Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#673 Georgia State 150.5 vs.
#674 Georgia Southern -2
Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 4:00pm EST
Written by Nick Raffoul



#673 Georgia State University
#674 Georgia Southern University


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The Georgia State Panthers will travel to Hanner Fieldhouse in Statesboro, Georgia on Saturday afternoon for a Sun Belt Conference battle against the Georgia Southern Eagles.

Both teams are hoping to get back on the winning track after watching their win streaks come to an end last weekend. The Panthers and Eagles are tied for second place in the Sun Belt standings with a 6-3 record in league play. Can Georgia Southern take over sole possession of second place with a victory at home over Georgia State on Saturday evening?

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Panthers can't keep momentum going vs. Troy

Georgia State snapped a three-game winning streak on Saturday night with a 75-65 loss on the road against Troy. Justin Roberts had 15 points and seven assists to lead four Panthers players in double-figures on the night but Georgia State shot just 9-for-29 from 3-point range and turned the ball over 15 times in the loss.

Rob Lanier has guided the Panthers to a 13-7 overall record, including a 6-3 mark in league play, and they come into the weekend slotted at No. 98 in the latest KenPom rankings. Georgia State has scored 106.2 points per 100 possessions for the season (82nd in the NCAA) and they’ve knocked down a red-hot 39.4 percent of their 3-point attempts (8th in the NCAA). They’ve been trending up on offense during conference play as well, scoring a league-best 107.0 points per 100 possessions (1st in the Sun Belt) through nine games while shooting 39.6 percent from beyond the arc (1st in the Sun Belt). The Panthers sport the second-best effective field goal percentage in the conference at 53.3 percent but they’ve turned the ball over on 20.7 percent of their offensive possessions (7th in the Sun Belt) during that span.

On defense, Georgia State has given up 98.9 points per 100 possessions for the season (118th in the NCAA) but that number has plummeted all the way down to 94.7 points per 100 possessions against Sun Belt opponents (1st in the Sun Belt). Through nine league games, the Panthers have forced opponents to turn the ball over 24.3 percent of the time (1st in the Sun Belt) while holding them to an effective field goal percentage of 44.6 percent (1st in the MAC). Georgia State also ranks first in the conference in defensive block rate (11.8 percent) and defensive steal rate (11.9 percent) so far this year.

Eagles snap three-game win streak vs. South Alabama

Georgia Southern fell to 6-3 in Sun Belt play after snapping their three-game winning streak last weekend against South Alabama. Calvin Wishart scored 17 points and Isaiah Crawley added 13 points and 10 boards in the 74-68 loss. The Eagles led by as many as 10 points in the second half but shot just 9-for-16 from the charity stripe in the loss.

Mark Byington’s squad comes into the weekend ranked No. 147 in the latest KenPom rankings after flashing improvement on both ends of the floor during conference play. The Eagles have scored only 102.6 points per 100 possessions for the season (166th in the NCAA) and 103.0 points per 100 possessions during league play (5th in the Sun Belt). Through nine Sun Belt contests, the Eagles have turned the ball over just 18.3 percent of the time (4th in the Sun Belt) while shooting a healthy 50.0 percent from inside the arc (3rd in the Sun Belt) during that span. The problem is, Georgia Southern has fallen in love with the 3-point shot during league play, attempting 48.4 percent of their total shots from long-range (1st in the Sun Belt) and connecting at a rate of just 33.5 percent (6th in the Sun Belt).

On defense, Georgia Southern has limited opponents to 100.6 points per 100 possessions for the season (143rd in the NCAA) but that number has come down to only 96.3 points per 100 possessions against Sun Belt opponents (3rd in the Sun Belt). They have held league opponents to just 27.4 percent shooting from 3-point range (2nd in the Sun Belt) while forcing them to turn the ball over 20.7 percent of the time (4th in the Sun Belt).

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Georgia State ranks first in the Sun Belt in both offensive and defensive efficiency but the Eagles have yet to lose a game at home this season. The difference here should be Georgia State’s ability to defend at a high level. The Panthers rank first in the conference in defensive turnover rate, steal rate, block rate, and effective field goal percentage defense. They’ve also started to shoot more 3-point shots during conference play, which is a good thing considering they have been one of the nation’s top 3-point shooting teams all season long. Take Georgia State to cover the number on the road in this Sun Belt Conference showdown on Saturday.

Prediction: Georgia State Panthers

Full-Game Total Pick

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Both of these teams like to play fast and turn defense into offense by forcing turnovers at a high rate. That should make for an up-and-down game here. Georgia State ranks 23rd in the nation in adjusted tempo and 31st in average possession length on offense. Meanwhile, the Eagles come in at 46th in adjusted tempo and 41st in average possession length on offense. Neither of these teams is afraid to let it fly from deep and the Panthers have increased the frequency of their 3-point attempts by more than five percent during conference play. Take this game to go over the projected total on Saturday afternoon.

Prediction: Over

Written By Nick Raffoul

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.