Sun Belt Conference Football Betting Preview with Odds and Predictions
by Aaron Smith - 8/2/2010
The Sun Belt Conference isn’t in the media spotlight through much of the football season, but there is plenty of drama here. If you are knowledgeable about the teams in the conference you can also make some cash as the season progresses – some of these under-the-radar conferences are the bread-and-butter for serious college football handicappers. As is the case with most of the smaller leagues, there is a pretty big disconnect between the top of their league and the bottom. The teams at the top are the ones that the big schools are afraid to play, while the teams at the bottom are the ones the big schools consider an easy way to pad their record.
2010 Story Lines for the Sun Belt
The Troy Trojans have won the league two years in a row. Can they make it three straight in 2010? It certainly appears that it will come down to either Troy or Middle Tennessee State for the Sun Belt championship this season. Dwight Dasher may be the best player in the Sun Belt and his Middle Tennessee State team is hungry to take the title away from Troy.
Below Troy and Middle Tennessee there will likely be a pack of teams fighting for the third and fourth spots in the league. The Mean Green of North Texas are improving, and Florida Atlantic will be a dangerous team as well. Arkansas State and Louisiana Lafayette are both big unknowns this season because of mass changes from last year’s squad. The trio of Florida International, Louisiana Monroe, and Western Kentucky has been fighting to stay out of the cellar in the Sun Belt in recent years.
2010 Sun Belt Football Schedule- Key Games
- Sept. 2- Minnesota at Middle Tennessee State- The Blue Raiders will host the Golden Gophers on the first day of college football action. I think Middle Tennessee State has a good shot at winning this one, which could give the league a nice boost.
- Sept, 11- Troy at Oklahoma State- Troy has a history of taking on tough opponents in the nonconference schedule. Oklahoma State isn’t as good this year as in the past few, but this will still be a very tough test on the road for the Trojans.
- Sept. 25- North Texas at Florida Atlantic- These are two teams that have the potential to make some noise in the conference. This could end up being the battle for third place in the league.
- Oct. 5- Troy at Middle Tennessee State- The Sun Belt Conference title will likely be on the line as Troy visits Middle Tennessee State on this Tuesday night game in October. This one should be very hotly contested game that goes down to the wire.
2010 Sun Belt Football Betting Odds
The Sun Belt isn’t as closely watched by the oddsmakers, which is actually a good thing for the wise sports bettor. It is in a league like this where your wealth of knowledge can help you build up your bankroll in a big way. Here are some Sun Belt football betting odds for this year.
Odds from 5Dimes to win BCS Title:
Middle Tennesee State +70,000
Arkansas State +300,000
Florida Atlantic +350,000
Louisiana Monroe +500,000
Louisiana Lafayette +800,000
North Texas +800,000
Florida International +800,000
Western Kentucky +900,000
Odds from 5Dimes on Top 25 Finish in Final USA Today Poll
Middle Tennesee State +1,400
Arkansas State +2,700
Florida Atlantic +2,700
Sun Belt Conference Football Predictions (Order of Finish):
- Middle Tennessee State- I think the Blue Raiders have the team to get past Troy this year, especially since they will get the Trojans at home. This offense should be the best in the league.
- Troy- There is still a ton of talent here, but the loss of Levi Brown at quarterback does hurt. I suspect this team will be too good for everyone except the Blue Raiders in 2010.
- Florida Atlantic- Howard Schnellenberger’s team has some key pieces to replace, but I think the defense should be much better than last year. The Owls could surprise some teams.
- Arkansas State- This team underachieved a year ago, and I have to think they’ll improve a bit this season. The defense was the best in the league in 2009, and they should be solid once again.
- North Texas- The Mean Green have been horrible of late, but they should move up in the standings this year. The offense is quickly improving, but the defense still isn’t very good.
- Louisiana-Monroe- The Warhawks have a strong runner in Frank Goodin, but the team as a whole isn’t very deep. The defense returns just four starters and that could be a big problem.
- Louisiana-Lafayette- This team has been 6-6 in the last two years, but that doesn’t get teams from the Sun Belt a bowl berth. I think they’ll step backwards this year because of key losses on the offensive line.
- Western Kentucky- The Hilltoppers went winless last year, but the improvement was clear as the season was winding down. This team will win some games this year.
- Florida International- Mario Cristobal has gone just 9-27 in three years at FIU, and this year doesn’t look any better. The defense is the worst in the league and the offense is extremely inconsistent.
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