Georgia State vs. UL-Lafayette Betting Odds & Pick: Both Teams Will Turn to Ground Game (Saturday, Sept. 19)
David K Purdy/Getty Images. Pictured: Trey Ragas and Max Mitchell.
- The Ragin' Cajuns of Louisiana-Lafayette are riding high from their recent road victory over the preseason top-25 Iowa State Cyclones.
- Today, they travel to Georgia State as 17-point favorites. The public darling Ragin' Cajuns are a tempting bet against the spread, but Pete Ruden believes the game's over/under may offer better value.
- Check out his full betting preview below for updated odds, picks, and comprehensive analysis.
UL-Lafayette at Georgia State Odds
|Louisiana-Lafayette Odds||-16.5 [BET NOW]|
|Georgia State Odds||+16.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-835/+550 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||57.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday, 12 p.m. ET|
The Fun Belt is back.
Sun Belt teams went 3-0 against the Big 12 last week, with Louisiana toppling then-No. 23 Iowa State, Arkansas State downing Kansas State, and Coastal Carolina crushing Kansas.
Now, conference play is upon us, and few matchups are more intriguing than Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Georgia State.
After their marquee victory in Week 1, the Ragin’ Cajuns will look to keep rolling against the Panthers.
Check out our new CFB PRO Report, where we highlight factors that provide betting edges — like large wagers, historically profitable betting systems, model projections and expert picks — that when combined with sharp money can powerfully detail the smartest bets on a given slate.
ULL Can Control the Line of Scrimmage
Two plays essentially elevated Louisiana from buy-game opponent for Iowa State to a legitimate threat: a 95-yard kick return touchdown from Chris Smith and an 83-yard punt return score by Eric Garror.
That likely won’t happen again.
Instead, the Ragin’ Cajuns will have to rely on the ground game they tried to get going against the Cyclones.
Louisiana carried the ball 35 times and racked up 118 yards, good for a pedestrian 3.4 yards per carry. It would be difficult for Louisiana to repeat that performance for a second week in a row when facing a defense that doesn’t compete with Iowa State’s.
This is a game in which head coach Billy Napier will want to establish the run early, which makes sense given the make-up of his team. The Ragin’ Cajuns ranked sixth in the nation in rushing last season, gaining 257.4 yards per game on the ground. All five of its offensive linemen also entered the season with starting experience.
Combine that with a game against a defense that ranked 119th in rushing defense by allowing 217.6 yards per game, and Louisiana can feast on the ground.
The Ragin’ Cajuns certainly have plenty of firepower to stack up explosive plays, but they won’t need to against Georgia State. If they simply maintain ball control and have their way with the Panthers’ front seven, it could be a quick and painless game without ever needing to get Levi Lewis involved too much.
Unfortunately for Louisiana, Georgia State can take advantage the same way. The Ragin’ Cajuns ranked 127th in the country with a stuff rate of 12% last season. The Louisiana defense allowed Breece Hall to go for 103 yards and a score on the ground last week but held Brock Purdy in check, keeping the alleged Heisman dark horse to 145 passing yards on 16-of-35 passing.
Georgia State Will Also Turn to Ground Game
In a way, this Georgia State roster resembles that of ULL.
Four Panther starters return on the offensive line, while the rushing attack is headed by a duo in Destin Coates and Seth Page, who both rushed for over 400 yards last season in a non-starting role.
The Panthers, however, are ushering in a new quarterback, as Dan Ellington — who was also the team’s second-leading rusher — graduated. To ease freshman signal-caller Mikele Colasurdo into the lineup, look for Georgia State to turn to its ground game.
That’s where it shined last year. The Panthers finished 12th in the country in rushing offense, gaining more than 240 yards per game. But their passing offense? Less than 200 yards a game.
Given the fact that Louisiana ranked 127th in the country with a stuff rate of 12% last season and held a powerful Big 12 passing attack in check last week, the Panthers will be looking to rock the Ragin’ Cajuns by running the football.
While the Panther offense will look to fill up the box score with its rushing attack, its defense might allow the same thing to happen on the other side. Georgia State ranked 119th in the country with a stuff rate of 15.1% in 2019. Its pass defense is slightly better, giving up 237.9 yards a game, and the Panthers’ secondary returns all four starters.
Georgia State does have one thing going for it, though — its first two games against Murray State and Alabama were canceled, giving it plenty of time to prepare for the Ragin’ Cajuns.
Betting Analysis & Pick
What do you get in a game with two teams with powerful rushing attacks and bad defensive lines? A lot of running.
What do you get when you have a lot of running? A lot of seconds ticking off the clock.
What do you get when a lot of seconds tick off the clock? An under.
This game is begging to go under 58.5 points with both teams boasting top-15 rushing offenses from last season and bottom-11 stuff rates.
The Ragin’ Cajun offense certainly has the potential to explode for some big gains, but I don’t think there’s any reason for Napier to force anything when playing an inferior opponent. After all, Louisiana got the job done last week against a much better team, and Lewis only threw the ball 21 times for 154 yards — and 78 of those yards came on one touchdown strike.
As long as both teams can limit explosive plays, each offense should dink-and-dunk its way down the field. Louisiana held an explosive drive rate — the percentage of offensive drives that average 10 or more yards per play — of 19.7% last season, while Georgia State sat at 15.9%. For reference, the country’s best offenses were over 25%.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Louisiana put up its fair share of points, especially if Napier needs to turn to Lewis at some point. But I think both teams try to establish the run, which lends itself to the under.
The Pick: Under 58.5