R & L Carriers New Orleans Bowl - Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders vs. Appalachian State Mountaineers Pick -Betting Odds

December 15, 9:00 PM EST

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
Appalachian State -7

The R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl features a match-up of the Sun Belt Champion Appalachian State Mountaineers (10-2) taking on the runner-up for the Conference USA championship, the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (8-5) at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in the Big Easy. The contest will take place on Saturday, December 15th, 2018 with a kick-off time of 9:00 PM ET. The game will be televised on ESPN. The Blue Raiders and the Mountaineers have never met before.

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Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders vs. Appalachian State Mountaineers Overview

Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders

The Blue Raiders come into this contest off a 27-25 loss against the UAB Blazers in the Conference USA Championship last Saturday. The Blue Raiders curated hosting duties at the fabled Floyd Stadium after rolling UAB there a week earlier by 24 points. MTSU’s defeat illustrates the trouble that accompanies playing the same team twice in the same year, as it is a hard thing to win both games for any side.

Appalachian State Mountaineers

The Mountaineers subverted this trope as they too had a re-match in Boone, North Carolina with a team they played earlier in the 2018 season, the UL-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns. App State would get the win against ULL but would once again fail to cover as a 17.5-point favorite when they defeated the Cajuns by a score of 30-19.

Reasons to Avoid Appalachian State

As it has been established previously, the Mountaineers have a pedigree for being one of the blue blood teams concerning the mid-majors. This is a football team that has pulled historical upsets, been ranked in the top 25 this season, and has a track record of supremacy as a three-time defending conference champion that has yet to lose a bowl game. With all these accolades considered, takers are certainly paying a premium to back App State here.

Reasons to Back Middle Tennessee State

The Blue Raiders are not afraid to play elite competition. After all, three of Middle Tennessee State's regular-season losses came against SEC opposition, two of which were ranked in the top-10 this season (Georgia and Kentucky). While Appalachian State is a "power team" in terms of mid-major teams, Middle Tennessee State will treat this game with far less to lose than their counterparts which makes them a dangerous team to fade and give a touchdown to.

Middle Tennessee State vs. Appalachian State Prediction 12/15/2018

The Blue Raiders have many of the required ingredients here to pull an upset including committing fewer penalties, are more efficient in the red zone, and they play better possession football than their counterparts. It doesn't end there, the Blue Raiders also have an edge in the kicking game. All of this can potentially neutralize Appalachian State's sixth-ranked scoring defense (15.7 points per game) as MTSU will have the Mountaineers defense on the field longer and thus create more opportunities to put points on the board. Appalachian State is accustomed to bullying many of the constituents in their conference, but they will have their hands full against a fearless Middle Tennessee State team that will be looking for a signature win to cap off what has been a tremendous season for their program.

Free Pick: 
Take Middle Tennessee State +7

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