The biggest regular-season game in the Sun Belt Conference this season is Wednesday night as No. 14 Coastal Carolina visits Appalachian State. Which way to lean at BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks?
Coastal Carolina Chanticleers vs. Appalachian State Mountaineers
Wednesday, October 20, 2021 – 07:30 PM EDT at Kidd Brewer Stadium
We got a terrific Sun Belt Conference matchup involving Appalachian State last Tuesday, and it’s an even bigger game this Wednesday as the Mountaineers host No. 14 Coastal Carolina. ESPN2 has the telecast.
Louisiana is going to win the Sun Belt West Division. The winner of this game is almost surely going to win the East Division and play the Ragin’ Cajuns in the conference championship game. Coastal Carolina and Louisiana were to play in that last year, but it was canceled due to COVID within the Chanticleers’ program.
Wednesday will be only the fifth meeting between these programs at the FBS level with App State leading 3-1. Last year, Coastal Carolina was ranked No. 15 and a 3-point home favorite at BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks and won 34-23. App State led 17-9 at the half and had 266 total yards and 172 rushing yards, but the Mountaineers were held to 149 yards in the second half and 32 on the ground.
They still led 23-21 before the Chanticleers scored a go-ahead TD with 2:24 left and then added an INT return for a touchdown. App State QB Zac Thomas (now gone) was picked off three times, one returned for a score. Chants QB Grayson McCall was 12-for-21 for 200 yards and two touchdowns and rushed 14 times for 69 yards and a score.
Coastal Carolina Playoff Bound?
Is there a path for the No. 14 Chanticleers (6-0) to the College Football Playoff? I don’t see it, especially with fellow Group of 5 school Cincinnati looking like it will get a bid. Oddsmakers at BMR’s top-rated books list Coastal Carolina as a +25000 long shot to win the national title.
The Chants deserve better odds than that but obviously, the oddsmakers don’t think they can make the playoff, either. Coastal (which is in Myrtle Beach, S.C. if you didn’t know) comes off a 52-20 victory at Arkansas State on Oct. 7 to get bowl eligible (first school in the country to do so but others have since done so).
The Chants had a whopping 685 yards of offense, No. 2 in school history. Grayson McCall, the reigning Sun Belt player of the year, threw for a career-high 365 yards and tied his career-high with four touchdown passes.
The John Mackey Award goes to the nation’s top tight end and that may well be CCU’s, Isaiah Likely. He had eight catches for 232 yards (No. 2 in school history) and four TDs in the win and has 27 catches for 513 yards and eight scores on the year. Running back Shermari Jones missed the previous game injured but returned with 113 yards and a TD on 10 carries.
CCU has won 11 straight Sun Belt games as well as eight straight on the road overall, going 7-1 against the spread on the NCAAF odds.
App State Off Worst Game Of Season
We previewed App State’s game at Louisiana here at BMR last week and recommended the Ragin’ Cajuns at +3.5. Well, you are welcome as they won outright easily 41-13. That’s the worst I’ve seen the Mountaineers play in a while – maybe they were looking ahead to this one. They had just 211 total yards with four turnovers.
Louisiana scored a touchdown on its first three drives and led 20-6 at the break and then picked off a pass on App State’s first possession of the second half and it led to a TD. The game was over then.
The Mountaineers did not convert a third-down attempt on 11 tries. It was only App State’s 10th all-time loss in the Sun Belt and sixth on the road since joining the league in 2014.
Mountaineers leading rusher Nate Noel (92.2 ypg, second in Sun Belt) was in question with an injury but played and had just 44 yards on 17 carries. No. 2 running back Camerun Peoples (88.3 ypg, third in Sun Belt) missed his second in a row for undisclosed reasons.
One bright spot was the season debut of yet another terrific running back, Daetrich Harrington, from a torn ACL. He had two carries for 11 yards. QB Chase Brice had two picks.
I don’t know who keeps track of this stuff, but “super senior” receiver Thomas Hennigan made his 57th career start. That tied the all-time FBS record by non-specialists (i.e. kickers). Hennigan moved one catch shy of tying App State's all-time career receptions record of 208 held by Andrew Peacock.
As good as Appalachian State has been over the years, this stat surprised me: It has never beaten a ranked team since joining the FBS, going 0-8 – to be fair, most power programs won’t play the Mountaineers. App State’s lone Top 25 win was the epic 34-32 victory at No. 5 Michigan in 2007.
For your NCAAF pick, no question the Mountaineers could win this game, and I think at worst they stay within a field goal. Pretty rare they are even home dogs and are 7-1 ATS on the NCAAF odds in their past eight getting points.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.