This Wednesday the UL-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns will host the Appalachian State Mountaineers in a potential preview of the Sun Belt title game later this year. Kickoff is set for 8:00 EST at Cajun Field and will be televised on ESPN2.
Oddsmakers opened up this game at Lafayette -2. Several books are still at that number, but some have lowered it down to -1.5. The books are expecting a lot of points, as the over/under currently sits at 70.5.
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Appalachian State vs Louisiana-Lafayette Vegas Preview
Appalachian State Mountaineers (4-0, 1-0 Sun Belt)
The Mountaineers come into this one off a 56-37 win and cover at home against Coastal Carolina as a 15-point favorite. With that cover Appalachian State is now 3-1 ATS on the season.
While the schedule has featured three easy home games against East Tennessee State, Charlotte and Coastal Carolina, the Mountaineers do have a 34-31 win at North Carolina.
Offensively this team is clicking. Appalachian State is averaging 47.0 ppg and 429 ypg. Most of the damage has come on the round, where they are putting 224 yards/game and 5.8 yards/carry. The big concern has to be the defense, which given up 30+ in all 3 games vs a FBS opponent.
Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (4-1, 1-0 Sun Belt)
Ragin’ Cajuns opened up the season with a hard fought 28-38 loss to Mississippi State, but easily covered the number as a 18.5-point dog. That was the first of 5 straight covers for Lafayette, who enters off a 37-24 win at Georgia Southern as a slim 3-point favorite.
Not only do they have a close call against the Bulldogs out of the SEC, they also destroyed one of the top MAC teams in non-conference, blowing out Ohio 45-25 on the road, as a 3-point dog.
Congrats on everyone who has been on the Ragin’ Cajuns not only this year but dating back to last season. Lafayette is now 13-3 ATS over their last 16 games.
This has been a one-sided affair since Appalachian State joined the Sun Belt in 2014. The Mountaineers have won all 6 meetings, including two last year. Lafayette lost 27-17 as a 24.5-point dog in early October and then 30-19 as a 17.5-point dog in the Sun Belt title game. One thing to note is this will be the first time that the Ragin’ Cajuns have played host to Appalachian State since 2016.
Free NCAAF Betting Pick & Predictions: Lafayette -1.5
My early lean here would be to take the Ragin’ Cajuns as a small home favorite and would be tempted to just go ahead and play Lafayette on the money line if they line keeps dropping. This is the definition of a revenge game, as the Ragin’ Cajuns want payback from their two losses to the Mountaineers last year, including that close call in the Sun Belt title game.
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I just think Appalachian State is getting a little too much respect here. While they have that big win at North Carolina, the Tar Heels really gave that game to them. UNC had a 469-385 edge in total yards and 29 first down to the Mountaineers 16. App State had a defensive touchdown and another TD drive where the offense got the ball on the 26-yard line.
More than anything, I do not trust this Appalachian State defense. Not only did the Tar Heels move up and down the field on them, They gave up 41 points and 526 yards to Charlotte and Coastal Carolina had 37 and 393.
That defense will be up against a potent Lafayette offense that is averaging 44.4 ppg and 540 ypg. Ragin’ Cajuns are averaging 7.6 yards/play and are annihilating teams on the ground with 314 ypg and 7.4 yards/carry. I get App State has some impressive offensive numbers of their own, but they have also played the much easier schedule.
Another factor here that I think can’t be overlooked is all the success that the Mountaineers have had in this series came under head coach Scott Satterfield, who left this past offseason to be the new head coach at Louisville. Take Lafayette!