Sun Belt Heat Week 6: Sun’s Out, Fun’s Out

It’s nothing but punishing Belt-on-Belt violence this week

For the first time this season, nobody outside of the Sun Belt is allowed to bask in the SBC Glow™. Week 6 is for conference donnybrooks, y’all. Breathe the air of sweet relief, lesser conferences! Our terrible gaze is turned elsewhere. It’s time to shape and polish the standings, and clean up the basement for somebody new, like I dunno, the Cajuns?

Georgia Southern at Georgia State, 1:00 P.M., ESPN 3

If you think the passive aggression Louisiana projects towards ULM is ridiculous, I present to you Georgia Southern versus Georgia State, two teams that hate each other so bitterly much they pretend neither exists. Hey, maybe they don’t! Vegas believes in them, because they put out some odds, so we’re trusting our gut by saying that the Eagles’ Kyle Vantrease should accumulate all the big numbers he wants against the Panther’s less than capable pass defense.

Vegas Says: -2.5 Panthers
Howlraiser Says: The Panthers are getting a Vegas bump from collecting its first win of the season last week, and playing at home doesn’t hurt. But there is a chance that more Eagles fans will be in the stands than Panthers fans, and Georgia State allowed north of 500 yards to Coastal. Pick the Eagles.

James Madison at Arkansas State, 6:00 P.M., NFL Network

The Sun Belt is known as “The NFL of College Football” so it makes sense that the Dukes and Red Wolves is broadcast on the NFL Network. Jimmy Mads is 4-0, already has two conference victories, and boasts the highest rated defense in college football. Meanwhile, Arkansas State finally exorcised their 4th quarter curse by closing out by ULM with a 45-28 win. But then again, everybody (but the Cajuns) closes out the Warhawks.

Vegas Says: -10.5 Dukes
Howlraiser Says: So far, the Dukes have shown zero signs of slowing down, having torn out the hearts of the Mountaineers and the Bobcats. The Red Wolves have made improvements, but do they have enough to put the brakes on multi-tooled quarterback Todd Centeio? The Dukes likely beat the spread in Jonesboro.

Appalachian State at Texas State, 6:00 P.M., ESPN Plus

Bobcats received a brutal brutalizing from James Madison in Week 5, and they won’t likely regain their self-esteem against a Mountaineers team made more dangerous after being emotionally wounded by, of course, James Madison. Somebody will be shrilly screaming “I HATE YOU, DUKES!” at the end of this game. It might be everyone.

Vegas Says: -19 Mountaineers
Howlraiser Says: Bobcats receive a home team bump, but Appalachian State didn’t come to San Marcos to vibe. We’d take the Mountaineers outright.

Southern Miss at Troy, 6:00 P.M., ESPN Plus

After thwarting a really good Tulane team in Week 4, the Golden Eagles took a step back to enjoy their accomplishments in Week 5. Meanwhile, Troy was busy dusting a really good Western Kentucky team behind roughly one trillion solo tackles from Trojan linebacker Carlton Martial. First year head coach Will Hall and Southern Miss have been a mild surprise this season. But this is Sun Belt West business, and Troy wears business pants at Veterans Stadium.

Vegas Says: -6.5 Trojans
Howlraiser Says: This will likely be a clash of defense, with both squads limiting opponents to just three TDs a game. However, Gunnar Watson has quietly led the most prolific passing attack in the Sun Belt, leading then team to a conference best 330 yards per game. Take the home team, and expect them to exceed Vegas’ expectations.

Coastal Carolina at ULM, 7:00 P.M., ESPN Plus

Doesn’t it feel like the Chanticleers are walking a tightrope right now? Yes, Coastal Carolina is 5-0, but they also feature the Sun Belt’s worst pass defense. Offensively, Grayson McCall is getting it done, and he should pad his stats against the Warhawk’s slightly below average pass defense. Still, the Warhawks are very tough at Malone Stadium (re: CAJUNS) and while ULM is the least prolific passing offense in the Sun Belt, quarterback Chandler Rodgers has underrated accuracy.

Vegas Says: -14 Chanticleers
Howlraiser Says: It’s only a matter of time before the Chants sleepwalk into a bad loss, and man, this one is it. Warhawks are the Howlraiser upset special.