This Thursday we have got a big showdown in the Sun Belt, as the No. 20 ranked Appalachian State Mountaineers will play host to the Georgia Southern Eagles. Kickoff is set for 8:00 EST at Kidd Brewer Stadium and will be televised on ESPNU.
Oddsmakers opened up the game at Appalachian State -18.5, but early money on the Eagles has this thing down to the Mountaineers -16.5. The total for this contest has been set at 49 points.
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Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Georgia Southern vs Appalachian State
Georgia Southern Eagles (4-3 SU, 2-4-1 ATS)
The Eagles come in having won 3 straight, the most recent being an easy 41-7 win and cover at home against New Mexico State. It snapped a streak of 3 straight non-covers for Georgia Southern.
Eagles are 2-1 in Sun Belt play and are still in the running for the division title, especially if they can pull off the upset against the Mountaineers.
Georgia Southern is a run-first team to say the least. Eagles come in attempted 53 rush attempts per game. They are averaging 261 yards/game and 5.0 yards/carry on the ground. Their ability to establish that runnin game against a stingy App State defense will be critical to their success in this game.
Appalachian State Mountaineers (7-0 SU, 5-2 ATS)
So much for Appalachian State taking a step back after losing head coach Scott Satterfield to Louisville. Mountaineers are a perfect 7-0 to start the season. While the schedule hasn’t been overly challenging, they do have a road win over North Carolina, who is tied with Virginia on top the ACC Coastal right now.
There was some concern with App State’s defense early on, as they had a 3-game stretch where they allowed 41 to Charlotte, 32 to UNC and 37 to Coastal Carolina. It was almost as if they flipped a switch. In their next 3 games they have held Lafayette to 7, ULM to 7 and South Alabama to 3. As for the offense, they have scored 30 or more in all but one game this season.
What makes this an interesting matchup is what happened last year with Georgia Southern pulling off a shocking 34-14 win at home over App State as a 11-point underdog. It was the Mountaineers only loss in Sun Belt play and the only other team besides Penn State to score more than 20-points against them all season.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: UNDER 49
My early lean here would be to take the UNDER at 49 points. Each of the last 5 meetings between these two teams has seen a combined score less than 50 points. I also think the matchup definitely favors a low-scoring game.
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Both of these teams have been playing lights out defensively in the month of October. Georgia Southern has allowed just 17 ppg in 3 games this month, while Appalachian State has allowed a total of 17 points in 3 games this month.
On top of that, these are two teams that love to run the football. Georgia Southern is an option based offense and has not had more than 78 yards passing in any game this season. They have had 56+ rushing attempts in each of their last 4 games. Appalachian State can throw the ball, but definitely prefer to run. They are averaging 44 rush attempts to just 25 pass attempts on the season.
Under is a strong 8-2 the last 10 times Georgia Southern has had to play a weekday game on Thursday. It’s also 7-2 in their last 9 after scoring 40 or more points in their previous game and 14-3 in their last 17 following a SU win by 20 or more.
UNDER is 5-1 in Appalachian State’s last 6 conference games and 4-1 in the last 5 meetings between these two teams. Give me the UNDER 49!