Saturday afternoon college football action and a pair of teams from the Sun Belt Conference will hookup as the Arkansas State Red Wolves invade Allen E. Paulson Stadium to rumble with the Georgia Southern Eagles. The Red Wolves are off a 27-20 home win over UNLV, while the Eagles are off a 38-7 road loss to Clemson. Arkansas won this game on the road last year by a score of 43-25.
Red Wolves Hold Off UNLV
The Arkansas State Red Wolves were pasted by Alabama a couple of weeks ago, but they bounced backs by beating Tulsa on the road and then last week, they held off a solid UNLV squad by a score of 27-20. They are one of the favorites to win the Sun Belt Conference this year and will look to get off to a 1-0 start against the Eagles tonight. Last week, Justice Hansen hit 19/27 passes for 199 yards and three TDs. he is the best QB in the Sun Belt but has had a rather average start as he has thrown for just 953 yards through four games, but he does have 10 TDs to just two INTs. Last year, against the Eagles, he threw for 316 yards with four TDs, but he also threw four INTs and hit just 12/26 passes. The Eagles are 38th against the pass this year, so he could have a tough time getting going in this one.
The ground attack churned out 197 yards on the ground against the Rebels and they were led by Marcel Murray, who ran for 95 yards and a TD. They could get their ground game going in this one as the Eagles have struggled to stop the run so far. The problem against the Rebels was that the Red Wolves allowed 310 yards on the ground and now they take on an Eagles team that has been very good at running the ball this year. They are now 114th in the nation vs the run (219.2 ypg). If they can’t stop the run, then they could be in a peck of trouble in this one. The Red Wolves have averaged 27.8 ppg (81st) and have allowed 29.5 (89th).
Eagles Get Blown Out By Clemson
The Eagles last played on September 15th and they fell to the Clemson Tigers by a score of 38-7. This was never a contest as they were outgained 595 -140 in the game. Luckily for them, Georgia Southern now playing a team that is closer to their talent level in this one and they have had a week to prepare. The Eagles have a strong ground game and they did run the ball 43 times against the Tigers, but for just 80 yards. They hope to have a better showing in this one against an Arkansas State team that has struggled to stop the run this year. Shai Werts is the one that the Red Wolves have to worry about as he has run for 256 yards and five TDs so far, while also throwing for 203 yards and two TDs so far.
The Eagles check in at 20th in the nation in rushing, putting up 246.7 ypg on the ground. The passing game is pretty much an afterthought on this team as they come in ranked 129th in the nation in passing, putting up just 81 ypg. They had just 60 yards against Clemson and will be facing an Arkansas State team that checks in at 25th in the nation against the pass. I would look for the Eagles to try and pile up those yards on the ground in this one and if they are able to run the ball effectively, then they have a shot at pulling the upset. Georgia Southern has averaged 26 ppg (8th) and have allowed 19 ppg (31st).
Georgia Southern is:
- 5-11 ATS in their last 16 games following a straight up loss.
- 6-15-1 ATS in their last 22 games following a straight up loss of more than 20 points
- The Over is 7-2 in their last 9 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
- The Over is 6-2 in their last 8 games following a straight up loss
Arkansas State is;
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
- 37-16-1 ATS in their last 54 conference games
- The Over is 6-0 in their last 6 games on grass
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I like the Red Wolves in this one. They are one of the favorites to take the Sun Belt crown this year and they are off to a 3-1 start to their year. Their lone loss was to Alabama, which was expected. The Eagles come in at 2-1 and their lone loss was against Clemson, which was also expected. Still, the Red Wolves have the edges on both sides of the ball, especially at quarterback. Justice Hansen has not been great in the early going, but he is still the best QB in the Sun Belt. This will be a close game early on, but the Red Wolves will use their depth advantage to pull away in the 2nd half.
Prediction: Arkansas State -3
Full-Game Total Pick
This game could see some points. Arkansas State has a good offense and they will get their points against a defense that has been solid in the early going. The Red Wolves have struggled against the run and the Eagles have a strong running game. Both offenses should be able to move the ball in this one as we see a game that will put up over 60 points.
Prediction: Over 57.5
Half-Time Side Pick
Arkansas State is the play in this one from start to finish for me. They have a massive edge at quarterback and offense overall and Georgia Southern just won’t be able to keep pace. Look for Arkansas State to lead by at least seven points at the break.
Prediction: Arkansas State -1.5
Half-Time Total Bet
This game should feature a lot of points by the end of the game, but the first half should be a rather low scoring affair. Arkansas State has averaged just 11.8 ppg in the first half this year, while Georgia Southern has put up just 11.0 at the break. That seals it for me.
Prediction: Under 27.5