Arkansas State 2018 Betting Preview: New Sun Belt Divisions Give Red Wolves Big Edge
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Arkansas State quarterback Justice Hansen
Arkansas State 2018 Betting Odds
- To win the National Title: +500000
- To win the Sun Belt: +130
- To win the Sun Belt West: N/A
- Win Total: 8.5 (over -150, under +130)
All lines taken on July 28. Always shop for the best line.
Arkansas State 2018 Schedule, Betting Odds
The Action Network Projected Wins: 8.7
Bet To Watch
Arkansas State to Win Sun Belt (+130)
We wrote a Sun Belt preview earlier this year that contained nothing but love for Arkansas State. The Sun Belt will feature two divisions for the first time this season, which means we’ll finally get a conference championship. Arkansas State certainly has the easiest path to a conference title, considering both Troy and Appalachian State play in the other division.
The Red Wolves will benefit from a West division that has a number of Sun Belt bottom feeders. Texas State, Louisiana and South Alabama have zero bowl aspirations, which makes UL Monroe the only legitimate divisional roadblock.
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Quarterback Justice Hansen returns to lead a Red Wolves team that ranked seventh in Passing Success Rate in 2017. That attack shouldn’t slow down this year, as they also return a talented receiving corps. However, Arkansas State did struggle mightily in one aspect, ranking 124th in red zone scoring percentage. The Red Wolves burned plenty of over bettors last season with that futility inside the 20-yard line.
If the offense can complement explosiveness with red zone efficiency, it will be scary good — and the overs should follow suit.
Arkansas State will have no issues disposing of teams in divisional play, especially since it hosts ULM on its second consecutive road game. Since I have the Red Wolves coming out of the West and favored against the East winner, +130 to win the Sun Belt holds value.
What else you need to know about Arkansas State
Is it possible Arkansas State falls into a nice situational sandwich spot on Alabama’s schedule? The Tide host Arky State in Week 2 between their opener against Louisville and a trip to Ole Miss in the SEC opener.
I anticipate a line of Alabama -24, but would love to catch four touchdowns (or more) with the Red Wolves. Per Bet Labs, Nick Saban has just a 5-14 ATS record when laying -28.5 or more out of conference.
From a matchup perspective, Arkansas State has Power 5-caliber wide receivers that could test the Tide secondary — a unit with some question marks headed into the season. I will closely monitor that line in Week 2, hoping the public pushes the line to +28 or higher.