The Appalachian State Mountaineers and UAB Blazers come into the New Orleans Bowl after suffering different fates in their respective conference championship games.
No. 20 Appalachian State rolled at home in the Sun Belt Championship Game over the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns, which was its fifth victory in a row and 12th overall.
UAB mustered six points in a 43-point defeat to the Florida Atlantic Owls in the Conference USA Championship Game.
The Blazers are one of the largest underdogs of bowl season, and their results against postseason participants suggest they could suffer a double-digit defeat.
New Orleans Bowl Information
Date: Saturday, December 21
Start Time: 9 p.m. ET
Odds (via Caesars): Appalachian State (-16.5); over/under: 47.5
If Appalachian State did not suffer an October 31 defeat to the Georgia Southern Eagles, it may have been the Group of Five representative in the Cotton Bowl.
Since then, the Mountaineers earned a road win over the South Carolina Gamecocks and racked up 35 points or more in four Sun Belt contests.
Quarterback Zac Thomas has 12 touchdown passes in the last month, and he has a handful of receivers to threaten UAB's defense with.
Five Mountaineers have at least four touchdown receptions, and they also possess a 1,000-yard rusher in Darrynton Evans.
The junior has three total touchdowns in each of his last three outings for the Sun Belt champion.
All of Appalachian State's weapons could be too much for the UAB defense to handle.
The 9-4 Blazers are coming off a deflating Conference USA Championship Game loss and their four lowest-scoring totals came against bowl-eligible teams.
In fact, UAB was held to single digits in three of its defeats, with nine points coming in back-to-back shortcomings to the Tennessee Volunteers and Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles.
The Sun Belt champion also contains a passing defense that allows just under 200 yards per game and has earned 30 sacks.
In the two matchups prior to the Sun Belt Championship Game, Appalachian State held the Texas State Bobcats and Troy Trojans to 13 points each.
By halftime in the title tilt, the Mountaineers opened up an 18-point lead before Louisiana crept back into the contest in the second half.
That is the concern with the 20th-ranked side covering the 16.5-point spread. If it puts the game away early, it could allow late UAB scores that lead to the underdog losing by less than that total.
The over is the safer wager of the two, as Appalachian State eclipsed 47 points on its own in three of its previous four contests.
Even if UAB struggles to score again vs. a team with a winning record, the over should not be in doubt.
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Statistics obtained from ESPN.com