The red-hot Georgia Southern Eagles will head on the road to take on the New Mexico State Aggies in week eight action Saturday afternoon from Aggie Memorial Stadium. The Eagles are coming off a 15-13 road win against Texas State, and the Aggies were handled 66-38 by UL Lafayette in their previous action. New Mexico State registered a 35-27 road win against Georgia Southern last season.
Eagles’ Defense Continues to Shine
The Georgia Southern Eagles head into this non-conference clash on the prowl for their fourth straight win. They are coming off a low scoring 15-13 road win against Texas State last Thursday night. Eagles QB Shai Werts tallied 51 passing yards in the win. The sophomore attempts very few passes on an offense that relies on their running game to generate most of their offense. He has tallied 414 passing yards with a 4:0 TD to INT ratio to go with 472 rushing yards on the season. The Eagles utilize two different running backs which includes Wesley Field. The senior RB has rushed for at least 80 yards in three straight games, and he is up to 472 rushing yards on the year. Georgia Southern’s leading receiver Wesley Kennedy II has tallied 152 receiving yards, and he has also added 167 rushing yards. As a result of the Eagles run-heavy offense, their passing game ranks 129th in the FBS.
— Georgia Southern Athletics (@GSAthletics) October 12, 2018
The Georgia Southern defense is their greatest strength as a team. They were outstanding against Texas State last week, limiting them to only 242 total yards. The Eagles rush defense continues to excel, and they held Texas State to only 107 rushing yards last week. This matchup could be a bit of a trap game against a weak New Mexico State team considering they are up against a strong Appalachian State conference rival opponent in two weeks. Georgia Southern is averaging 28.2 points, ranking them 73rd overall. They are holding opponents to 17.3 points, good for 18th in the country.
Aggies Surrender Season High 66 Points
The New Mexico State Aggies’ defensive struggles resumed in a rough 66-38 road loss to UL Lafayette last week to snap a two-game winning streak. Josh Adkins only completed 57% of his passes for 284 yards and one TD. Overall, the freshman QB is playing well in his first taste of the FBS, collecting 1020 passing yards with a 7:3 TD to INT ratio in four games. Jason Huntley had his best game of the season last week, notching 85 rushing yards on eight carries. The junior RB is only averaging 3.3 yards per carry for 252 rushing yards on the year, although he does have 299 receiving yards. Aggies’ leading receiver Johnathan Boone also had his highest output of the season last week, bringing in 90 receiving yards, and he is up to 351 receiving yards on the year. The New Mexico State offense is showing progress after a disastrous start to the season, although they still rank near the bottom of the FBS in several categories.
373 all-purpose yards by @thejasonhuntley vs. Louisiana good for best in @NCAAFootball this season and 2nd best in program history. Taveon Rogers had 412 all-purpose yards vs. Fresno State at home on 11/12/11 (246 KR/166 REC)
— NM State Football (@NMStateFootball) October 14, 2018
The Aggies defense has struggled for most of the season, and they surrendered another 66 points on a whopping 750 total yards against UL Lafayette last week. Their pass defense has played well, although their rush defense is conceding an average of 259 rushing yards per game. The Aggies’ two wins came against UTEP and Liberty. They are now averaging 24.1 points, ranking them down at 106th overall. The Aggies are allowing an average of 43.7 points, placing them down at 126th in the country.
The New Mexico State Aggies are:
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games.
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss.
- 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games overall.
The Georgia Southern Eagles are:
- 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing less than 170 passing yards in their previous game.
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Georgia Southern is a strong play in this one. This is an ideal matchup for Georgia Southern against New Mexico State. Georgia Southern relies on their running game to generate a significant portion of their offense, and New Mexico State has been awful against the run, conceding an average of 259 rushing yards per game, pegging them down at 126th in the country.
Furthermore, Georgia Southern is playing outstanding defense. They have only allowed a combined 26 points in their last two games, and they should neutralize a very weak Aggies offense. The Aggies greatest strength on offense is their passing game, and the Eagles feature a terrific pass defense that is limiting opponents to an average of 207 passing yards per game.
Prediction: Georgia Southern Eagles
Full-Game Total Pick
The under is a solid option in this matchup. Georgia Southern continues to shine on defense, limiting their opponents to an average of 15.6 points in their last three games. New Mexico State ranks close to the bottom of the country in most major offensive categories, and they will have trouble generating offense, plus the under is 5-0 in their last 5 games against a team with a winning record.
In addition, while I do expect a productive performance from Georgia Southern, they are not a high-scoring team. They are only averaging 333 total yards per game, plus the under has converted in five of their six games on the season.
Full-Game Prop Bet
The under on the New Mexico State team total is worth a look. Georgia Southern has allowed 13 or fewer points in four of their six games, and New Mexico State will have trouble solving this defense. Aggies’ QB Josh Adkins is only completing 59% of his passes, and the Aggies’ running game is only averaging 3.5 yards per carry. New Mexico State is only averaging 335 total yards per game, and I expect the Eagles to shut them down.
Prediction: New Mexico State Team Total: Under
Half-Time Side Pick
I am taking the points with New Mexico State on the halftime line. Georgia Southern does not score many points in the first half, averaging only 10.2 points. They are much more productive in the second half where they are averaging 16.2 points, good for 33rd in the country. In addition, New Mexico State is averaging a sizzling 19.7 points in the first half in their last three games.
Prediction: New Mexico State +7
Half-Time Total Bet
I am staying with the under on the halftime total. Georgia Southern is playing outstanding defense in the first half, holding opponents to an average of eight points in the opening half, ranking them 13th in the FBS. As mentioned, Georgia Southern is not productive in the first half, and I expect a bulk of the scoring in the second half.
Prediction: Under 28
Half-Time Prop Prediction
I am taking New Mexico State to score first. Georgia Southern has started slow in most games this season, and they are only averaging 1.4 points in the first quarter on the year. In addition, the Aggies are very productive in the opening quarter where they are averaging a solid 8.9 points on the season.
Prediction: New Mexico State to Score First +125