Rhode Island vs Georgia State Odds, Picks | College Football Betting Guide (Aug. 31)
Joe Sargent/Getty Images. Pictured: Kasim Hill #8 of the Rhode Island Rams.
Rhode Island vs Georgia State Odds
We are all the way back. Following a fantastic Week 0 appetizer, let's kick things into gear this Thursday evening with an FCS-FBS clash between the Rhode Island Rams and the Georgia State Panthers.
You may not think these teams have much in common, but trust me, they do.
As always, there's value hiding somewhere in a unique matchup like this, so let's dig into how to bet Rhode Island vs Georgia State.
Rhode Island enters the 2023-24 season ranked 23rd in the FCS preseason poll. The Rams are coming off a decent 7-4 season in which they averaged 30.6 PPG.
Quarterback Kasim Hill will be entering his seventh season of college football and will once again be handed the keys to this Rams offense for the third consecutive season.
Luckily for him, the Rams have four of their five offensive line starters returning, alongside two of their top four pass catchers. Not only that, but the Rams also added two FBS O-line transfers from the portal in Chattanooga's Brock Bethea and Boston College's Kevin Pyne.
The passing game should not skip a beat, but the Rams did lose a 1000-yard rusher in Marques Deshields.
As for the defense, well, this is an area of concern. The Rams allowed 26.6 PPG last season, and they lost a ton of experience on this side of the ball. Out of the top 11 tacklers on the team, only four return. Even worse, only one player out of those top five tacklers returns.
The Rams did recoup some losses in the transfer portal, notably beefing up their defensive line with FAU's Kareem Wilson and Virginia Tech's Desmond Mamudi. Unfortunately for Rhode Island, those two players may not be enough to help a unit that was already ranked 53rd overall in the FCS.
This is a huge cause for concern heading into the season, especially in a matchup like this against an FBS offense known for explosiveness. The defense will need to force a few turnovers in order to have a shot at pulling a big upset here on the road.
However, I do think the Rams offense can have success here even against an FBS defensive unit. They have enough experience returning on offense, and you'll see why I think there's potential for a lot of points in this game when I break down the Panthers.
Ugh, this really stings, but I had so much faith in this Panthers team last season. The talent on the roster didn't correlate with their 4-8 record, and they even led late in the fourth quarter against North Carolina.
Coming off a vastly disappointing 2022 season, the Panthers will look to rebound in 2023.
The offensive numbers were astonishing, as Georgia State finished outside the top 100 in Standard Downs Success Rate, Havoc Allowed and starting field position. The lone bright spot was its explosiveness in which it finished 19th. Keep this in mind when watching this matchup.
The bread and butter of this offense will always be its running game, so in this matchup against an FCS defense, I expect a lot of explosive runs.
Quarterback Darren Grainger will look to right the ship for the Panthers. He had a terrific statistical season last year, and notably led the team in rushing despite having Tucker Gregg in the backfield.
The Panthers lost receiver Jamari Thrash to Louisville, and since Gregg is out of the picture, a lot more weight is added to Grainger's shoulders.
I do think this offense will be improved despite the losses. The offensive line was a big issue last season, but they added two transfers to build up some depth. Tailback Marcus Carroll saw limited action last season but was effective when he was on the field.
This Panthers' defense unit will make or break them this season. They had their issues last year, but after adding a few transfers to bolster their defensive front, I believe they can be much improved. This unit finished in the bottom of the barrel in most defensive categories, but they did cause a decent amount of Havoc.
I don't believe the Panthers will have any issues winning this game, but something to monitor moving forward is seeing how these transfers shape up this entire defensive unit.
Rhode Island vs. Georgia State
Betting Pick & Prediction
Although I do think the Panthers can be improved defensively, this is a great spot to take an over. Both of these teams have proven commodities on offense, and I think the Rams' passing attack can find some success against a weak Panthers secondary.
I mentioned the Panthers' explosiveness earlier, and this will play a factor in this matchup. I think Grainger and Carroll can break some huge runs, which will lead to some quick scores.
I know it's scary taking an over after we just saw a ton of games go under in Week 0, but the outlook of this game seems to fit a script of points being poured on the scoreboard.
I do think the Panthers' Havoc can lead to a lot of possessions with great field possession. Instead of swallowing a big number, I have much more faith in both of these offenses to have success in this Thursday evening clash.