We didn’t see a Sun Belt championship game last year — it was one of the many games affected by the global pandemic. So, since the game couldn’t be played, Coastal Carolina and Louisiana technically enter the year as co-champions.
There was only one loss combined between the two teams in the 2020 regular season, and the one loss was because the Chanticleers defeated the Ragin' Cajuns when the two programs went head to head in October.
Each team looks loaded again in 2021, and they are rightfully the betting favorites to win the conference. But while there is a good chance we get a rematch of the game that was supposed to happen in 2020, there are other contenders that could emerge in the conference, as well.
Best Sun Belt Futures Bets
Based on PFF Simulations
|Team||Win Total||PFF||Implied Conf. Odds||PFF|
*Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook
Conference Championship Odds
Best bets: Conference Title, Coastal Carolina +200
PFF data suggests there is only one bet to make on Sun Belt Championship futures.
Coastal Carolina was one of the success stories of the 2020 college football season, and the program brings back almost everyone from last year’s team. The most important player of the bunch is quarterback Grayson McCall, who earned the highest passing grade in the country among returning quarterbacks and led a Chanticleer passing offense that ranked fourth in the nation in expected points added (EPA) per play.
McCall was also a real threat with his legs, finishing eighth among all quarterbacks in rushing yards after contact and ninth in missed tackles forced. Keep in mind, all of this happened in his first year as a starter.
McCall has every chance of emerging as the best Group of Five quarterback in the country as we look forward to 2021.
McCall didn’t do it all by himself on offense, though. The Chanticleers had two elite weapons in the passing game in tight end Isaiah Likely and receiver Jaivon Heiligh. Likely was the third-highest-graded tight end in the country in 2020, behind only Florida’s Kyle Pitts and Cincinnati’s Josh Whyle — his average depth of target was also third in the nation, and his 70.6% contested catch percentage was second among tight ends with at least 10 opportunities. Don’t mistake him as just a contested-catch guy, though, because he was also top-10 in yards after the catch per reception.