Arkansas State vs. Georgia State Odds & Pick: Take the Points with Thursday’s College Football Underdog
Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Jeffery Clark and the Georgia State defensive line.
Arkansas State vs. Georgia State Odds
|Arkansas State Odds||-3.5 [BET NOW]|
|Georgia State Odds||+3.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+132/-165 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||73 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET|
The Sun Belt takes center stage on Thursday night as two of the nation’s quickest offenses will do battle at Centennial Bank Stadium in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The Georgia State Panthers and Arkansas State Red Wolves are both sitting at .500 on the season, but they are a combined 5-1 against the spread (ATS) in 2020, so there’s a lot to like for both of these teams.
This figures to be a classic strength vs. strength matchup, as the Red Wolves’ dynamic offense will try to solve the Panthers’ stellar defense.
Arkansas State is a short home favorite, so these teams are basically viewed as equals by the market. Should that be the case?
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Arkansas State Red Wolves
I’d be remiss if I didn’t start the Arkansas State preview without mentioning Jonathan Adams Jr. The senior already has 26 catches for 362 yards and five touchdowns this season.
The Red Wolves’ bread-and-butter comes on faking the run, as 24 of Adams’ 30 targets have been on a play-action pass. Quarterbacks Logan Bonner and Layne Hatcher have one of the best weapons in the country on a 50-50 ball.
Jonathan Adams of #ArkansasState with what was almost the CATCH OF THE YEAR! 😳🏈
— Ben Eby 🎙 aka Coach 🏆 (@Mr_Eby) September 12, 2020
While Arkansas State continues to be a highlight reel on offense, the defense has struggled. The Red Wolves are giving up explosive plays on the ground and through the air. Arkansas State ranks 71st in opponent passing plays over 20 yards and 57th in Sack Rate.
Both Kansas State and Coastal Carolina threw for at least 330 yards on this defense.
Georgia State Panthers
Georgia State’s 1-1 overall record does not really do it justice. The Panthers have been terrific on the defensive side of the ball and are led by two of the best pass-defenders in the country in Quavian White and Jaylon Jones. Georgia State currently ranks second in the country in defensive Havoc and has recorded 17 tackles for loss and 20 pass breakups in just two games.
The Panthers may not blow you away on offense, but they are certainly opportunistic. Georgia State ranks fourth overall in finishing drives and has scored in all nine of its trips to the red zone, with eight of them ending in touchdowns.
The transition from Dan Ellington to Cornelious Brown IV at quarterback has been seamless, as the Panthers put up a 63% success rate on passing downs against East Carolina.
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Betting Analysis & Pick
These are two of the fastest teams in FBS, with both being top-five squads in seconds per play. Georgia State clocks in at 21 seconds, only to be outdone by Arkansas State at 19.9 seconds per play.
It’s a short sample set, but Georgia State has the advantage on defense, ranking first in Stuff Rate, Power Success and against pass explosiveness. The Panthers are also the better team at finishing drives.
I think Georgia State’s secondary will prove to be the difference in this game. The Panthers have missed just 11 tackles on 154 defensive plays this season, and its defensive backs can contend with Arkansas State’s electric passing game.
As for the Over/Under, you may be better off waiting for a live under. These two teams play at such a quick tempo that a quick score could balloon this total and offer you the chance to swoop in live for a great number.
If you’re looking for a pre-game bet on the total, I’m leaning toward the under at 70 or better. It’s never fun to bet against two quick-strike offenses, but our Action Network Projections make this number closer to 60, and the Georgia State defense does have a chance to keep this number within reach.
Pick: Georgia State +3.5 or better; Under 70 or better