College Football Week 2 Betting Odds & Pick for Memphis vs. Arkansas State: Offenses Set To Shine in Saturday Duel

College Football Week 2 Betting Odds & Pick for Memphis vs. Arkansas State: Offenses Set To Shine in Saturday Duel article feature image
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Joe Murphy/Getty Images. Pictured: Seth Henigan hands it off to Brandon Thomas.

  • Memphis and Arkansas State meet on Saturday for their second game of the season.
  • The Tigers scored on every possession in Week 1, while the Red Hawks scored 40.
  • Check out Kyle Remillard's full betting guide with odds, picks and predictions for the game.

Memphis vs. Arkansas State Odds

Saturday, Sept. 11
7 p.m. ET
ESPN+
Memphis Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-5.5
-110
64.5
-110o / -110u
-210
Arkansas State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+5.5
-110
64.5
-110o / -110u
+175
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The Memphis Tigers travel to face Butch Jones and the Arkansas State Red Wolves with quarterback play headlining the matchup.

Memphis has moved on from the Brady White era after White left the program as its all-time leading passer. Grant Gunnell was anticipated to take the torch but missed the season opener and is now slated to have surgery Monday on a lower-body injury.

True freshman Seth Henigan will be the starter, and he looked sharp in the season opener leading the offense to points in all nine offensive drives.

He will match up against an Arkansas State defense that was one of the worst in the country against the pass in 2020.

Butch Jones takes over the Arkansas State program from Blake Anderson who left for Utah State and took some key pieces with him. As good as the offense was in 2020, the defense was worse. Jones has relied on the transfer portal heavily to help replenish and rebuild this program that went just 4-7 last season.

We could see touchdowns galore in this matchup that highlights vulnerable defenses.


Memphis Tigers

Memphis won its 16th straight home game after defeating Nichols State 42-17.

Much of the program will have its attention on the future of the American Athletic Conference after UCF, Houston and Cincinnati submitted applications to join the Big 12.


Tigers Offense

The Memphis offense has moved on from Brady White and its prolific offense in 2020 that averaged 31 points per game. With Arizona State transfer Grant Gunnell slated to get surgery, in steps true freshman Seth Henigan.

Henigan led the offense to points on all nine of the Tigers’ drives. He completed 59% of his passes averaging 8.3 yards per attempt and a touchdown.

Memphis used four running backs in Week 1, and each one showed that they belong. Brandon Thomas stole the show with 16 carries for 147 yards including a 37-yard touchdown run.

Seth Henigan was extremely efficient in his first collegiate start, and against an Arkansas State defense that ranks in the bottom of the nation against the pass, he should be in for a big day.


Tigers Defense

This is a veteran led defense that allowed 28 points per game last season. It was decent against the run, allowing just 3.9 yards per carry but suspect against the pass, allowing 7.4 yards per attempt.

Against Nicholls State the unit was solid, allowing just 3.6 yards per carry and 5.8 yards per pass attempt. But it struggled making plays behind the line of scrimmage, logging just one sack. The defense added only one tackle for loss and two quarterback hurries.

Arkansas State’s passing game has the potential to tear through the Memphis defense if the Tigers aren’t able to apply pressure.


Arkansas State Red Wolves

Cue the Butch Jones Era in Arkansas State.

Blake Anderson left for Utah State and took prominent pieces from this Arkansas State roster, including QB Logan Bonner. Jones relied heavily on the transfer portal to replace many of the key pieces missing from this roster. Improving the defense is the focus after allowing over 37 points per game last season.


Red Wolves Offense

The Arkansas State offense led the Sun Belt in total offense, averaging 490 yards per game. Despite passing the ball just 55% of the time, it accounted for 75% of the total yards through a two-quarterback system.

With Logan Bonner gone to Utah State, Florida State transfer James Blackman takes his spot. He and Layne Hatcher shared time in their Week 1 victory while still battling over the starting job.

Hatcher was perfect, going 12-for-12 for 150 yards and four touchdowns. Blackman was mediocre, averaging 6.5 yards per attempt and completing 16 of his 26 attempts.

The Red Wolves lost their top two receivers from last season along with their leading rusher in Jamal Jones. In their Week 1 game they leaned on Yale transfer Alan Lamar who carried the ball on 46% of their rushing attempts for an average of 3.7 yards per carry. Corey Rucker stepped up for the wide receiver corps, hauling in nine catches for 138 yards and three touchdowns.

This offense can put up points on any defense, but can the defense get any stops against Memphis?


Red Wolves Defense

The Arkansas State defense was non-existent in 2020, allowing 37 points per game and 470 yards of offense. The Red Wolves were solid against the rush, allowing only 4.0 yards per carry. But that’s because teams opted to pass the ball against a unit that allowed 8.9 yards per attempt and an average of three touchdowns through the air per game.

The defense ranked in the triple digits of almost all defensive metrics from last season. It ranked 114th in Defensive Yards Per Play, 104th in Defensive Points Per Drive, and 107th in Defensive Touchdown Rate.

Blake Anderson brought the leading tackler Justin Rice with him to Utah State. They return all four starters in the secondary, but whether that is a good thing remains to be seen.

Arkansas State allowed a 66-yard touchdown pass to Central Arkansas to open the season. The Red Hawks were solid against the run, Central Arkansas to 2.1 yards per carry, but they allowed 7.0 yards per pass attempt.

The Red Wolves were efficient in getting off the field, allowing Central Arkansas to convert on just 1-of-12 attempts on third down. But they face a major step up in class in Memphis and an offense that can find explosive plays through both the run and pass games.

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Memphis vs. Arkansas State Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Memphis and Arkansas State match up statistically:

Memphis Offense vs. Arkansas State Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rushing Success 89 14
Passing Success 43 112
Havoc 72 112
Line Yards 97 14
Sack Rate 23 108
Finishing Drives 59 81

Arkansas State Offense vs. Memphis Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rushing Success 95 40
Passing Success 36 66
Havoc 35 115
Line Yards 77 58
Sack Rate 48 85
Finishing Drives 33 61

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 3 73
Coverage 45 121
Rush Rate 48.4% (106) 45.5% (117)
Seconds per Play 16 7

Data via College Football Data (CFBD) and FootballOutsiders; SP+ projection per ESPN.


Memphis vs. Arkansas State Betting Pick

These two teams met in Week 1 last season with Brady White throwing for four touchdowns and exposing the Red Wolves for 37 points. Arkansas State put up 24 points, and that could have been more had it not been for untimely turnovers in the second half.

Both teams found success, combining for 54 first downs in the contest and 926 yards of total offense. We should see similar statistics in this matchup with both offenses looking sharp in their opening games.

The offenses rank 16th and seventh in seconds per play, so we will see plenty of scoring drives.

Arkansas State can score against any defense, but it’s incapable of stopping any offense — especially an offense that scored on every drive last week like Memphis.

Pick: Over 64.5 (Play to 66)

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