Georgia Southern vs. South Alabama Odds & Picks: Back This College Football Underdog To Cover Thursday
Bobby McDuffie/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: SouthAlabama quarterback Desmond Trotter.
Georgia Southern vs. South Alabama Odds
|Georgia Southern Odds||-5 [BET NOW]|
|South Alabama Odds||+5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+170/-230 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||51 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET|
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South Alabama Jaguars
The Jaguars are having one of their best seasons in their short history as a part of FBS. South Alabama is 4-1 against the spread, with its lone loss coming against UAB in a week when the team recovered after being hit numerous COVID-19 positive tests.
The two-headed quarterback system of Desmond Trotter and Chance Lovertich has worked out well for the receiving core. South Alabama has the fourth-highest graded wide receiver unit in college football, per Pro Football Focus.
South Alabama should consider throwing Jalen Tolbert the ball on every play pic.twitter.com/0E3FeC6aIM
— Barstool Sun Belt (@barstoolsunbelt) October 17, 2020
The passing game is the top weapon for South Alabama, ranking 28th in Passing Success Rate and fifth in expected points. The run game has been close to non-existent, with rushing attempts just 35% of the time through 11 personnel.
The defensive side of the ball is less desirable, with a ranking of 72nd in Havoc and 65th in Passing Success Rate. Ranks against the rush are top-50 in areas such as Line Yards and Stuff Rate. Last weekend, the Jaguars had their best game against ULM in which 11-of-24 rushing attempts were stuffed.
Georgia Southern Eagles
If there is any team familiar in dealing with the COVID-19 situation, it’s Georgia Southern. After missing more than 30 players in the season opener against Campbell, the Appalachian State game was also canceled due to the pandemic. Despite the interruptions during the season, the Eagles have put together another efficient triple-option attack.
Quarterback Shai Werts left the game against Coastal Carolina with an injury, he but did return and is expected to play against South Alabama. The senior leads an offense that is top-30 in Rushing Success Rate, as well as top-10 in Line Yards and Stuff Rate. The Eagles’ defense stepped up in the Coastal Carolina loss with three sacks, nine tackles for loss and two interceptions.
— Georgia Southern Football (@GSAthletics_FB) October 25, 2020
Georgia Southern has been a top-35 team in Success Rate against both the rush and pass on defense, but the explosive plays continue to mount. The Eagles have allowed 26 plays to exceed 20 yards in just five games. One bright spot of the “bend-don’t-break” defense is ranking 30th in Finishing Drives, as opponents average 3.2 points per opportunity.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The handicap comes down to Georgia Southern defending the South Alabama passing attack, while the Jaguars’ front seven looks to slow the Eagles’ triple option. To complicate opponent defenses, the Eagles have run the option out of seven different personnel groupings, including 22, 32 and 10.
South Alabama already has game experience in facing a rush attack with multiple personnel after a cover against Tulane, as the Green Wave ran six different personnel groupings. The Jaguars’ schedule includes three teams that rank inside the top 26 in PFF’s rushing offenses in Tulane, Southern Miss and UAB.
As for the Georgia Southern back seven, it ranks 68th in coverage against a schedule of Campbell, UMass and Louisiana Monroe. South Alabama ranks in the top 25 in pass plays exceeding 20 yards, an issue the Eagles’ secondary will deal with most of the night. The Action Network Pace Report projects a game total of 49 points, leaving little edge on the number. Keep track of Tropical Storm Zeta and the possible winds leading into this game.
Storm Surge and Hurricane Warnings have been issued for a portion of the northern Gulf coast for #Zeta. Zeta is forecast to approach the northern Gulf coast as a hurricane on Wednesday. Follow the latest forecasts at: https://t.co/tW4KeGdBFb pic.twitter.com/Pq6lsxKdjJ
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) October 27, 2020
As for the side, South Alabama has faced a tough share of rushing offenses with success. The national average for stuffed runs is 11% per game, as the Eagles posted 33% against Tulane and 31% versus UAB. The Action Network projection for this game is Georgia Southern -3.5, giving the edge to South Alabama in this Sun Belt clash.
Pick: South Alabama +5.5