The new kings of the conference meet a perennial title contender for the “Sun Belt Showdown” to end all showdowns, as the reigning champion Troy Trojans welcome the Appalachian State Mountaineers to Memorial Stadium for the Sun Belt Championship Game.
Can Troy defend their crown and become the first successive Sun Belt champions since, well, their opponent on Saturday? Ahead of the game, we’ve got the latest college football betting odds, DFS picks, and a Sun Belt Championship Game prediction.
Sun Belt Championship Game Betting and DFS Preview
All odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook and correct as of Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023. Want to take advantage of the Sun Belt Championship Game odds? Visit the College Football Network live college football odds page to place bets in your state.
Troy -265, Appalachian State +215
- Game time
4 p.m. ET
Veterans Memorial Stadium, Troy, AL
- Predicted Weather at Kick
46 degrees, 7 mph winds, cloudy
- How to Watch
Looking to take a chance on Troy? Is your money with the Mountaineers? If you’re going to take advantage of the Sun Belt Championship Game odds, consider some of the following factors before you part with your hard-earned cash.
The Trojans are gunning for a second successive Sun Belt title after going 10-2 in the regular season and securing home-field advantage. Jon Sumrall’s team enters the game as an understandable favorite against the 8-4 Mountaineers, despite the 8-3 historical winning record Appalachian State that includes five straight wins — with two in Troy — dating back to 2018.
While our Sun Belt Championship Game suggests the Trojans can live up to their billing as favorite and repeat, there can be money to be made on the Mountaineers. Shawn Clark’s team has covered the spread in each of their last four games — including twice as an underdog — and there’s the potential for them to play Troy close on Saturday afternoon.
Although Troy has gone over the projected points total in each of their last three games, the two teams combined have come under the line in over 50% of their games this season. With Troy’s defense likely the key to establishing themselves as the new powerhouse in Sun Belt football, the championship game could come up just short of the current 52.5-point line.
Top DFS Picks and Fantasy Plays
- QB Gunnar Watson, Troy
- QB Joey Aguilar, Appalachian State
- RB Kimani Vidal, Troy
- RB Damien Taylor, Troy
- RB Asa Martin, Troy
- RB Nate Noel, Appalachian State
- RB Kanye Roberts, Appalachian State
- RB Maquel Haywood, Appalachian State
- WR Jabre Barber, Troy
- WR Devonte Ross, Troy
- WR Chris Lewis, Troy,
- WR Deshon Stoudemire, Troy
- WR Kaedin Robinson, Appalachian State
- WR Dashaun Davis, Appalachian State
- WR Christian Horn, Appalachian State
- TE Clayton Ollendieck, Troy
- TE Eli Wilson, Appalachian State
There are eight college football games on the Saturday of Championship Game weekend to compile your DFS team from. If you’re new to DFS, Fanduel Superflex contests require you to select a quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, and a “Superflex” that can be any of the above or a tight end.
Believe it or not, your Sun Belt Championship picks might be the place to find a quarterback steal for DFS purposes on Saturday. Gunnar Watson and Joey Aguilar have possibly had the quietest 3,000+ yards and 20+ touchdowns seasons in college football. It’s time for national attention to catch up to them with this game being one of just two on ESPN this Saturday.
Depending on value, Appalachian State’s Aguilar might be the play here. Although Troy boasts one of the best defenses in the country, the man under center for the Mountaineers is on an absolute heater, throwing for at least three touchdowns in each of the last five — and eight of his 12 — games this season. He’s the second-highest-scoring fantasy quarterback in the Sun Belt.
For your other Sun Belt Championship Game picks, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that Kimani Vidal is likely to be a key component of the Troy offense. The fourth-year back has rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of the last two seasons and is averaging 5.3 yards per carry this year. His 214.8 fantasy points make him the RB2 in the Sun Belt this season.
Prediction for the Sun Belt Championship Game
Okay, so we’ve furnished you with the Sun Belt Championship Game odds and some DFS picks. Now, it’s time to close this thing out with our prediction. Will the Trojans seal a second successive Sun Belt title as they assert their dominance on the conference? Or can Appalachian State win its first title since 2019 after a whirlwind end to the season put them in the title game?
Let’s start with that whirlwind end to the season. After dropping to 1-2 with defeats to Coastal Carolina and Old Dominion in the early part of the Sun Belt season, Appalachian State appeared to be an afterthought amongst a plethora of fast-starting teams. Yet, they’ve won their final five contests to reach the title game, while becoming the only team this year to beat James Madison.
The return of offensive coordinator Frank Ponce has been pivotal to their success this season — and their hopes of a first title since 2019. Ponce was responsible for Chase Brice’s record-setting performances in 2021, and he’s extracted the maximum out of Aguilar while the Mountaineers have had a balanced offense through running backs Nate Noel and Kanye Roberts.
That balance, and the ability to lean on either element of the offense, is key to Appalachian State competing on Saturday afternoon. The Mountaineers overcame JMU behind the arm of Aguilar when the ground game couldn’t move the ball against the vaunted Dukes defensive front.
Troy boasts a similarly frustrating run defense to play against. The Trojans have dined out on defense the last two seasons, and in 2023 they’ve allowed the fewest rushing touchdowns in the Sun Belt while giving up a miserly 3.13 yards per carry to opposing backs. Troy has only allowed 16.7 points per game, with — importantly — the best pass defense in the Sun Belt.
That is likely where the difference between defeat and victory will lay for Appalachian State. Their rush defense is substantially worse than the Trojans, and running back Vidal has consistently shown that he has the beating of any defense. Troy stands firm defensively, has enough on offense, and sneaks a second successive Sun Belt title on the boot of Scott Taylor Renfroe.
Prediction: Troy 27, Appalachian State 24