Jacksonville State vs Sam Houston Odds, Prediction & Picks: Bearkats Inept on Offense

Jacksonville State vs Sam Houston Odds, Prediction & Picks: Bearkats Inept on Offense article feature image

Chris Gardner/Getty Images. Pictured: Sam Houston’s Zach Hrbacek.

Jacksonville State vs Sam Houston Odds

Thursday, Sept. 28
8 p.m. ET
Jacksonville State Odds
-110o / -110u
Sam Houston Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

There's no more welcome sight these days than a college football trifecta of matchups on Thursday night.

Among these three matchups is a highly-intriguing battle between Jacksonville State and Sam Houston.

Jacksonville State is looking to build upon a 3-1 start to its 2023 campaign despite an offense that has struggled to impress.

On the other side, Sam Houston has simultaneously produced an effective defense while boasting one of the worst offenses in the country.

To determine which one of these teams will overcome their shortcomings on Thursday night, let’s take a look at the odds and make a pick and prediction for the Jacksonville State Gamecocks vs. Sam Houston Bearkats on Thursday, Sept. 28.

Check out our NCAAF Betting Hub for more college football previews, predictions, news and analysis.

Jacksonville State Gamecocks

The handicap for Rich Rodriguez and Jacksonville State starts at the quarterback position. Logan Smothers started over Zion Webb last week against Eastern Michigan but didn’t show any noticeable improvement. The Nebraska transfer completed just nine passes for 91 yards and a touchdown.

This level of quarterback play has the Gamecocks ranked outside the top 120 in passing play explosiveness, Success Rate and PPA. Rodriguez has clearly identified this weakness, as the Gamecocks had 55 total rushing attempts in Week 4 compared to just 19 total passing attempts.

This run-dominant style will likely continue against Sam Houston, no matter who starts under center.

Although Sam Houston’s defense has been impressive as a whole, it's shown an inability to consistently stop the run. The Bearkats rank 74th nationally in Rushing Success Rate Allowed.

Against Air Force's triple option, Sam Houston gave up 244 total yards on the ground with an average of 4.1 yards per carry.

Overall, it's clear that Jacksonville State’s offense will continue to lean on the ground attack given its quarterback uncertainty and Sam Houston's stout secondary.

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Sam Houston Bearkats

For Sam Houston, the question remains: Can it find the end zone?

The Bearkats rank near the bottom in all of college football in Offensive Success Rate, explosiveness and Points per Opportunity after scoring only 10 total points through their first three games.

Things will not get any easier for this offense as it goes up against a Jacksonville State defense that ranks sixth nationally in Success Rate and inside the top 30 in explosiveness, Points per Opportunity and Havoc.

To make matters even more uncertain for this Bearkat offense, head coach KC Keeler is still deciding who the starting quarterback will be moving forward. In Week 4, Arizona transfer Grant Gunnell took over starting duties from Keegan Shoemaker, who started the first two weeks.

Gunnell wasn't all that impressive, throwing for 100 yards, no touchdowns and one interception.

Given this quarterback uncertainty and the fact that Jacksonville State's defense serves as the Gamecocks' strength, look for the Bearkats to continue to struggle on the offensive side of the ball once again.

Jacksonville State vs Sam Houston

Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Jacksonville State and Sam Houston match up statistically:

Jacksonville State Offense vs. Sam Houston Defense
Rush Success3766
Line Yards71115
Pass Success12030
Finishing Drives8262
Quality Drives10162
Sam Houston Offense vs. Jacksonville State Defense
Rush Success12810
Line Yards13014
Pass Success13236
Finishing Drives12917
Quality Drives13311
Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling412
PFF Coverage2486
Special Teams SP+6731
Middle 858116
Seconds per Play22.9 (8)31.0 (127)
Rush Rate69.9% (4)53.0% (88)

Jacksonville State vs Sam Houston

Betting Pick & Prediction

In Sam Houston’s matchup against Air Force, we capitalized on the Bearkats' inefficient offense by betting their team total under.

This week, I believe the same play has similar value.

The Bearkats are still looking for consistent play at the quarterback position and now must face a Jacksonville State defense that has allowed an average of 11.8 points per game through the first four weeks of the season.

In a game that features plenty of offensive question marks, I will gladly continue to fade this Sam Houston offense until it gives me a reason to do otherwise.

Pick: Sam Houston Team Total Under 14.5 (Play to 14)

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