This Thursday the Arkansas State Red Wolves (3-3) will host the Georgia State Panthers (2-4). Kickoff for this weekday Sun Belt action is set for 7:30 EST at Centennial Bank Stadium and will be televised on ESPNU.
Oddsmakers opened the Red Wolves as a 13.5-point home favorite, but it’s since been bet up to Arkansas State -14. The total for this matchup is currently at 53 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 8 odds and for more links to our game previews.
Arkansas State vs Georgia State Vegas Spread Preview
The Panthers enter this one off a bye. Last time out they lost by 17 at Troy as a 17-point dog. It came just a few days after their impressive 46-14 win at home over ULM as a 5.5-point dog. Georgia State is a mere 1-4 in their last 5 overall and 1-3-1 ATS during this stretch.
The Red Wolves were in action last Tuesday, as they hosted Appalachian State. Some thought Arkansas State would put up a fight. They did early, leading 9-7 with less than 5 minutes to play in the 1st half, but trailed 21-9 at intermission and lost 35-9 as a 10.5-point home dog. With the failed cover, the Red Wolves are now a mere 1-5 ATS in 2018.
Arkansas State has won all 4 meetings in the series. The most recent coming in 2016, where they went on the road and beat the Panthers 31-16 as a slim 4.5-point favorite. An interesting trend to note, is the road team is a perfect 4-0 ATS in the series.
Free Pick & Betting Predictions: OVER 53
If I was going to take a side here I would roll the dice with the Panthers as a 14-point dog, but my favorite lean here would be OVER the total of 53. I just think the number here has been set too low for how bad these two teams are defensively.
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Georgia State comes into this game ranked 120th in the country in total defense, giving up 491.5 ypg, and they aren’t good against either the run (244.2 ypg, 124th) or the pass (247.3 ypg, 99th). We have already seen them give up more than the total in a game this season, as they allowed 59 points to Memphis and it could have been a lot worse, as the Tigers had 38 at the half.
While Arkansas State scored just 9 points in their last game against the Mountaineers, Appalachian State has arguably the best defense in the Sun Belt. Even with that poor showing, the Red Wolves are still an impressive 36th in the country in total offense (449 ypg). My guess is Arkansas State’s offense will be chomping at the bit to get back on track and I just don’t see the Panthers being able to stop them from scoring on the majority of their possessions.
The key here is that we should also get a decent output here from Georgia State offense. While Arkansas State enters with the 4th ranked pass defense, a big reason for that is they can’t stop the run. The Red Wolves are 125th in the country vs the run, giving up 244.7 ypg. We saw this Panthers offense go off when they were able to expose the run defense of ULM. Georgia State rushed for 308 yards and posted a season-high 46 points. I don’t think they score into the 40s, but all we likely need to eclipse the mark is for them to be around 21-24 points.
The OVER is also a solid 17-7-1 in Arkansas State’s last 25 home games against a team with a losing road record and 13-6 in their last 19 off a double-digit loss at home. It’s also worth noting that the last 10 times the Red Wolves have played at home off a home loss, the average score in these contests was 52.3. I think given how bad Georgia State is defensively, this one will get into the 60s. Give me the OVER!