Sun Belt Tournament Championship Odds & Pick: Georgia State vs. Appalachian State Betting Preview
Austin McAfee/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Rob Lanier (left) and Justin Roberts (right).
- The Georgia State Panthers and the Appalachian State Mountaineers will go to battle in the Sun Belt Tournament Championship on Monday night.
- The Panthers have been the hottest team in the Sun Belt as of late, which gives them a good shot to knock off a tired Mountaineers squad
- Ky McKeon of Three Man Weave explains why he thinks that will happen below.
Georgia State vs. Appalachian State Odds
There comes a time in every college basketball handicapper’s life when he has to ignore his number and take the “right side.”
Seven points is a massive spread. Appalachian State is no pushover, as it’s proven twice already this tournament by beating the top-seeded Texas State and 2-seed Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. But there is no way Dustin Kerns’ squad has anything left in the tank.
Tonight will mark App State’s fourth game in as many days. The Mountaineers’ last two contests have gone to overtime, further exacerbating the situation. And on top of all that, App State is severely shorthanded.
Veteran forward James Lewis missed the Coastal game, forcing Kerns to play a shorter rotation. All five of his starters played over 40 minutes yesterday, and only three players saw time off the pine for a combined 17 total minutes.
Georgia State is the last team you want to play on tired legs. The Panthers are the hottest team in the Sun Belt right now, winning eight straight games dating back to Feb. 9.
GSU is also the second-fastest team in the conference from a pace perspective; the Panthers extend pressure the length of the court and throw in a tricky half-court zone to go along with their standard man defense.
Offensively, few teams look to score in transition as much as the Panthers; they’re led by three of the best guards in the league, each of whom is more than capable of scoring on the break.
App State actually won the season series between these two schools. In one of the Mountaineers’ two wins, now-injured James Lewis put up 22 points and grabbed 14 rebounds; in the other, the Mountaineers shot 10-of-23 from deep.
The third meeting between GSU and App State should be the blueprint for this game. Georgia State shot more like itself from deep, forced turnovers, and clamped down on the glass on both ends of the floor en route to a 14-point victory.
I love Justin Forrest, App State’s star guard and senior leader, but he can’t carry the Mountaineers forever. This team has to be gassed, and even a seven-point spread seems too short to overcome.
Look for Panther head coach Rob Lanier to push the pace as much as possible to take advantage of App State’s fatigue and short bench.
This should be a statement game for the best team in the Sun Belt and preseason favorite to represent the conference in the Field of 68.
Pick: Georgia State -7.