Sun Belt underdogs yield big returns for bettors, including $110K Arkansas State wager

Sam Cooper
·2 min read

Saturday was a lucrative day for those who bet on a pair of Sun Belt underdogs.

Louisiana and Arkansas State were the season-opening non-conference opponents for Big 12 teams No. 23 Iowa State and Kansas State. And both the Ragin’ Cajuns and the Red Wolves went on the road and pulled off impressive upsets.

Arkansas State, who closed on BetMGM as 15.5-point underdogs and +450 on the moneyline, used a last-minute touchdown catch by Jonathan Adams Jr. to upset Kansas State, 35-31. It was the third touchdown catch of the day for Adams, and it was the icing on the cake for one MGM bettor who placed a $110,000 second-half bet on Arkansas State +7.

The Red Wolves outscored the Wildcats 21-10 in the second half to cover comfortably, yielding a $100,000 win for that bettor.

Like Arkansas State, Louisiana was also a double-digit underdog. The Ragin’ Cajuns closed as 13-point dogs and +370 on the moneyline and ended up beating the 23rd-ranked Cyclones fairly comfortably, 31-14.

Louisiana, led by a rising star in the coaching profession in Billy Napier, won 11 games in 2019 while averaging nearly 500 yards per game. Yahoo Sports had the Ragin’ Cajuns as the favorites in the Sun Belt West yet again, so close observers of the conference were unsurprised that ULL put up such a fight.

A 17-point win, though? That was a bit surprising. And whether it’s an early trend for bettors to monitor remains to be seen.

With an abbreviated offseason full of interruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we know much less about these teams early in the season than we normally do. Some programs were unable to hold spring practices and were forced to limited contact during the preseason, leading to some sloppy early season play.

That is something worth considering when you see some sizable underdogs early in the year — especially when there are solid Group of Five programs involved. Louisiana and Arkansas State proved as much on Saturday.

Arkansas State upset Kansas State on Saturday in Manhattan as 15.5-point underdogs. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
Arkansas State upset Kansas State on Saturday in Manhattan as 15.5-point underdogs. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

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