Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#147 Texas State vs.
#148 James Madison (JMU)
Saturday, October 1, 2022 at 1:30pm EDT
Written by Ben the Pen

Texas State (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS) faces an undefeated James Madison squad (3-0 SU, 3-0 ATS) on Saturday at 1:30pmET from Bridgeforth Stadium in Harrisonburg, Va.

The JMU Dukes are quite the story this season, as a transitional FBS team who is coming off a remarkable 32-28 win over Appalachian State as a 6-point dog, where they were down 28-3 at one point.

Texas State beat FCS Houston Christian (formerly Houston Baptist) 34-0 at home last Saturday.


Ben Hayes offers a big game today and tomorrow in college football. Tua going down last night didn't help his NFL Best Bet. He’s 638-358-30 in his College football career (64%). Last season, he hit 63.4% of his NFL sides and 64.9% of his college football night games. Check out his Best Bet today in college football. He has a team that has the defensive advantage in this one.






Bobcats have been up-and-down

Texas State opened the season as a two-point road favorite at Nevada and fell 38-14. They didn't help themselves with four turnovers. They followed that with an easy win over FIU 41-12 at home as a 14-point favorite. On Sept. 17, they predictably fell at Baylor by 35, 42-7 on the road as a 29.5-point dog. The Bobcats took care of business last week in their 34-0 win over HCU.  QB Layne Hatcher completed 27 of 41 for 362 yards and four TDs with a pick. Texas State's defense allowed just eight first downs and 142 total yards.

Defensively, the Bobcats have been pretty good. They are allowing just 307.5 yards per game (26th) and 176.5 passing yards per game (56th). On offense, they are averaging just 319 yards per game and a pitiful 53.3 yards per game on the ground (129th).

Hatcher is completing 62.7% of his passes for 1,063 yards with 10 TDs and four INTs. Calvin Hill leads the Bobcats with 312 rushing yards and one TDs (4.7ypc). Ashtyn Hawkins is the top receiver with 33 catches for 303 yards and five TDs.

Welcome to FBS!

JMU has been a stalwart in FCS (once known as 1-AA) for many years. They decided to move from the CAA to the newly-formed Sun Belt last season and immediately made an impact, defeating Middle Tennessee State 44-7, FCS Norfolk State 63-7 and after a bye, shocked Appalachian State.

Quarterback Todd Centeio (204 yds, 2 TDs, 61 yds rushing, 1 TD) led the comeback, which started late in the second quarter with a 23-yard pass from Centeio to Kaelon Black. The defense, which couldn't slow down the Mountaineers in the first half, held them to no points in the second half.

Centeio, a transfer from Colorado State and Temple, who threw for 2,958 yards with 15 TDs and 10 INTs last season with the Rams, has helped the transition to FBS a lot easier. He has 11 TDs passing with no picks and 656 yards passing with 200 rushing yards. His top target is freshman Kris Thornton, who has 20 catches for 256 yards and five TDs.

Defensively, the Dukes are allowing just 208 yards per game to rank third in the nation and they rank first against the run (26.3ypg). Now, they have played just three games and one came against FCS Norfolk State, which is still quite impressive. Their first game came against Middle Tennessee State (44-7 win) and that looks a bit better after the Blue Raiders shocked Miami-Fla. last Saturday.

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Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


It's hard not to like this JMU team and their story. However, this is a perfect time for a team to have a hangover and a letdown after their incredible comeback win over App State. Texas State can't run the football, which is fine because nobody has yet on the Dukes. But they can throw the ball and Layne Hatcher is a more than capable passer. Again, this is a great story, but the Dukes shouldn't be laying more than three touchdowns against a conference opponent in their first season in the Sun Belt.

Prediction: Texas State +21.5

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


One thing you can't take away from JMU and it's their incredible run defense. They held a very good Appalachian State to no points in the second half. The last time the Dukes' faced an FBS team before this year was in 2019 and they held West Virginia to 20 points in Morgantown. Texas State struggled defensively in their opener and at Baylor. That's understandable. Yet three straight games have gone under, five of seven and eight of the last 10 for the Bobcats.

Prediction: Under 50

Written By Ben Hayes , "Ben the Pen"

Ben has been a sports writer for over 35 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for nearly 30 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13! Ben has had great success in handicapping college football, the NFL, college basketball, the NBA and MLB for 27+ years. His Twitter handle is @BenHayesWAW