Texas State vs. Troy Betting Odds, Picks: Defenses to Shine Brightly
Justin Ford/Getty Images. Pictured: Troy’s Deshon Stoudemire.
- The Texas State Bobcats east to take on the Troy Trojans in a Sun Belt battle on Saturday afternoon.
- The Trojans enter as big favorites, but we see betting value on the over/under.
- Read on for Dan Keegan's full Texas State vs. Troy betting analysis and pick.
Texas State vs. Troy Odds
|Texas State Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Texas State heads to Troy coming off its biggest win of the Jake Spavital era.
Things have not been great in San Marcos recently, but on Saturday, everything was picture-perfect as they stunned the Sun Belt with a 36-24 upset of Appalachian State.
The Bobcats are big underdogs again as they take on a Trojans team that's enjoying life in 2022. New head coach Jon Sumrall has added stability and fight to a talented roster, and it's thriving after moving from the loaded Sun Belt East to the more accommodating West Division.
Can the Bobcats pull off another stunner against a Sun Belt contender? Or has Troy built up too much momentum? Let’s break it down.
Last week, Texas State beat Appalachian State in maybe the most surprising result of the college football season.
Texas State has consistently been one of the worst programs in FBS under Jake Spavital, and his seat has been getting toasty in his fourth year. The Bobcats were coming off of a 40-13 drubbing at the hands of FBS newcomers James Madison that wasn’t even as close as the final score made it seem.
And then they came out last week and absolutely dominated a quality Appalachian State program. The final score was 36-24, but that reflects garbage time stat compilation by the Mountaineers; the score was 30-3 at one point in the third quarter after a Bobcats pick-six.
This game was almost an identical upset as the one Appalachian State scored over Texas A&M earlier in the season. Take a look at this chart to see how:
|App over A&M||Texas St. over App|
|SP+ Absolute Value Diff.||19.0||19.7|
This is some “Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy” level stuff.
Texas State has struggled with all aspects of the game this year, except for pass defense. The Bobcats' secondary ranks 12th in the country in coverage, and their pass rush ranks fourth, according to PFF grading.
This was their trump card against Appalachian State. The ‘Neers offense was unable to rely on its star running back duo of Camerun Peoples (injured, did not travel) and Nate Noel (dinged up and received five ineffective carries).
Without the ground game, Texas State harassed Chase Brice into an ineffective stat line despite the garbage time yardage. His average depth of target marked his lowest of any game this season, and his touchdowns were countered with two turnover-worthy plays. He finished with a passer rating of only 48.4.
Troy’s offense is not nearly at the level of App State’s, as the Trojans prefer to rely on game-management quarterbacking and a stout defense.
Texas State’s offense has struggled this year.
The running game is mediocre, and quarterback Layne Hatcher is not putting a fright into too many defenses. Hatcher has more turnover-worthy plays (14) than he does big-time throws (11).
The Bobcats offense ranks 96th in passing and 122nd in rushing, per Beta_Rank.
In two games against top-40 defenses, the Bobs offense has had 28 possessions and scored only three times — no field goals and three touchdowns, one of which was against backups on the last drive of the JMU game while down, 40-7.
Troy’s defense is of this caliber, ranking 37th in SP+, which is very similar to the James Madison (35th) stop unit that smothered Hatcher and company.
The Trojans will make life difficult for the Bobcats on Saturday.
The Trojans are enjoying life in 2022.
They're currently on a three-game winning streak, and it would be five if not for the Miracle on the Mountain in Boone, North Carolina, in Week 4.
Troy is anchored by an excellent Group of Five defense, ranking 37th in SP+ on that side of the ball. The Trojan defense is well-balanced, ranking 23rd against the pass and 35th against the run, per Beta_Rank.
Their drive numbers are excellent. They're 23rd in the country in limiting explosive drives and 14th in creating negative drives (three-and-outs and turnovers), according to Beta_Rank.
The star here is Carlton Martial. The linebacker is one of the program’s all-time greats, and he's closing in on Luke Kuechly’s FBS record for career tackles.
Troy has a strong pass rush, which will be a factor in harassing Hatcher in passing downs. The team leads the country — No. 1 with a bullet — in not allowing first downs on early downs, while Texas State ranks 124th on offense in terms of moving the chains early.
Expect passing-down situations and the two-headed edge rush of TJ Jackson and Richard Jibunor (six sacks apiece) to be factors in the game.
Offensively, Troy is just attempting to hold serve and allow the defense to win the game.
The running game is nothing special, with Kimani Vidal and DK Billingsley shouldering the lion’s share of the rushes and gaining only 570 yards combined through six games.
Gunnar Watson is your likely starting quarterback; he was cleared to play last week but did not play, giving way to Jarret Doege. Either way, Troy quarterbacks have been too careless with the ball, racking up nine total touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Whoever starts will be in for a tough ride against this Texas State secondary, especially with word that leading receiver Jabre Barber (25 catches, 351 yards) will be on the shelf for the next few weeks with a leg injury.
Texas State vs. Troy Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Texas State and Troy match up statistically:
Texas State Offense vs. Troy Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Troy Offense vs. Texas State Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||65||37|
|Seconds per Play||26.5 (67)||27.2 (82)|
|Rush Rate||47.8% (103)||47.1% (105)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Texas State vs. Troy Betting Pick
Troy is a quality team with a fun Group of Five defense — it's athletic, swarms the ball and rushes the passer.
It should limit this Texas State offense to only a few scoring opportunities, and it’s hard to imagine the Bobcats finding the end zone with frequency.
The Trojans will be just fine allowing their defense to win the game. Their passing game will have difficulties making plays against the only Texas State strength, regardless of whether Watson or Doege starts under center.
Both teams rank in the bottom 100 in rush rate, meaning both offenses will play perfectly into their opposition’s strength. If you like incomplete passes on third-and-long, this will be the game for you.
I’ll take the under 48.5 and would play it at 48 as well.