Teams that have gone a combined 51-10 since 2019 and have faced off in the Sun Belt Conference Championship Game in 2018 and 2019 meet when the Appalachian State Mountaineers battle the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns on Tuesday night. The Mountaineers (4-1, 1-0), second in the Sun Belt East, have won three in a row since losing at Miami, Fla., 25-23 on Sept. 11. The Ragin' Cajuns (4-1, 2-0), first in the Sun Belt West, have won four in a row since dropping their season-opener at Texas 38-18. Appalachian State owns an 8-1 edge in the all-time series, although Louisiana won last year's game, 24-21.
Kickoff from Cajun Field in Lafayette, La., will be at 7:30 p.m. ET. Appalachian State averages 284.2 passing yards per game, while Louisiana averages 229. The Mountaineers are favored by 4.5 points in the latest Appalachian State vs. Louisiana odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is 57. Before finalizing any Louisiana vs. Appalachian State picks, check out the college football predictions from SportsLine's Emory Hunt.
Hunt is the founder and CEO of Football Gameplan, which has been supplying analysis of all levels of football since 2007, and a former running back at Louisiana. He knows the game from a player's perspective.
Hunt has had plenty of success in games involving Appalachian State. In fact, he is 9-2 on his last 11 against the spread picks involving Appalachian State, returning nearly $700 to $100 players. Hunt has also gone 178-149 on his college football picks over the past two seasons, returning $1,477 to $100 players. Anybody who has been following him is way up.
- Appalachian State vs. Louisiana spread: Appalachian State -4.5
- Appalachian State vs. Louisiana over-under: 57 points
- Appalachian State vs. Louisiana money line: Appalachian State -200, Louisiana +170
- APLST: The Mountaineers are 74-21 since joining the Sun Belt in 2014
- UL: The Ragin' Cajuns have won 25 of their last 29 games
Why Appalachian State can cover
The Mountaineers returned 10 defensive starters, seven offensive starters and 80 percent of their letterwinners from 2020, including 14 super seniors taking advantage of the extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA due to the coronavirus pandemic. Those 14 players have now combined to play 513 games for Appalachian State and make 336 starts. Sun Belt leading tackler, senior D'Marco Jackson, was named the Sun Belt's defensive player of the week. He posted nine tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack, one interception, one pass breakup and one quarterback hurry against Georgia State.
Junior linebacker Nick Hampton has been the perfect complement to Jackson and is second on the team in tackles with 26, including 13 solo. He has two sacks for 12 yards and one pass breakup. Appalachian State has held opposing offenses to less than 30 points in 18 games in a row, dating back to 2019.
Why Louisiana can cover
Complementing the team's wide receiver group is sophomore tight end Neal Johnson, who is tied for fourth in receptions with eight for 94 yards (11.8 average). Johnson hauled in an 18-yard catch at South Alabama on Oct. 2 and had three receptions for 17 yards in the win over Ohio on Sept. 16. Johnson led the Ragin' Cajuns' tight ends with three catches for 40 yards in the opener at Texas on Sept. 4. In 2020, he was the team's most productive tight end, catching 13 passes for 133 yards and a score. He has three TDs in his career.
Defensively, Louisiana is led by junior linebacker Lorenzo McCaskill, who has a team-high 35 tackles, including 13 solo. He also has one-half sack for one yard. He had one of his most disruptive performances against Georgia Southern on Sept. 25 when he registered his half-sack, seven tackles and a career-best 1 ½ tackles for loss. He led the Ragin' Cajuns with 11 tackles and a quarterback hurry against Ohio in Week 3, marking the sixth double-digit tackle performance of his career and first of the 2021 season.
How to make Appalachian State vs. Louisiana picks
Hunt is leaning over on the point total, and he's also found a critical X-factor that has him jumping all over one side of the spread. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Louisiana vs. Appalachian State? And which side of the spread is a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the expert who has crushed his college football picks involving the Mountaineers, and find out.