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Arkansas State Red Wolves vs. Appalachian State Betting Picks and Predictions

22 October 2020

NCAAF Picks Austyn Varney
Date:Thursday, October 22nd
Time:7:30 PM ET
Venue:Kidd Brewer Stadium
Network:ESPN
Spread:APP -14
O/U:70.5

The 3-2 Arkansas State Red Wolves will go on the road Thursday night to face off with the 2-1 Appalachian State Mountaineers at 7:30 PM ET in Kidd Brewer Stadium. You can tune in on ESPN or ESPN3. The Mountaineers are 11.5-point home favorites and we’re expecting a high-scoring affair with a 66.5 over/under. The loser of this game will drop to .500 on the season, so expect both teams to come out firing. Let’s dive into how this one will go and who will end up covering the spread. 

When The Arkansas State Red Wolves Have The Ball

The Red Wolves lost two of their first three games before beating Central Arkansas and Georgia State in back to back weeks to make their record 3-2 going into a tough game against Appalachian State. The Red Wolves average the 14th most passing yards in College Football with 326 per game and they won’t struggle to score. They just have trouble stopping others from scoring more. The defense must step up in an extremely tough matchup. 

The Red Wolves deploy a very unique strategy with two different starting QB’s. Layne Hatcher and Logan Bonner each threw the ball 28 times a week ago and they combined for 529 passing yards and seven touchdowns. Neither is much better than the other and the duality keeps opposing defenses on their heels. Look for both QB’s to get plenty of action once again against App St. 

This team has elite weapons, no matter who’s dropping back to pass the ball. It starts with Jonathan Adams Jr., who’s one of the best receivers in the country and a guy that can’t be handled by any one corner. He’s accounted for 20 catches, 261 yards and three touchdowns to this point. Dahu Green and Brandon Bowling are excellent compliments to Adams and they’ve combined for 300+ yards and three scores as a pair. Reed Tyler has only caught eight balls, but he’s a big-bodied tight end that is dangerous in the Red Zone. 

The Red Wolves are at least effective for a team that doesn’t run the ball much. Leading-rusher Jamal Jones averages 5.1 yards per carry and starter Marcel Murray is close to being 100% back and healthy. The pair will be tough to stop when Arkansas State is also throwing the ball 50+ times a night. With all of that being said, this game comes down to the Red Wolves slowing down Appalachian State. Let’s dive into who they’ll need to focus on. 

When the Appalachian State Mountaineers Have The Ball

It’s been awhile since we’ve seen the Appalachian State Mountaineers play, last defeating the Campbell Fighting Camels 52-21 on September 26th. That can go two very different ways. The Mountaineers could come out rusty or they could come out extremely well-rested and prepared. I lean the ladder for a team that is packed full of upperclassmen with a ton of in-game experience.

It starts with senior QB Zach Thomas, who’s thrown for 603 yards with two scores and two interceptions through three games. He’s added 47 yards on the ground and is relied upon to be the signal-caller of this offense. He’ll have to keep up in this game as Arkansas State has a lethal offense on the other side of the ball. 

While Thomas will be asked to keep up with his arm, this is still an offense that’s predicated on running the football. As a team, they’ve rushed for 808 yards and 11 touchdowns. Yes, in three games. Daetrich Harrington leads the way and he’s put up 301 yards and six touchdowns by himself. Cameron Peoples, Nate Noel, and Marcus Williams are all over 100 yards on the season and excellent complimentary pieces to Harrington. Williams should slide back in before long to take back the starting position, though he won’t have the backfield to himself. 

The Mountaineers are facing an Arkansas State team that can score the ball with the best of them. The Appalachian State defense, led by Junior Trey Cobb, has already forced five turnovers through three games. They’ve also sacked the QB four times and have been in the backfield constantly. The Appalachian State secondary will have their work cut out for them against these receivers, and it’ll be intriguing to see who prevails.

Spread Prediction

I like the Red Wolves to keep this game a bit closer than expected. The Mountaineers haven’t played in nearly a month and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a little bit of rust on their wheels in the opening half. Especially against a Red Wolves team that will force them to keep up. They not only have elite weapons on the outside, but an underrated backfield as well. Especially if Marcel Murray is finally healthy. 

Arkansas State just put up 59 points a week ago and while the defense will be much tougher, the multiple offensive looks this offense presents will keep them on their heels to a degree. Expect the Red Wolves to throw a ton of short, safe passes that keep the Mountaineers defense out of attack mode. Logan Bonner and Layne Hatcher are both packet passers, but approach the position a lot differently. Give me the Red Wolves to keep this game extremely close before eventually falling short. 

The Pick: Arkansas State +14

Best Sportsbooks For This Pick

New JerseyWilliam Hill square logoBet@William Hill
PennsylvaniaSugarHouse online casino square logoBet@SugarHouse
IndianaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
West VirginiaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
ColoradoBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
IllinoisBetRivers square logoBet@BetRivers

Total Prediction

I love the over here as I don’t expect either defense to have a ton of success. I actually think Appalachian State might come out a bit slower than expected, but that will be corrected by the second quarter and the second half of this game should be an absolute shootout. The Mountaineers defense has shown up through three games, but Arkansas State is a different animal and this is going to turn into a back and forth affair. Give me over up to 71 points here, though I still prefer Arkansas State with the points.

The Pick: Over 70.5

Final Score Prediction: Appalachian State 45, Arkansas State 35

Best Sportsbooks For This Pick

New JerseyWilliam Hill square logoBet@William Hill
PennsylvaniaSugarHouse online casino square logoBet@SugarHouse
IndianaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
West VirginiaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
ColoradoBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
IllinoisBetRivers square logoBet@BetRivers
  • Arkansas State is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games.
  • Appalachian State is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games.
  • Appalachian State is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games when playing as the favorite.
  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of Arkansas State’s last 6 games against an opponent in the Sun Belt Conference.

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