This Saturday the Appalachian State Mountaineers (9-2) will host the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns in the 2018 Sun Belt Championship Game. Kickoff is set for 12:00 EST at Kidd Brewer Stadium and will be televised on ESPN.

Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Mountaineers as a 17.5-point favorite, but early action has been on the Mountaineers and the line is now App State -18.5 with a total of 59. Click here for a full betting schedule and for more links to our individual game previews.

Appalachian State vs Louisiana-Lafayette Vegas Preview

The Ragin’ Cajuns went into their regular-season finale needing to win on the road over in-state rival ULM and did just that. Lafayette jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the 1st quarter and would hold on for a 31-28 victory to secure a spot in the title game. The Ragin’ Cajuns were a profitable team to back down the stretch, as they covered 7 of their final 9 games.

The Mountaineers also had a division title on the line in their final game and it was a winner-take all showdown with Troy, who came into the game a perfect 7-0 in league play. Appalachian State scored 21 points in the first 20 minutes to take a 21-0 lead. They wouldn’t score again, but the defense limited the Trojans to just 10 points. While the were just 3-3 ATS in their final 6 games, they covered their first 5 games to go 8-3 against the number.

This will be a rematch, as these two teams played at this exact stadium back on Oct. 20th. That game was also played on the Mountaineers home field. Appalachian State won the game 27-17, but it was the Ragin’ Cajuns who easily covered as a 26-point dog.

Free NCAAF Betting Pick & Predictions: Appalachian State -18.5

My early lean here is going to be on the Mountaineers to cash in as a big home favorite. I think for a lot of people that handicap this game, they are going to see how close the first game was and be quick to jump on the Ragin’ Cajuns. I just think that first go around is a bit misleading.

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You have to keep in mind that no one was picking Lafayette to win the West. In fact, just about everyone was picking Arkansas State or ULM. ¬†When these two teams met in the regular season it was a really tough spot for Appalachian State. They were coming off a a huge road win over Arkansas State and had a massive showdown at Georgia Southern on deck in a matter of just 5 days. I just don’t think they took the Ragin’ Cajuns all that seriously and they were up 17-points before Lafayette added a garbage TD in the final minutes.

This time around Appalachian State is going to be 100% locked in and I just think that there’s a big enough gap in talent that a focused and motivated Mountaineers team, especially at home, will have no problem winning here by at least 20 points.

Offensively these two teams are pretty similar, as both have made a living with their running game. The big difference is the two defenses. Appalachian State is giving up just 15.4 ppg and 278 ypg games (only 4.3 yards/play). Lafayette isn’t even close to that. The Ragin’ Cajuns come in allowing 34.0 ppg and 443 ypg (6.5 yards/play).

If you remember back to last year, these two teams played on Dec. 2nd with Appalachian State needing a win to secure at least a tie of the Sun Belt regular-season title and they annihilated Lafayette 63-14 on their home field as a mere 14-point favorite. You also can’t ignore the fact that the books had the Mountaineers as a 26-point favorite the first time around. I get that line was probably a few points high, but I think they have over-adjusted. Give me Appalachian State -18.5!