Coastal Carolina vs. Arkansas State Odds, Predictions: Our Top Spread Pick for Thursday (October 7)

Coastal Carolina vs. Arkansas State Odds, Predictions: Our Top Spread Pick for Thursday (October 7) article feature image
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Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images. Pictured: Grayson McCall.

Coastal Carolina vs. Arkansas State Odds

Coastal Carolina Odds -20
Arkansas State Odds +20
Moneyline -1125 / +700
Over/Under 73 (-120 / +100)
Time 7:30 p.m. ET
TV ESPNU
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Coastal Carolina became a public darling after the Chanticleers’ dazzling 2020 regular season that saw them finish the regular season undefeated and lose to Liberty in their bowl game by three.

Coastal has an efficient offense and found a lot of covers last season for its backers and became arguably the most public non-Power Five team in the country.

The Chants have started 2021 right where they left off in 2020, covering spreads and blowing out inferior opponents. The Chanticleers are 11-3-2 against the spread dating back to last season and have some of the highest returning production numbers in the entire country, led by quarterback Grayson McCall.

They survived a close call with Buffalo on the road, 28-25, in the only game they haven’t covered in 2021, but have otherwise handled The Citadel, Kansas, UL Monroe and UMass.

Head coach Jamey Chadwell doesn’t slow down his offense with leads because style points matter for his Group of Five program that needs to not just win, but dominate lower-level opponents. That makes Coastal an appetizing big favorite with extra time off to prepare for its next game anyway.

The Chanticleers face off against an Arkansas State team that has struggled to stop anyone all year.

The 55 points allowed to Memphis, 52 to Washington, 41 to Tulsa and 59 to Georgia Southern don’t inspire much confidence in the Red Wolves to stop one of the most possession-dominant offenses in the country in Coastal.


Coastal Carolina vs. Arkansas State Betting Preview

Thursday, Oct. 7
7:30 p.m. ET
ESPNU

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Coastal Carolina Offense

It’s hard to criticize the Chanticleers offense that — albeit with a weak schedule —  is 12th in Rushing Success Rate and 11th in Offensive Line Yards and combines the rushing efficiency with excellent passing numbers and big-play ability.

The Chanticleers are the No. 1 big-play offense in the country through five weeks of the season, and the statistical profile is very similar to last year’s team with a bit more explosiveness.

McCall leads a ball-control offense that fell in love with long scoring drives last season and is now adding some more pop with all of the returning production. With a rank of ninth in Havoc allowed and a 33rd in Finishing Drives, the Chanticleers avoid negative plays and are excellent at scoring touchdowns in the red zone.

The biggest matchup mismatch in this entire game is the Chanticleers offense against the Red Wolves defense, and given last year and the first five weeks of the season, Arkansas State has almost no way of stopping the Coastal offense unless the Chanticleers stop themselves.


Coastal Carolina Defense

Coastal’s defense doesn’t have a ton of statistical advantages lining up against a Red Wolves offense that has been up and down through five games.

Arkansas State has gone into the 30s and even the 50s in shootouts this year, and the No. 1 priority for Coastal has to be limiting explosive plays.

The Chanticleers rank 28th in big-play defense but haven’t played an offense with the explosiveness that Arkansas State has. Coastal’s solid pass rush should disrupt the Red Wolves in passing plays, which Arkansas State runs most of the time.

Coastal’s defense has been average in the red zone defensively as well, so that’s another major key if Coastal wants to cover this 19-point spread away from home.

If Arkansas State has to kick field goals or chases points, that’s encouraging for the Chanticleers. But if Arkansas State is producing touchdowns, it’s hard for Coastal to get enough margin here.

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Arkansas State Red Wolves

Arkansas State Offense

If Arkansas State wants any chance to keep the game close, it’ll come by its offense scoring into the 30s on Thursday night.

The Red Wolves ranks 26th in big plays and 32nd in Finishing Drives, so if they can break some explosive plays to move down the field and then score touchdowns on those drives, they can try to keep this game competitive.

Arkansas State doesn’t have a ton of Rushing Success but it also doesn’t run the ball much anyway. As a passing offense, the Red Wolves rank 33rd in Passing Success Rate, an area in which they have a moderate edge against the Coastal Carolina defense.

The offense likes to roll with an uptempo game plan, but it might be forced to slow down a bit if it want to keep its defense from being worn out.

Given how slow and methodical Coastal is, the Chanticleers might dominate time of possession, and quick Arkansas State scores could be a long-term negative for the Red Wolves defense.


Arkansas State Defense

PFF grades out this Arkansas State defense 124th in tackling and 126th in coverage. It played the high-leverage, mid-game minutes surrounding halftime as badly as any team in the country.

Arkansas State is 129th in Rushing Success Rate and playing a very successful run offense that likes to run the ball. The Red Wolves allowed big play after big play against Memphis, Tulsa and Washington, all of which have been embarrassed offensively in recent weeks by Temple, Houston and Michigan, respectively.

Playing Arkansas State is the get-right spot for any offense, and the Coastal offense is already firing on all cylinders.

There are few worse matchups for the Red Wolves than the Chanticleers, as Arkansas State won’t be able to get off the field and creates almost no Havoc to disrupt McCall’s offense.

The only thing the Red Wolves have done well as a defense is rush the passer, but McCall gets rid of the ball quickly anyway.

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Coastal Carolina vs. Arkansas State Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Coastal Carolina and Arkansas State match up statistically:

Coastal Carolina Offense vs. Arkansas State Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success 12 129
Line Yards 11 32
Pass Success 23 63
Pass Blocking** 55 26
Big Play 1 127
Havoc 9 102
Finishing Drives 33 129
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Arkansas State Offense vs. Coastal Carolina Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success 96 80
Line Yards 31 37
Pass Success 38 45
Pass Blocking** 73 14
Big Play 32 28
Havoc 112 73
Finishing Drives 26 80
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 3 124
PFF Coverage 32 126
Middle 8 2 129
SP+ Special Teams 117 44
Plays per Minute 110 11
Rush Rate 64.% (17) 36.6% (128)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.


Coastal Carolina vs. Arkansas State Betting Pick

The fast-paced, pass-heavy offense of Arkansas State should get some points on the board in this game and move the ball against a Chanticleers defense that hasn’t really been tested.

But on the other side of the ball, Coastal has dominant advantages in explosiveness, Success Rate, Havoc and Finishing Drives. That means Coastal will move the ball with ease, it will produce touchdowns and the Chanticleers are not a team that sits on leads if they’re up 14 late.

Coastal will look to pour it on in garbage time, and that makes it a more attractive big favorite — especially with more rest coming before the Chanticleers’ next game against Appalachian State.

PFF grades out huge differences in the tackling and coverage ability for these defenses, and Coastal’s ability to dominate the last four minutes of the first half and first four of the second half (Middle 8) makes it an attractive live spot in the second quarter too — especially if it gets off to a slow start and Arkansas State scores a bit early.

The market briefly dropped after the open at 17.5 to 16.5 and has been steamed back up past 17. I wouldn’t play this past 20 here and definitely wouldn’t lay the 21, but Coastal is a very public team so it will be important to watch how the market reacts on a Thursday night island kickoff.

Don’t be surprised if there’s some market buyback if this line gets to 21, but the matchup is so heavily favored to Coastal that I like this at 19.5 or better.

Pick: Coastal Carolina -19.5 or better

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