 games in a row. The Rajin’ Cajuns went undefeated in conference play for the first time and will host the conference championship game for the first time as well.
On the other side, Appalachian State (10-2 SU, 8-4 ATS) is riding a six-game win streak. The Mountaineers won their final four games of the regular season by an average of 30 points.
This is sure to be an exciting matchup to watch unfold, and one way to enhance the excitement is with a little betting action.
Sun Belt Championship Game Betting Odds
Oddsmakers are expecting a close game. Appalachian State is favored by a small margin, but the spread can vary depending on which sportsbook you use. DraftKings, PointsBet, and Caesars list App State as 3-point favorites, while FanDuel offers the Mountaineers as 2.5-point favorites.
|Louisiana Spread||App State Spread||Louisiana Money Line||App State Money Line||Total|
|DraftKings||+3 (-110)||-3 (-110)||+115||-135||53 (OV +100, UN -120)|
|FanDuel||+2.5 (-106)||-2.5 (-114)||+116||-142||52.5 (OV -110, UN -110)|
|PointsBet||+3 (-115)||-3 (-105)||+120||-140||52.5 (OV -110, UN -110)|
|Caesars||+3 (-110)||-3 (-110)||+120||-140||53 (OV -105, UN -115)|
The total also varies between sportsbooks. DraftKings and Caesars have the total listed at 53, while FanDuel and PointsBet have the total a bit lower at 52.5.
As always, no matter which bet you decide to take, shop around at various sportsbooks to ensure you are getting the best odds available.
Billy Napier Looking To Go Out On Top
Louisiana head coach Billy Napier has accepted the same position at Florida, but his job in Lafayette is not finished just yet. Napier will be coaching on the sidelines on Saturday, and he will be looking to end his tenure at Louisiana with a Sun Belt championship.
Napier’s name had been in the mix for a few marquee jobs at the end of last season, but he chose to stay in Lafayette. Part of his decision in staying was because Louisiana returned 20 starters and had high hopes for the upcoming season.
The Ragin’ Cajuns had suffered three straight losing seasons before Napier took over. In his first season in 2018, Napier led the team to a Sun Belt West division title and a 7-7 overall record. Louisiana lost to App State in the championship game 30-19, and then 41-24 to Tulane in the Cure Bowl.
Since then, Louisiana has gone 32-5 in the regular season. It earned a berth in the 2019 Sun Belt championship game but lost to App State 45-38. Napier then led the program to a win in the LendingTree Bowl over Miami (OH) University 27-17.
Last season, the Ragin’ Cajuns won another West division title, but couldn’t play Coastal Carolina in the conference title game due to COVID-19.
Even with Napier’s official departure coming soon, the Rajin’ Cajuns should be highly motivated and ready to roll.
Point Spread Analysis And Pick
App State had won eight straight meetings against Louisiana before the Ragin’ Cajuns finally got over the hump last season with a 24-21 win. In their lone meeting this season on Oct. 12 in Lafayette, Louisiana dominated from start to finish. The Cajuns jumped out to a 20-3 lead at the end of the first quarter and never looked back, winning 41-13. Louisiana’s defense played lights out, as the Rajin’ Cajuns out-gained the Mountaineers 455 to 211 and App State went 0-for-11 on third down. That performance certainly gives the Louisiana defensive unit a ton of confidence, and it helps that this meeting is once again home.
The Ragin’ Cajuns are a perfect 6-0 SU at home this season, while App State is 3-2 SU on the road. In addition, the Ragin’ Cajuns have won eight straight home games going back to last season.
Louisiana plays at a slower pace than App State, putting an emphasis on the running game with an average of nearly 40 carries per game. If the Cajuns can sustain long, time-consuming drives, they could not only control the tempo of the game but also get the Mountaineer offense out of rhythm.
Louisiana has thrived as underdogs in Napier’s tenure. In Napier’s four seasons in Lafayette, the Ragin’ Cajuns are 11-4-1 ATS in 16 games as underdogs. They have won seven of those games outright.
When betting the spread, take the points with Louisiana +3 at home.
It could also be worth it to sprinkle the moneyline (+120). As Napier would say, “Scared money don’t make money.”
Over/Under Analysis And Pick
Both of these defenses have been strong all season long. They are the two best scoring defenses in the conference, and they are playing with a ton of momentum. Louisiana leads the conference by allowing 18.5 points per game, while App State is allowing 18.9 points per game. Because of their stout defensive units, both teams have cashed more unders than overs this season. The under is 9-3 for Louisiana and 7-5 for App State.
After giving up 41 points in October’s meeting, App State’s defense should be able to deliver a better performance this time around. The Mountaineers are playing their best defense of the season at the right time. In their last three regular-season games, they allowed 7, 7, and 3 points. That is about as good as it gets, and they should be able to keep some of that momentum going.
Louisiana has held App State to 21 points or fewer in three of their last four meetings, so Napier seems to be figuring out the App State offensive attack. The Ragin’ Cajuns will run the ball a lot, which should keep the clock moving at a decent pace when they have the ball. That tends to favor the under.
It’s also worth noting that low-scoring games have been the theme in this series. The under is 5-1 in the last six head-to-head matchups between these teams.
Roll with the under 53.
All odds used were available at the time of publishing on Thursday, December 2.