College Football Odds & Picks for Georgia Southern vs. Army: How to Bet This Triple Option Matchup
Dustin Satloff/Getty Images. Pictured: JB Hunter #55, Artice Hobbs IV #32, Caleb John #6.
- Jeff Monken's Army squad will host Georgia Southern for a solid matchup on Saturday.
- While Georgia Southern isn't a service academy, the service academy under trend applies because it runs the triple option.
- BJ Cunningham breaks down how he's betting this total below.
Georgia Southern vs. Army Odds
|Georgia Southern Odds||+3 [BET NOW]|
|Army Odds||-3 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+135 / -177 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||39.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday, noon ET|
|TV||CBS Sports Network|
Army will try to pick up the pieces after suffering its second loss of the season at the hands of Tulane last Saturday. Meanwhile, Georgia Southern will try to make it four straight wins before heading into the hardest part of its schedule.
Army’s schedule has been very easy, with only two big tests against Cincinnati and Tulane. So far, it’s failed both of those tests and let the game against Tulane get away, losing 38-12.
Georgia Southern is 4-2 in the Sun Belt East — two games behind Coastal Carolina and Appalachian State. Its triple option has been on fire the last three games, so it’ll be interesting to see how things go when the two triple options meet in West Point on Saturday.
Georgia Southern Eagles
Georgia Southern’s triple option has looked great at times and has looked ineffective at others.
Against their three weakest opponents (Louisiana-Monroe, UMass, and Texas State), the Eagles gained a whopping 6.5 yards per play. However, against their three toughest opponents (Coastal Carolina, Louisiana-Lafayette, and Troy), they achieved only 5.38 yards per play.
Senior quarterback Shai Werts has been under center for Georgia Southern for what seems like 10 years, but he runs the triple option effectively. Werts is gaining 5.4 yards per carry but has struggled in the passing game, throwing for only 7.4 yards per attempt. He has also thrown six interceptions, which is particularly alarming, because the Eagles only average around 10 pass attempts per game.
Georgia Southern will likely have to throw the ball more than it wants to on Saturday, because Army’s defense has shut down its opponents’ running games this season.
Usually what happens with triple option teams is the defense gets a lot of rest from not having to be on the field very often. So far, the extra rest has benefited the Eagles defense. Georgia Southern ranks inside the top 20 in Defensive Success Rate and is allowing only 5.1 yards per play, which ranks third in the Sun Belt.
The Eagles have been incredible against the run, allowing only 3.3 yards per carry. Additionally, they rank inside the top 40 in the nation in Defensive Line Yards, Stuff Rate, and Power Success Allowed, per College Football Data. Being successful in those three phases is the perfect recipe for stopping the triple option, so Army will have its work cut out for itself on Saturday.
Army Black Knights
The Black Knights have had it pretty easy up until last weekend, when they were shut down by Tulane. The Black Knights gained only 4.32 yards per play, which was well below their season average of 5.5 yards per play entering Week 11.
Last weekend’s performance notwithstanding, the triple option has been humming. The Black Knights rank 43rd in Rushing Success, fifth in Power Success, and 21st in Offensive Line Yards (College Football Data).
It looks like it will be Christian Anderson under center again for the Black Knights; he has started four games this season. Army’s main quarterback Jemel Jones has sat out the last three games with a leg injury and is questionable for Saturday.
Jones is the better quarterback for the triple option, so if he can’t go, we may see another offensive struggle for the Black Knights.
Army’s defense has taken care of business thus far. It’s been one of the best teams in the country against the run, ranking eighth in Defensive Rushing Success, 19th in Stuff Rate, and 14th in Defensive Line Yards (College Football Data). Those three metrics, along with the fact it sees the triple option every day in practice, will come in handy on Saturday.
If there is one area that Army has struggled, it’s against the pass. The Black Knights defense ranks 75th in Defensive Passing Success, according to College Football Data. However, that won’t be an issue on Saturday, since Georgia Southern is only attempting about 10 passes a game and is averaging 7.9 yards per attempt.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The famous service academy under trend does apply to this game, since Georgia Southern also runs the triple option. When two triple-option teams meet, the under is hitting at a ridiculous rate:
Given how well both teams defend the run, and given their mutual familiarity with the triple option drilling against it every day in practice, the defenses should excel — and points may be hard to come by.
I have the total projected at 35.88, so I think there’s value on under 41.5 points.
Pick: Under 41.5 (down to 40).