Troy goes for back-to-back Sun Belt titles, this time against a surging Appalachian State team at home.
The Trojans had a slow start to 2023, but has been on a tear in Sun Belt play, winning nine straight after a 1-2 start. The same can be said for the Mountaineers, who have been on a tear in Sun Beltplay behind Joey Aguilar, the opening game backup, winning five straight to close the season and scoring 26 or more in every game.
Can App. State keep it up on the road against the defending champs? We got you covered below:
Appalachian State vs. Troy Odds, Spread and Total
Troy vs. Appalachian State Betting Trends
- Troy is 7-5 against the spread (ATS) this season
- Appalachian State is 3-0-1 ATS this season as an underdog
- Troy is 2-4 ATS at home
- Troy has gone UNDER in seven of 12 games this season
- Appalachian State has gone UNDER in three of four games as an underdog
Troy vs. Appalachian State How to Watch
- Date: Saturday, Dec. 2
- Game Time: 4:00 PM EST
- Venue: Veterans Memorial Stadium
- How to Watch (TV): ESPN
- Appalachian State Record: 8-4
- Troy Record: 10-2
Appalachian State vs. Troy Key Players to Watch
Joey Aguilar: Aguilar came in in Week 1 and hasn't let go of the job of the Mountaineers' starting quarterback. Not only has he kept the offense afloat, the offense has taken off with his play under center. Appalachian State is top 10 in EPA/Pass this season with Aguilar completing 63% of his passes with 32 touchdowns to nine interceptions this season.
Gunnar Watson: Watson is a 3,000 yard passer for the Trojans, posting a 26-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio this season. The run game has a veteran back in Kimani Vidal (1,357 rushing yards) but the unit isn't all that explosive, it's been Watson's ability to push the ball down the field this year that has had the Troy offense on track. The unit is top 20 in explosive pass rate.
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Appalachian State vs. Troy Prediction and Pick
Appalachian State's offense has been dynamic of late, running through the Sun Belt East in the month of November to make this game, but the team has feasted on poor defenses. When the team stunned James Madison on the road to soil its undefeated season, it wasn't due to an offensive explosion. The team scored 20 points in regulation, it was a massive effort from the team's defense to hold the Dukes to 4.31 yards per play in the win.
I expect this game to be dictated by Troy's defense, which is 11th in yards per play allowed and is top 10 in tackles for loss on the season. While Appalachian State has been explosive through the air, Troy is top 30 in coverage grading according to Pro Football Focus. Further, the Trojans defense has been nails for a majority of the season, allowing 24 or fewer in every game since Week 2.
Meanwhile the Mountaineers defense is formidable as well, also top 30 in coverage grade and aggressive on the defensive line, 24th in TFL's. The team struggles against the run, 111th in yards per carry, but Troy isn't as strong on the ground, as noted above. The Trojans are 126th in success rate on the ground this season and the team prefers to attack through the air.
I lean towards Troy winning this one, but I prefer the under in this matchup with both defenses equipped to take away the other team's strongpoints on offense.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
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