Sun Belt Football Conference Odds - NCAA Betting Lines

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Sun Belt Football Conference Odds

Sun Belt Football Conference Odds

The Appalachian State Mountaineers have made the Sun Belt their comfy stomping ground since joining the conference back in 2014. Though Scott Satterfield decided to bolt for Louisville to turn the Cardinals football program around following the Mountaineers trouncing of Middle Tennessee State in the New Orleans Bowl, linemakers at online sportsbooks expect new head coach Eli Drinkwitz to pick right back up where he left off. Appalachian State is currently the -167 odds on favorite to win the Sun Belt Conference a fourth straight season. Hot on their trail however is a revenge minded Arkansas State squad that failed to meet up with the Mountaineers in the first-ever Sun Belt title game due to losing the tiebreaker to UL-Lafayette. The Red Wolves are oddsmakers’ second best option to take Sun Belt honors in 2019-20. After that it’s a bevy of dart throws spearheaded by Troy, last year’s runner-ups in the Ragin’ Cajuns, Louisiana-Monroe and Georgia Southern. Should South Alabama somehow improve from 3-9 a year ago and win the Sun Belt, the rate of return on a $100 wager would be a cool $25K - In other words, it likely isn’t happening!

Sun Belt Championship Betting Odds

Appalachian State -167

Arkansas State +350

Troy +600

Louisiana-Lafayette +1400

Louisiana-Monroe +1400

Georgia Southern +2000

Texas State +2000

Coastal Carolina +15000

Georgia State +15000

South Alabama +25000

The success of the reigning champion Appalachian State Mountaineers will have everything to do with how well the veteran team adjusts to new schemes on the offensive side of the ball with a new coaching staff in place. App State buttered its bread with a run-heavy approach throughout the Satterfield era, but the offense is likely to evolve into more of a passing attack with Drinkwitz’s offenses at NC State routinely ranked in the top 20 in pass attempts and top 10 in completions the last two seasons. With Zac Thomas and all his major weapons back for the 2019-20 season, you can expect to lay a ton of chalk with the Mountaineers week in and week out.

New defensive coordinator Ted Roof inherits a defense that returns six playmakers from last year’s unit that ranked No. 6 in total defense and No. 4 in points allowed. He decided to continue running the 3-4 scheme, so there will be some familiarity on that side of the ball. The secondary could have some issues defending potent passing attacks with it breaking in a pair of new cornerbacks however. All the pieces are in place for Appalachian State to get some national notoriety to the schedule, new coaching staff and schedule. This most definitely looks like the team to beat, so it comes as no surprise to see them the early front-runners on the college football futures odds to do so.

Blake Anderson has simply gotten the job done since taking the head coaching job to overlook Arkansas State’s football program. The Red Wolves have compiled a 39-25 overall record over the course of his stay, and went on to win 31 of 40 Sun Belt matchups. On top of that, the folks in Jonesboro have gotten very used to seeing Arkansas State in the second season with it punching a bowl ticket in all five seasons. The results of those games were tough however with the club managing just one win and pointspread cover.

Though All-Sun Belt quarterback Justice Hansen needs to be replaced, a strong supporting cast is expected to make the transition to Logan Bonner a bit easier. The defense should once again be a force with it boasting one of if not the best defensive lines in the conference. Its ability to get over the hump and reach the Sun Belt title game this time around will ultimately hinge upon the end result of the October 17 home tilt against UL-Lafayette.

Speaking of the Ragin’ Cajuns, last year’s runner-ups will once again rely upon a punishing ground attack in hopes of outlasting the Red Wolves to once again attain West Division bragging rights. Head coach Billy Napier has got this program on the ascent, but the defense is going to need to drastically improve across the board to have any shot of representing the division in the Sun Belt title game in back-to-back years. That aforementioned stop unit ranked No. 97 overall and No. 105 in points allowed; that simply won’t cut it this time around as determined Arkansas State will be this season.

Much like Drinkwitz at App State, new Troy head coach Chip Lindsay steps into a comfortable situation with many of the Trojans impact players returning from last year’s 10-3 team whose only loss in division play came against the Mountaineers. The Trojans got 12 experienced players back in the fold spearheaded by cagey running back B.J. Smith and linebacker Carlton Martial. The latter will need to take his game to the next level if the unit is to live up to the expectations previous Neal Brown defenses lived up to throughout his stay as Troy’s head coach with so many crucial parts having since departed on that side of the ball.

While Georgia Southern could have a say on how the Sun Belt shapes up this season, it looks like Appalachian State and Arkansas State are on a collision course for one another in the Sun Belt title game.

SEC Football Format

The Sun Belt has become a home to schools making the leap to the FBS level. It hasn’t been done out of the goodness of the league’s heart, but rather to keep enough football playing schools so the conference could continue to sponsor the sport. Georgia State made the transition in 2013. Appalachian State and Georgia Southern, two of the more successful lower-level programs, made the move in 2014. The last team to join the conference was the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. CCU will once again play a full conference schedule and compete for the Sun Belt crown, and is now eligible for a bowl as the transition became final back in 2017.

One of two FBS conferences that isn’t split into divisions and the only one that won’t play a conference championship game, that all changed for the Sun Belt in 2018. Appalachian State went on to oust UL-Lafayette in the inaugural Sun Belt title game last season, but did so in a non-covering fashion beating the Ragin’ Cajuns 30-19 as 17.5-point favorites.

The Sun Belt has affiliations with the New Orleans, Dollar General, Camellia, Cure and Arizona Bowls.

In adding Coastal Carolina to the scheduling matrix back in 2017, it boosted the conference to an all-time high in football membership. New Mexico State and Idaho played their last season in the conference back in 2017 and barring any more additions, the league will be at 10 teams for the 2019-20 season and beyond. The league is now split into two five-team divisions otherwise known as the East and West with the team owning the best record hosting the championship game.

List of Sun Belt Conference Champions

2018 Appalachian State Appalachian State Louisiana
2017 Appalachian State/Troy N/A N/A
2016 Appalachian State/Arkansas State N/A N/A
2015 Arkansas State N/A N/A
2014 Georgia Southern N/A N/A
2013 Arkansas State/Louisiana-Lafayette N/A N/A
2012 Arkansas State N/A N/A
2011 Arkansas State N/A N/A
2010 Florida International/Troy N/A N/A
2009 Troy N/A N/A
2008 Troy N/A N/A
2007 Florida Atlantic/Troy N/A N/A
2006 Middle Tennessee/Troy N/A N/A
2005 Arkansas State/Louisiana-Lafayette/Louisiana-Monroe N/A N/A
2004 North Texas N/A N/A
2003 North Texas N/A N/A
2002 North Texas N/A N/A
2001 Middle Tennessee/North Texas N/A N/A

The Sun Belt became a Division I conference in 1976 and started as a non-football league. The lure of the dollar, however, changed the minds of administrators around the league and after a massive overhaul of members in the early 1990s, things started to change. Football became an option and the league added several new members that sponsored the sport by 2000. Following the addition of New Mexico State, North Texas and Middle Tennessee, there were enough football playing schools and in 2001 the league sponsored football for the first time.

Five schools remain from that first year and three have been in the Sun Belt for the duration. Arkansas State is one of the three original football playing teams and the Red Wolves have captured the most league titles with six. New Mexico State and Idaho both started playing football in the conference in 1991 and left in 2005 to join a league closer to home. When the Western Athletic Conference dropped football, the two returned as football-only members in 2014. As a thank you to those schools, the Sun Belt booted them out of the league to become more regionalized. New Mexico State has since played as an independent since 2018 while Idaho becomes the first school to drop a level. The Vandals rejoined the FCS Big Sky Conference in 2018.

Most Sun Belt Conference Championships

6 Arkansas State 2016
6 Troy 2010
4 North Texas * 2004
2 Middle Tennessee * 2006
2 Louisiana-Lafayette 2013
1 Louisiana-Monroe 2005
1 Florida Atlantic * 2007
1 Florida International * 2010
1 Georgia Southern 2014
3 Appalachian State 2016
0 Idaho ---
0 New Mexico State ---
0 South Alabama ---
0 Coastal Carolina ---
0 Texas State ---

* Former conference member

The league has had to do some nifty work to keep enough football playing teams after 11 schools departed. The influx of new blood helped the Sun Belt produce its best season in 2016 and there’s hope things get better moving forward.

However it’s been the old guard that has had the most success on the gridiron. Arkansas State has been around continuously since football started in the Sun Belt and the Red Wolves have amassed a record six conference titles in 16 years. They won it outright in 2015 and shared App State’s first title the following season. Troy State joined in 2004 and won or shared a record five straight titles from 2005 to 2009. They secured their most recent title in 2017 along with the Mountaineers

We’ve seen eight ties at the top of the standings since the league’s inception, but that nonsense was all put to an end in 2018 with the introduction of the Sun Belt’s first conference championship game; once again won by Appalachian State.

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