Appalachian State Mountaineers at Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Pick 10/9/18
Appalachian State Mountaineers (4-0) at Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (4-1)
When: Wednesday, October 9, 8 p.m. EDT
Where: Cajun Field, Lafayette, La.
Point Spread: UL -1.5 (WagerWeb)
Total: O/U 69
Outlook For Week 7
Both of these teams had a bye last week, so this odd Wednesday game works out to be nothing more than a little extra preparation for them. These teams might not be big names, but they’ve both proven that they can play with and in some cases, beat quality opponents. Appalachian State already has a win over North Carolina on its resume and has some realistic dreams of making a run to a New Year’s 6 bowl if it can run the table, while Louisiana has revenge on its mind after seeing its hopes of a Sun Belt championship end with two losses to the Mountaineers a season ago. The Cajuns don’t have a signature win like Appalachian State’s victory over the Tar Heels, but they did play Mississippi State to a 10-point decision in Starkville, a major difference from last season’s 46-point thrashing against the Bulldogs.
How the Public is Betting the Appalachian State/Louisiana Game
The line opened at Appalachian State -2, but it’s shifted nearly four points, and Louisiana is now favored by 1.5 to win this game at home. The total has moved slightly, going from 68.5 to 69.
Other than a torn ACL for Camerun Peoples, suffered a month ago, Appalachian State reports no injuries.
Linebacker Chauncey Manac missed the Cajuns’ last game against Georgia Southern with an upper-body injury. He’s questionable for Appalachian State.
When Appalachian State Has the Ball
Zac Thomas has been known for making big plays with his arm, but that didn’t happen last year against Louisiana. In two meetings, the Cajuns held Thomas to less than 200 passing yards combined. Yet both games still went to Appalachian State by double digits.
Why? Two reasons: One, Thomas is pretty adept at making plays with his legs when he has to. In the Sun Belt title game last year, Thomas had two of Appalachian State’s three touchdowns and scored both of them on the ground, notching rushing scores of 25 and 35 yards. The other reason is running back Darrynton Evans. The Cajuns had no real answers for him in the Sun Belt title game, as he broke the century mark and successfully kept Louisiana’s offense off the field. Evans is back as well, and he’s been a touchdown machine this season, scoring nine times in four games.
When Louisiana Has the Ball
While Appalachian State looks much like it did a year ago, Louisiana is a different team, and it is better for it. Levi Lewis has stepped into the quarterback role and looked excellent in the process, tossing eight touchdowns against just two interceptions. He hasn’t thrown a pick since Week 2 against Liberty, which has allowed the Cajuns’ backfield of Trey Ragas and Elijah Mitchell to run wild against Louisiana’s opponents.
Appalachian State couldn’t stop either one last season in the Sun Belt title game, as the two backs combined for 186 yards on the ground. But the Mountaineers did enough to keep both of them out of the end zone, forcing the Cajuns to settle for field goals, which made the difference in the end. Both backs are a year more experienced now, and they haven’t shown any signs of stopping. Together, they have 15 rushing touchdowns and 950 yards, making for an intriguing matchup against an App State defense that’s shown a tendency to give up points.
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History tends to favor Appalachian State in this matchup, as the visitor has gone 5-1 ATS in their past six meetings, and App State is 8-1 ATS in its previous nine road games anyway. But the Mountaineers haven’t faced a trip to Lafayette since 2016, and they’re playing in the month that ‘s been hardest on them. Over their past six games in October, the Mountaineers are 1-5 ATS.
Meanwhile, the Cajuns have been a “cover” machine since Billy Napier became the coach. Over their past 16 games, Louisiana is 13-3 ATS and has beaten the spread in all five of its games this season. Louisiana has failed to cover just once in its past five league games and has put up a great showing at home, getting the point spread wins in six of its past eight.
As far as the total goes, these teams are both excellent at scoring, but for some reason, that disappears when facing each other. The over is 4-1 in App State’s past five games and 5-1 in Louisiana’s past six, but when they’ve played each other, the under has hit in five of their previous six meetings.
It’s fall in most of the country, but not so much in Louisiana. Temperatures will hit 87 degrees, even with an 8 p.m. kickoff.
Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread
This game should be an excellent contest between two good teams who know that there’s a good chance they’ll see each other again for the Sun Belt championship. This game is also one that Louisiana has waited three years to play. Thanks to Idaho’s departure from the Sun Belt, the Cajuns didn’t get to host Appalachian State in either 2017 or 2018, making the trip to Boone in all three games. Now they’ve got the Sun Belt kingpin coming to Lafayette, and they believe they’ve got their best team in a long time waiting for the Mountaineers.
That kind of emotion is always tough to figure, as Louisiana could come out fired up and play the best game of its season, or it could find itself overwhelmed by the moment. Given that the Cajuns have taken their lumps against the Mountaineers and worked toward this moment, I’m going to go with the former on this one. Give me Louisiana to finally end the Mountaineers’ reign and put itself in the driver’s seat to host the Sun Belt title game. Where are you wagering on this game? If your bookie is sticking you with -110 odds, you should seriously consider dumping him and making the switch to reduced juice -105 betting at BetAnySports. You essentially save $5 per $100 you’re trying to win, which adds up to an enormous amount by the end of the season. Start betting smarter today by clicking here to sign up at BetAnySports!
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