Georgia State Panthers vs. Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Odds & Predictions: Our Pick for Thursday’s College Football Game (Nov. 4)

Georgia State Panthers vs. Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Odds & Predictions: Our Pick for Thursday’s College Football Game (Nov. 4) article feature image

Bobby McDuffie/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Levi Lewis.

  • The point spread for Louisiana vs. Georgia State opened at Louisiana -10.5. That opening spread has been bet up to Louisiana -13.5 across the betting market.
  • Thursday's college football matchup between the Ragin' Cajuns and Panthers features an over/under of 53.5 points, up modestly from its 52.5-point opening line.
  • When these two teams met last season, Georgia State was a 17-point underdog but pushed Louisiana to overtime. Will the Panthers rally as underdogs yet again on Thursday night?

Georgia State vs. Louisiana Odds

Thursday, Nov. 4
7:30 p.m. ET
Georgia State Odds
-110o / -110u
Louisiana Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football oddshere.

Coming off a top-25 ranking, Louisiana hosts Georgia State in Thursday evening's lone FBS college football matchup.

The Panthers sit at 4-4 overall and 5-3 against the spread (ATS) this season, while Louisiana hovers around 7-1 overall but only 3-5 ATS. The Ragin' Cajuns are the only undefeated team left in Sun Belt play at 5-0.

Last season, Louisiana needed overtime to topple Georgia State, which entered as 17-point underdogs.

After a rough 1-4 start to the season, Georgia State has bounced back nicely. In its last game, it won and covered over rival Georgia Southern thanks to a breakaway touchdown run with less than 30 seconds remaining.

Currently positioned in a three-way tie for first place in the Sun Belt East, can the Panthers pull off the upset on the road and add to their three-game win streak? If so, it would be the team's first win over a ranked opponent in program history.

Unfortunately, standing in the Panthers' way of program history is one of the best teams and coaches in the conference. Last week, the Ragin' Cajuns shut out Texas State in a 45-0 rout.

ULL quarterback Levi Lewis threw for three scores in that game, giving him 65 in his career and breaking former NFL quarterback Jake Delhomme's school record of 64.

Head coach Billy Napier also moved to 15-0 all-time against Sun Belt West teams, while the team as a whole improved its win streak to seven games. It's 5-0 in conference play this year and 5-0 all-time against Georgia State.

Will the Ragin' Cajuns keep rolling at home during one of the highest points in conference history? If the Panthers want to crash the party, there will be a lot to overcome.

One factor is the crowd; Louisiana gives out free tickets to military members, which they will honor during the game. Fans have also been told it will be a "Blackout" so expect Cajun Field to be rowdy.

Georgia State Panthers

The Panthers are riding a three-game winning streak after beating Georgia Southern, 21-14, as a six-point favorite this past Saturday.

While they wouldn't currently win the tiebreaker, the Panthers are still in the hunt for the Sun Belt title as they will be facing Louisiana this week and Coastal Carolina on Nov. 13.

Georgia State had a rough start, losing four of its first five. But it faced strong competition going up against Army, North Carolina, Auburn, and Appalachian State. It has since gotten back on track following the beginning of conference play.

Quarterback Darren Grainger hasn't quite been in the running for passing yards leader, completing 60.2% of his passes and averaging 115 yards per game, but he has thrown 11 touchdowns and just three interceptions while adding 372 rushing yards on 68 carries and one rushing touchdown.

The Panthers offense instead is mainly focused on the ground game and Tucker Gregg. Gregg has rushed for a team-leading 552 yards, averaging 69 yards per game while also recording four touchdowns.

The Panthers are averaging 23.9 points per game, with most of the production coming via the rush, averaging 224 yards per game to rank 14th in the nation.

One thing to note — quarterback Cornelius Brown entered the transfer portal this week after putting up 2,792 yards and 17 touchdowns in his career. Brown lost his starting spot after the Week 2 loss to North Carolina.

With him gone, the only other quarterback on the roster is redshirt freshman Mikele Colasurdo, who appeared in four games last season.

Georgia State's defense has allowed 422.9 yards per game, ranking seventh in the Sun Belt. Of those yards, 253.1 have been through the air, while 169.8 have come via the rush.

On average, opponents are scoring 30.1 points against the Panthers, ranking 109th nationally.

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Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns

The Ragin' Cajuns haven't lost since falling to Texas as an 8.5-point underdog in Week 1. And while they are on a seven-game win streak, they have covered the spread in only three of those victories.

Louisiana ranks 29th in the nation with 32.7 points per game while also sitting 11th in rush yards by racking up 225 per game. However, it ranks only 89th in passing yards, averaging just 204 yards per contest.

Senior quarterback Levi Lewis is one of the most experienced signal-callers in the Sun Belt, as he has seen playing time each season since 2017.

Completing 61.8% of his passes for 7,941 yards, 65 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in his career, Lewis knows he doesn't have to throw for 400 yards a game to pick up a win. Lewis can manage games thanks to the Ragin' Cajuns' backfield depth, where three backs are averaging at least six yards per attempt this season.

Chris Smith leads the pack with 621 yards and eight touchdowns on 6.3 yards per carry, followed by Montrell Johnson and his 512 yards and seven touchdowns. Meanwhile, Emani Bailey leads the team in yards per attempt at 6.9, but he has only 310 yards and three touchdowns on the season.

Defensively, Louisiana has been one of the best, keeping opponents to just 18.5 points per game, ranking 15th in the nation.

It ranks fourth in the conference, holding opponents to 358.1 total yards per game while sitting fifth in rushing yards allowed (151.3) and fourth in passing yards allowed (206.9).

Against a Georgia State rushing attack that averages 224 yards per contest, Louisiana will have to contain the Panthers' running game.

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Georgia State vs. Louisiana Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Georgia State and Louisiana match up statistically:

Georgia State Offense vs. Louisiana Defense
Rush Success3729
Line Yards55105
Pass Success9853
Pass Blocking**11267
Big Play6573
Finishing Drives2720
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Louisiana Offense vs. Georgia State Defense
Rush Success1638
Line Yards3442
Pass Success7876
Pass Blocking**2528
Big Play5198
Finishing Drives23103
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling99110
Middle 84875
SP+ Special Teams7986
Plays per Minute1757
Rush Rate63.6% (10)56.9% (49)

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

Georgia State vs. Louisiana Betting Pick

The Ragin Cajuns are one of the best teams in football at home, where they have outscored their opponents by an average of 23.5 per game and have covered the spread by at least 15 points in each of their last three home games.

Georgia State, meanwhile, has covered the spread in five of its previous six games. But the Panthers were favored in four of those games. As an underdog, they're 1-3 ATS this season.

I expect the quick turnaround on Thursday to be a factor specifically for the Panthers. I can't say I'm excited about how much public money is on the Ragin' Cajuns, but Louisiana is a better team and has been consistently better in nearly every facet of the game.

I don't expect Louisiana to overlook Georgia State with its recent success. After all, the Panthers took this matchup to overtime last year as a 17-point underdog.

I took the Ragin Cajuns at -12 and would bet them up to -13.5.

Pick: Louisiana -12 (Play to -13.5)

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