Friday, December 4, 2020, Kidd-Brewer Stadium, Boone, North Carolina, 7:30 p.m. ET
Ragin’ Cajuns at Mountaineers Betting Preview: Ragin’ Cajuns (+2.5), Mountaineers (+2.5)
Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Betting Preview
The No. 25 Ragin’ Cajuns (8-1, 6-1 Sun Belt) still have work to do as they become the first ranked visitor to Appalachian State’s Kidd-Brewer Stadium this season, even though there isn’t as much on the line as has been the case when these two teams met over the last two seasons.
Louisiana already has wrapped up the Sun Belt’s West Division and a berth in the conference championship game for a third consecutive season, but the Mountaineers’ loss to Coastal Carolina knocked them out of the East berth they earned the last two years.
The Cajuns are fresh off last week’s 70-20 pounding of Louisiana-Monroe, improving to 5-0 in road games.
The Ragin’ Cajuns are trying to avoid distractions, particularly with coach Billy Napier’s name surfacing as a potential candidate for higher-profile jobs.
“You know I’m not going to comment on those things,” Napier said. “For us to be where we’re at and have success and be recognized and be in those conversations, I think, if anything, it’s humbling. That’s what I think about it.”
Napier had been in insolation after a positive coronavirus test before rejoining the team shortly before last weekend’s game.
Louisiana quarterback Levi Lewis has thrown for 16 touchdowns and rushed for five touchdowns this year. Running backs Elijah Mitchell (40 career rushing touchdowns) and Trey Ragas (35 career rushing touchdowns) give the offense balance.
“They’re very similar to the past with more playmakers,” Appalachian State coach Shawn Clark said.
The Ragin’ Cajuns are limiting opponents to 175.2 passing yards per game.
Appalachian State Mountaineers Betting Preview
The Mountaineers (7-2, 5-1) still have plenty at stake as they attempt to bolster their bowl stock with a win over a Top 25 opponent.
This is the third year in a row that Louisiana will be making a December trip to Appalachian State. The Mountaineers won home games in the past two such matchups that came in Sun Belt Conference title games, including 45-38 last year.
This regular-season game was pushed back from earlier in the season because of coronavirus issues.
Appalachian State seemed to recover in fine fashion after losing to Coastal Carolina, thumping visiting Troy 47-10 last week with senior quarterback Zac Thomas matching his career high with four touchdown passes
“When people counted us out, we came right back for the fight,” Clark said. “It’s good to be back on the winning side of things.”
Senior receiver Malik Williams is coming off a 113-yard game for his first time above 100 receiving yards in his career.
“He’s so productive,” Clark said. “All he does is catch and get open and make plays. I was really dumbfounded that he never had that much yardage in a game.”
With the short turnaround, the Mountaineers benefited from using starters for only about three quarters in the Troy game.
Snow covered Kidd Brewer Stadium earlier this week, so the conditions could be a factor. Due to state pandemic-related restrictions, attendance will be limited to 2,170.
Ragin’ Cajuns at Mountaineers Betting Pick for December 4, 2020
The two teams have met in the Sun Belt Championship Game in each of the last two seasons with the Mountaineers prevailing 45-38 last year and 30-19 in 2018. The Mountaineers have won all eight meetings between the two with all but the 2019 Sun Belt title game by double digits.
Ragin’ Cajuns at Mountaineers Betting Pick:
Mountaineers 31, Ragin’ Cajuns 28
Ragin’ Cajuns at Mountaineers Best Bet for December 4, 2020
The Mountaineers are coming off a big 47-10 win over Troy while the Cajuns handled instate rival Louisiana-Monroe quite comfortably 70-20 last week. The Mountaineers have scored at least 30 points in six outings with a high of 52 against Campbell in late September.
Ragin’ Cajuns at Mountaineers Best Bet: OVER 51.5