The Appalachian State Mountaineers (12-1) travel to Louisiana this weekend to face the UAB Blazers (9-4) in the 2019 New Orleans Bowl. Kickoff is set for 9:00 PM EST on December 21st at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the game will be nationally televised on ESPN.
Taking a look at the full list of college bowl betting odds, Appalachian State is currently listed as a 17-point favorite. The total for the game is sitting at 47.5 points. You can also click here to check out our 2019-20 bowl predictions page.
New Orleans Bowl Vegas Odds Preview: App State vs UAB
UAB saw their three game winning streak come to a close their last time out, getting crushed 49-6 by Florida Atlantic in the Conference-USA Championship Game. The Blazers fell behind 35-6 in the first quarter and never recovered, getting completely shut out on offense over the final two quarters of the game. Their lack of offensive firepower was definitely a bit of an issue the entire year, as the team averaged just over 23 points per game. While they were able to run the ball somewhat effectively, the passing offense averaged well under 200 yards per outing through the air.
The Blazers were very strong on the other side of the ball through their first thirteen games, surrendering just over 20 points per game. UAB was especially strong defending against the run, allowing just over 107 yards per game on the ground.
Appalachian State only lost one game during the entire regular season this year, going 12-1 overall. The Mountaineers managed to grind out a win over Louisiana in the Sun Belt Conference Championship Game in early December, beating the Ragin’ Cajuns 45-38 at home. QB Zac Thomas played fairly well, going 9/17 for 149 passing yards and two touchdowns through the air. RB Darrynton Evans was clearly the star of the game offensively, racking up 136 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns. Overall, Appalachian State averaged almost 40 points and 440 total yards of offense per game.
The Mountaineers were also fairly solid on the other side of the ball during the regular season, giving up just over 20 points per game while holding opposing offenses to an average of under 350 total yards. Appalachian State also held their opponents to an average of five yards per play on offense.
2019 New Orleans Bowl Free Betting Pick & Predictions: OVER 47.5
While I’m also leaning slightly towards taking the boatload of points and rolling with the Blazers against the spread, I just can’t get behind an offense that only averaged around 20 points per game. While their defense played pretty well for the bulk of the season, it is also important to point out that they just gave up almost 50 points to Florida Atlantic their last time out. Therefore, my favorite play in this particular matchup is the OVER on 47.5 total points scored, as I think that the current number is still just a touch too low.
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I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Mountaineers found a way to put up at least 40-45 points on their own on Saturday evening, especially considering that they scored at least 42 points on seven different occasions during the regular season. The Mercedes-Benz Superdome will also give both offenses ideal conditions to go to work under, so there could easily be a little bit more offense then expected. I’m going to avoid throwing darts against what looks to be a pretty efficient spread in favor of the OVER on 47.5 total points scored.