Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:49 AM

Georgia State vs. Arkansas State Predictions, Odds, Preview


  • October 15, 2020
  • By J.T. Williams
  • VegasInsider.com

It’s been a rough start to the season for the Arkansas State Red Wolves. This program has been to nine straight bowl games and has won at least seven games in each season since 2011, but the Red Wolves are just 2-2 heading into Thursday night’s game with the Georgia State Panthers.

They need a win to stay within striking distance of the red hot Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns in the Sun Belt West.

BETTING RESOURCES

Georgia State-Arkansas State BETTING ODDS

Line Movements

  • Spread: Arkansas State -3.5
  • Money-Line: Arkansas State -170, Georgia State +140
  • Total: 72

HOW TO HANDICAP Georgia State-Arkansas State

The Panthers have only played two games this season, as three of their games have been either cancelled or postponed. Georgia State’s scheduled games with Murray State and Alabama were canceled, and the Panthers’ tilt with Charlotte has been pushed back to an unspecified date.

In the two games they have played, Georgia State has been impressive. The Panthers were 17-point underdogs against Louisiana and ended up falling 34-31 in overtime on September 19. Georgia State looked even better in a 49-29 drubbing of East Carolina two weeks ago, easily covering the number as a short underdog. Both of Georgia State’s games have gone over the total this year.

Arkansas State stayed within the number in a 37-24 loss to Memphis in its first game, and the Red Wolves knocked off Kansas State as a 15.5-point underdog the following week. They didn’t take the field for three weeks after that victory though, as their game against Tulsa was postponed.

The Red Wolves were blasted 52-23 by Coastal Carolina despite being a small favorite back on October 3, but they bounced back to earn the cover in a 50-27 victory over FCS Central Arkansas last Saturday. Their last three games have sailed over the total, finishing at least ten points north of the closing number.

BETTING ANALYSIS – Red Wolves

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • Overall: 2-2 SU, 3-1 ATS, 3-1 O/U

Blake Anderson has been one of the best coaches in the Sun Belt since taking over this program. He brought stability to Jonesboro after Hugh Freeze, Gus Malzahn, and Bryan Harsin all spent just one season as head coach of Arkansas State, compiling a 49-32 record since 2014.

Logan Bonner was one of the best quarterbacks in the conference before he suffered a season-ending injury last year. That led to Layne Hatcher taking over for the Red Wolves, and he was solid in leading the team to an 8-5 record and a win in the Camellia Bowl.

Rather than pick one quarterback, Anderson has played both this season. Bonner has seen a little more action, completing 63.7 percent of his passes for 741 yards with eight touchdowns and three interceptions. Hatcher has been a constant presence though, completing 58.6 percent of his passes for 564 yards with six touchdowns and one pick. Both quarterbacks are averaging 8.1 YPA, and neither Bonner nor Hatcher is much of a runner.

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Arkansas State’s Jonathan Adams Jr. is the best receiver on the team. He has 26 receptions for 362 yards and five touchdowns, befitting his Preseason First Team All-Sun Belt status. Fellow seniors Dahu Green and Brandon Bowling have both had sizable impacts too, leading to this offense being ranked 24th in offensive SP+.

The Red Wolves don’t run too often, but Jamal Jones and Lincoln Pare have made defenses respect the ground game. Jones is averaging 4.7 YPC as the primary option, while Pare has been a big play threat with 7.8 YPC.

This offense needs to score a lot of points because the defense has really struggled. Arkansas State ranks 116th in defensive SP+, and the Red Wolves are allowing 458.5 YPG and 36.8 PPG despite only playing one elite offense in Memphis. Anderson brought in a bevy of transfers to fix this side of the ball, but their play has not been good, and there are three sophomores starting in the secondary.

Kicker Blake Grupe was voted the Sun Belt’s best kicker by media members in August, but he has not been reliable. Grupe has already missed two extra points this season, and he is just two of five on field goal attempts.

BETTING ANALYSIS - Panthers

  • Overall: 1-1 SU, 2-0 ATS, 2-0 O/U

The Panthers have started to realize their potential under Shawn Elliott. Georgia State is right in the heart of downtown Atlanta, and that has led to Elliott being able to bring in recruits that other Sun Belt schools aren’t able to land.

This offense has looked solid in their two games. Freshman Cornelious Brown IV was named the starter just prior to Georgia State’s season opener, and he has looked much better than he did in limited action last year. Brown is completing 59.7 percent of his passes for 434 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions, and he has been able to move the chains with his legs, averaging 4.3 YPC.

Elliott has leaned heavily on his ground game, and Georgia State is running for 235 YPG on the year. Destin Coates has been a workhorse, running for 263 yards and three touchdowns while averaging 4.6 YPC through two games.

Georgia State would love to get Coates and the run game going against Arkansas State in order to take some pressure off Brown. Guard Shamarious Gilmore is the only senior on this offensive line, and he is an NFL prospect.

Sam Pinckney is Georgia State’s leading receiver with 11 receptions for 155 yards and two touchdowns, but no one else has more than 100 receiving yards on the year.

Georgia State is allowing 402.5 YPG on defense, and the Panthers currently rank 95th in defensive SP+. Cornerback Quavian White has been a playmaker on this side of the ball for the Panthers, registering 1.5 sacks, three passes defensed, and two interceptions through two games.

HISTORICALLY SPEAKING

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Arkansas State won the first five games in this series, and the Red Wolves’ last four victories over the Panthers have all been by at least 15 points. Georgia State finally broke the losing streak last year with a 52-38 victory in Atlanta, and that led to the over hitting in five of the six games between these teams.

LAST SEASON

The Red Wolves couldn’t stop Georgia State’s offense last season. Dan Ellington completed 29 of 41 passes for 382 yards and a touchdown, while the Panthers ran wild on the ground. Georgia State ran for 340 yards and six touchdowns against Arkansas State, as the Panthers picked up 39 first downs and 722 total yards of offense while holding the ball for almost 40 minutes.

Arkansas State was a 6.5-point favorite in that game. Hatcher wasn’t bad in the loss, completing 21 of 32 passes for 299 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions. Omar Bayless had a career day with eight receptions for 154 yards and three touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough.

NOTABLE BETTING TRENDS

-- Georgia State has covered six of the last seven games in which the Panthers were an underdog

-- Since 2018, the Panthers are 2-10-2 ATS in their last 14 road games

-- The over has cashed in each of the last four games in which Arkansas State was the favorite

Georgia State-Arkansas State - PREDICTIONS

  • Score Prediction: Georgia State 41, Arkansas State 33
  • Best Bet: Georgia State


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