Last Updated Dec 23, 2021, 10:00 AM

Camellia Bowl Picks, Predictions and Odds: Georgia State vs. Ball State

Dec. 25, 2021
Jonathan Willis
VI Betting Expert

Merry Christmas! We have a Bowl Game on tap this Christmas Day as the Georgia State Panthers battle the MAC's Ball State Cardinals. Opening kick is set for 2:30 p.m. ET and will air on ESPN from the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama.

Score Prediction

Georgia State 32, Ball State 21

Best Bets

Over 51 (-110)

Camellia Bowl Predictions

There will be a Christmas Day bowl game before the NFL doubleheader gets underway, giving us close to a full day of football on the holiday. The Camellia Bowl will pit the Georgia State Panthers against the Ball State Cardinals, and both programs are looking to win bowl games in consecutive seasons for the first time in their history.

The eighth time was the charm for Ball State. The Cardinals had lost their seven previous bowl games, but they finally secured their first bowl victory with a blowout win over San Jose State in last year’s Arizona Bowl. They won’t be able to beat Georgia State on Christmas though, as the Panthers closed out their season with three straight wins and played in a tougher conference.

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Camellia Bowl Betting Odds

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Camellia Bowl Betting Resources

  • Matchup: Sun Belt vs. MAC
  • Date: Saturday, December 25, 2021
  • Venue: Cramton Bowl
  • Location: Montgomery, Alabama
  • TV-Time: ESPN, 2:30 p.m. ET

Georgia State Panthers Betting Analysis

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

  • SU: 7-5
  • ATS: 8-4
  • O/U: 6-6

The Panthers run the ball very well. They are averaging 5.0 YPC and rank seventh in rushing yards per game. Tucker Gregg and Jamyest Williams have both run for more than 800 yards with nine touchdowns this season. Gregg is averaging 5.1 YPC, and Willams is averaging 6.8 YPC. Quarterback Darren Grainger is also averaging 4.3 YPC.

Grainger is a little more accurate than he was last season. He is completing almost 58% of his passes for 7.2 YPA with 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. Grainger replaced Cornelious Brown IV early in the season and hasn’t looked back.

Georgia State doesn’t throw the ball much. Surprisingly, their top running backs have combined for just three receptions, but tight end Aubry Payne is someone to watch in the red zone with five touchdown receptions. Jamari Thrash is the leading receiver with 31 catches for 447 yards and three TDs.

This run defense is strong. Georgia State is allowing just 3.6 YPC, and the front seven has done a good job getting to the quarterback with 32 sacks. The secondary has had some issues, but safety Antavious Lane was a First Team All-Sun Belt selection with four interceptions.

Ball State Cardinals Betting Analysis

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

  • SU: 6-6
  • ATS: 4-8
  • O/U: 3-9

The Cardinals needed to beat Buffalo in their season finale in order to become bowl eligible. Ball State was able to do just that, but this team struggled with FBS teams outside the MAC with 30+ point losses to both Penn State and Wyoming.

Senior Drew Plitt has not had a great year with the Cardinals. Plitt has regressed from what we saw in 2019 and 2020 by completing just over 60% of his passes for 6.2 YPA. He averaged 5.7 YPA or less in each of his last three starts too.

Running back Carson Steele leads Ball State with 829 rushing yards for six touchdowns. Justin Hall has spent time as a running back too, and he is averaging 6.9 YPC with six TDs in addition to being the second leading receiver on the Cardinals with 61 receptions for 613 yards and five scores.

The other receivers to watch are Yo’Heinz Tyler and Jayshon Jackson. Tyler is averaging just 9.9 YPR though, while Jackson is the top receiver with a 12.0 YPR.

Ball State has the 104th ranked defense and the 104th ranked offense per SP+. Safety Bryce Cosby was a First Team All-MAC selection, but this team is largely bowl eligible due to great special teams. Hall was the top returner in the MAC, and Nathan Snyder was the best punter in the conference.

Inside the Stats - Georgia State Panthers

  • Record: 7-5
  • VI Ranking: 66
  • Points Scored: 315
  • Points Allowed: 332
  • PS/G: 26.2 (83rd)
  • PA/G: 27.7 (80th)

Inside the Stats - Ball State Cardinals

  • Record: 6-6
  • VI Ranking: 97
  • Points Scored: 293
  • Points Allowed: 318
  • PS/G: 24.4 (95th)
  • PA/G: 26.5 (70th)

Key Players to Watch

  • GAST: Darren Grainger - QB (121/209, 1,512 yards, 16 TD, 4 INT)
  • GAST: Tucker Gregg - RB (176 carries, 899 yards, 9 TD)
  • BALL: Drew Plitt - QB (221/365, 2,248 yards, 17 TD, 5 INT)
  • BALL: Carson Steele - RB (177 carries, 829 yards, 6 TD)

Camellia Bowl Betting Conclusion

The Panthers have a real edge in this game. Georgia State should be able to establish the run on Ball State’s front seven in a comfortable win.

Camellia Bowl Betting Trends

  • Georgia State has covered the spread in five of its last six games away from Atlanta.
  • Ball State has gone UNDER the point total in nine of its last 12 games.
  • Ball State has failed to cover the spread in eight of its last 12 games.

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