Appalachian State vs. Middle Tennessee, New Orleans Bowl: TV channel, live stream, watch online, prediction, pick, odds

The nightcap to the first full day of bowl games has the chance to be the best one of the day. Sun Belt champs Appalachian State may not have coach Scott Satterfield, but it is one of the top teams outside of the Power Five ranks. Middle Tennessee came within a field goal of winning the Conference USA Championship Game, and sees the end of an era at quarterback in Brent Stockstill.

Put two fun offenses indoors on a fast track when there are only 60 minutes of regulation football left before the long offseason typically means weirdness ensues. And there is definitely a niche for #FunBelt action in New Orleans.

Let's get ready for some fun on the Bayou.

Viewing information

Event: New Orleans Bowl
Date: Saturday, Dec. 15 | Time: 9 p.m. ET
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome -- New Orleans, Louisiana
TV:
ESPN | Live stream: WatchESPN

Storylines

Appalachian State: Satterfield did an outstanding job elevating Appalachian State from the FCS ranks to the FBS. Not only did the Mountaineers make the transition successfully, they've managed to compete with the Power Five big boys on an annual basis. Losing Satterfield hurts, but he's spent practically his entire career in North Carolina. It's time for him to try something else as he takes over at Louisville. But what he leaves behind is a masterful offense led by the conference's Offensive Player of the Year, quarterback Zac Thomas. Can Appalachian State, which routinely hits the over, light up the scoreboard once again?

Middle Tennessee: If it feels like quarterback Brent Stockstill has been at Middle Tennessee forever, it's because he practically has been. The fifth-year senior is the school's all-time leading passer with 12,142 yards. Stockstill, son of Blue Raiders coach Rick Stockstill, will have to lead an offense that will need to keep up with Appalachian State's high-powered attack; however, Middle Tennessee has also allowed 36 sacks this season -- 11th most in C-USA -- and the Mountaineers are just as good defensively as they are offensively. The point being, the Blue Raiders can't afford to fall behind too much in this game.  

Game prediction, picks

Bowl games like these are hard to predict when a coach is on the way out. However, the Mountaineers have been consistently one of the best Group of Five teams from start to finish. With a point differential of +21 for the year, App. State boasts the Sun Belt's best scoring offense and scoring defense. Middle Tennessee is certainly capable, but App. State is a complete football team and it would take a letdown for the Blue Raiders to pull the upset. Pick: Appalachian State -7.5

So, which side of the MTSU vs. Appalachian State spread hits in nearly 70 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side you need to be all over in the 2018 New Orleans Bowl, all from the model that has returned over $4,000 in profit for $100 bettors, and find out. 

CBS Sports Writer

Ben Kercheval joined CBS Sports in 2016 and has been covering college football since 2010. Before CBS, Ben worked at Bleacher Report, UPROXX Sports and NBC Sports. As a long-suffering North Texas graduate,... Full Bio

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