Image courtesy of JMU Athletics Communications
By Bennett Conlin
It’s no secret that JMU football’s upcoming game (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+) against Appalachian State is a massive showdown for the Dukes. It’s the program’s Sun Belt Conference debut, and it comes against the best of the best in the Sun Belt.
While not everyone cares about betting odds, we do! So we decided it’s a good week to break down betting odds associated with a JMU football game.
It’s worth noting that you can’t legally wager on in-state teams in Virginia, meaning if you live in Virginia you can’t use DraftKings or FanDuel to bet on the Dukes. You’d have to use an offshore sportsbook, like BetOnline, to bet on JMU from Virginia.
Other states with legal mobile sports betting will allow wagers on JMU-App State.
Most sportsbooks have the Dukes as a 7-point underdog in the game. If you bet on the Dukes +7, you’ll win the bet if the Dukes lose by six points or fewer or win the game. I’m inclined to take that side of the wager, as my official pick is JMU 31, App State 28. JMU’s moneyline is around +200 at most sportsbooks.
I like JMU in this spot given App State’s recent emotional triumphs, including a win over Texas A&M, a College GameDay visit, and a Hail Mary win over Troy. That’s a taxing few weeks for the Mountaineers, and I think a talented JMU team coming off a bye week is well-positioned to pull the upset.
JMU is 2-0 against the spread this season, while App State is 1-2.
The total is just under 60 points — 58 at DraftKings — at most sportsbooks. I’d lean toward the over, but don’t have a strong feeling either way, as it feels like a fair number.
JMU and App State each have explosive playmakers capable of scoring quickly, and I’d argue each defensive secondary has question marks. Still, both coaches are fine controlling the clock with lengthy drives. That’s what worries me about taking the over, but I’d still rather take the over than the under.
Other Sun Belt bets
Call me crazy, but I love Georgia State (+2) to upset Coastal Carolina on Thursday night. I’m also on Southern Miss (+13) to cover against Tulane, and Marshall (-3) to bounce back against Troy.
It should be an exciting week of Sun Belt action, and JMU-App State certainly feels like this week’s headline game.