Sun Belt Conference Football Future Lines – Bodog Sportsbook
The Sun Belt conference feels like it just joined the FBS party yesterday but it has been around for a little while now.
In terms of football the team that has led the way for thelast half decade has been Troy, often putting a scare into BCS teams, like they did in a three point loss to Oklahoma State last year.
Sun Belt Conference 2011 – Odds to Win Conference
Florida International 3/1
Arkansas State 5/1
Louisiana – Monroe 11/2
Middle Tennessee 6/1
North Texas 9/1
Western Kentucky 11/1
Florida Atlantic 12/1
Louisiana – Lafayette 12/1
The Trojans have been the big kids on the block, winning or sharing every title since 2006 and sending players to the pros in the process.
This year some teams are threatening to end that run of supremacy in this conference that is overshadowed within their geographic footprint.
Best Bet – Troy
It is hard to argue with the aforementioned success of the Trojans. Even though I generally favour the underdog these guys have dominated their conference in somewhat impressive fashion over the past 5 seasons. Now people think there could be a changing of the guard but don’t forget that Troy returns its QB (Corey Robinson) and top RB (Shawn Southward) from a team that averaged 34ppg last year.
Also, their defense which is always swarming with athletes, has 8 starters in total returning.
The run will eventually end, it has to, but I am not sure this is the year.
Best Value – Arkansas State
The Red Wolves, at 5/1, are a pretty good value play this season. They return all their skill position players from a year ago led by quarterback Ryan Alpin. Provided their offensive line with just a single starter returning plays well enough this should be one of the better offenses in the country (they averaged 30ppg last season).
They also return 7 starters on defense but that is a glass is half full scenario given how many points Ark State gave up last season. This is the first year for new coach Hugh Freeze and they are expecting big things based on his past success.
This may only be the Sun Belt but it is still a big leap from Lambuth University. (I know???)
Best Schedule – Arkansas State
To be the best in the Sun Belt you have to be able to beat the best. The Red Wolves will have the advantage of playing the leagues top two teams – FIU & Troy – at home this year. If they can win just one of the those games they could really upset the standings, perhaps enough for them to reach the mountain top.
FIU is second here as they get Troy visiting as well.
Prediction – Troy
Troy and FIU tied for the championship last year at 6-2. The first time the Trojans had more than one loss in the conference since their run of titles began back in 2006. The league is beginning to catchup up some but this is still the most talented team in the leagues and one of the most experienced too.
The schedule isn’t great but this is the one team in the league than can intimidate and win on the road.
They have done it before and can do it again.
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