Looking for Sun Belt 2018 Football Conference betting picks? Appalachian State is coming into the 2018 season as one of the favorites to capture the Sun Belt title. Troy is always a threat in the division but will the Mountaineers do enough to get back to the top of the conference?
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Appalachian State Mountaineers
Projected Win Total: 9.5
Odds To Win Sun Belt Championship: +225
Odds To Win NCAAF Championship: +35000
Reasons Appalachian State Will Win The Sun Belt
Jalin Moore & Marcus Williams
The talented running back should have another strong season in 2018.
Last year he ran for over 1,000 yards and 12 scores. He also carried the rock with a tune of 5.7 yards per carry. He did miss two games with a few injuries and will need to stay healthy with an inexperienced QB standing in front of him.
His backup Marcus William filled in nicely last year and could be a great spell back when Moore is off the field.
This 1-2 punch will be tough to stop for any Sun Belt defense lines.
Offensive line play
The Mountaineers boast arguably the best offensive line in the conference. After losing a 1st team all-conference center last season left tackle Victor Johnson stepped up and was dominant in conference play.
His excellent play earned him a 1st team all-conference nod and he should be on plenty of preseason watch lists for the top players in the conference.
The rest of the O-line will look to keep up with their excellent 2017 pass protection numbers as they only gave up 8 sacks all season, which was second best in the nation.
Look for the offensive line to have another productive season but the sacks allowed will go up with a new starter at QB.
Easy conference road games
Even though App State gets Arkansas St. on the schedule this year, to go along with Troy, the road schedule for the conference slate is much more manageable.
During a 3 week stretch towards the end of the season, the Mountaineers will face Georgia Southern, Coastal Carolina, and Texas State all on the road.
Last year those 3 wins were by an average of 16 points each. If App St can match those numbers then it could be a potential undefeated conference season.
Excellent special teams
Normally you won’t see special teams play as one of the reasons to like a team to win a conference title, but the Mountaineers have one of the best units in the conference.
Projected starter Chandler Stanton was 8-9 on field goal tries last year. His backup Michael Rubino was 15-21. If they can get clutch kicks from these two then it shouldn’t be an issue for the Mountaineers to stay in close games.
Look out for Clifton Duck. He averaged almost 10 yards per punt return last year and if he gets a handle on return duties could be electrifying in the open field.
Well rounded receiving corps
The Appalachian St receivers are not highly touted but still won’t have any problems making plays down the field.
Jalen Virgil averaged 18 yards per reception last year and had an 83 yarder. His ability to stretch the field will make life easier for Zac Thomas, who is the projected starter at QB.
Thomas Hennigan is the reliable option and he caught 7 TDs last year and 45 balls. I expect those numbers to creep up to the 60 catch and 8-9 TD range, as he should have another good season.
The only games that will be toss-ups are the home games against Arkansas St and the finale against Troy.
I do expect them to win both.
The only game that should be a loss is week 1 against Penn St, and if the Mountaineers can ride an 11 game win streak they should be hard to beat come bowl season.
What do you think about our 2018 Sun Belt Conference Prediction? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2018!
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