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UL Monroe vs. Georgia State,
9-29-2018 - Pick and Prediction

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Game Snapshot with Current Line

#135 UL Monroe
Warhawks -5.5
#136 Georgia State
Panthers 61.5

Saturday, September 29, 2018 at 2:00pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Game Stats

UL Monroe Warhawks

2 - 2

1-3
ATS
1-2
O/U
22
PPG
33
OPPG

Georgia State Panthers

1 - 3

1-3
ATS
1-2
O/U
16
PPG
38
OPPG

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The Georgia State Panthers will be hoping to halt a three-game losing streak when they host the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks at Georgia State Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Following a win over Kennesaw State, the Panthers fell in succession to N.C. State, Memphis, and Western Michigan. The Warhawks are coming off consecutive setbacks at the hands of Texas A&M and Troy.

Dual threat

Louisiana-Monroe may have lost to Troy 35-27 this past weekend, but there were plenty of positives to take away for the Warhawks. In a more encouraging performance than what was on display during a 48-10 drubbing at Texas A&M on Sept. 15, ULM got 290 passing yards and two touchdowns (one interception) from quarterback Caleb Evans–who slung it around to the tune of a 29-for-48 effort.

“Give our guys a lot of credit for coming back,” head coach Matt Viator noted. “Maybe a couple of years ago we’d have mailed it in. We didn’t. We came back, fought back and stayed together.”

Evans has thrown for 1,056 yards on 59.9 percent passing to go along with seven touchdown and four INTs so far this season. A dual-threat option under center, the junior from Mansfield, Tex. is also leading the team in rushing with 225 yards on the ground. He ran all over Troy, taking 15 keepers for 101 yards. Marcus Green has a team-high 17 receptions for 299 yards and four scores, while R.J. Turner is right behind with 16 catches for 202 yards.

Offensive issues

Unlike his Louisiana-Monroe counterpart, Georgia State quarterback Dan Ellington has been struggling. Like Evans, Ellington also leads his team both through the air and on the ground, but turnovers have been a problem. In last weekend’s 34-15 home loss to Western Michigan, the Olive Branch, Miss. native turned the ball over three times in the first half (two fumbles and one interception). Ellington fumbled once in the first quarter, again late in the second, and his interception ended the opening half.

“A lot of miscommunication up front from the offensive-line standpoint,” Georgia State coach Shawn Elliott said. “That led to a lot of pressures, a lot of sacks, and a lot of fumbles.”

Third downs have also been a problem for the Panthers, who converted just six of 12 such efforts against Kennesaw State, four of 13 in the loss to N.C. State, five of 15 against Memphis, and three of nine in the most recent setback at Western Michigan’s hands. Georgia State also rushed for a mere 39 yards in the first half against the Broncos before gaining 58 yards on the ground for the game.

The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

Georgia State’s offense has not been clicking and the defense also struggled against Western Michigan. The Broncos racked up 294 yards and one touchdown on the ground, while quarterback Jon Wassink threw for 234 yards and three scores. Louisiana-Monroe should really be averaging more than 23 points per game, because it is churning out 431.5 yards of total offense per contest.

Prediction: Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks

Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

Louisiana-Monroe outscored Troy 20-0 in the second half while limiting the Trojans to four first downs and five punts. “It’s always encouragement with us,” ULM linebacker David Griffith said of his team’s halftime adjustments. “We’re not trying to discourage anyone. We’re not trying to break anybody down. Everybody made mistakes in the first half, me included. I’m not the type of person to go in there and try and break anyone down.” The under is 4-1 in the Warhawks’ last five overall and 5-0 in their last five on the road. It is also 25-9 in the Panthers’ last 34 overall, 16-5 in their last 21 at home, 16-5 in their last 21 against the Sun Belt Conference, 8-1 in their last nine on turf, and 5-1 in their last six following a loss. Look for this one to stay under the total.

Prediction: Under

Half-Time Side Pick
Rating:

For the most part the Warhawks have been able to move the ball on offense in a consistent fashion. If they can just take care of business in the red zone, they should be able to pin a fair amount on Georgia State. The Panthers offense, meanwhile, has been struggling–especially early in games as the team has dug itself into quick holes.

Prediction: Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks -4

Half-Time Total Bet
Rating:

Unless Georgia State can suddenly start improving on third downs, points may be hard to come by for the home team. GSU has scored a total of just 26 first-half points over its last three games. Louisiana-Monroe, meanwhile, put up a mere seven first-half points during last week’s loss to Troy.

Prediction: Under 31

Ricky Dimon

A 2006 graduate of Davidson College, Ricky is a freelance sports writer based in Atlanta, Georgia. He has previously worked with various websites in the sports handicapping industry and is generally a fan of going with the hot hand while in most cases showing a willingness to take favorites and give the points. Beyond the four major sports, Ricky is an avid tennis fan—and writer—and covers the ATP Tour on a daily basis.

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