Georgia State Panthers vs. Arkansas State Red Wolves Betting Picks

October 14, 2020

Date:Thursday, October 15th
Time:7:30 PM ET
Venue:Centennial Bank Stadium
Network:ESPN
Spread:Arkansas State -3
O/U:72.5

The 1-1 Georgia State Panthers will go on the road Thursday night to face off with the 2-2 Arkansas State Red Wolves at 7:30 PM ET in Centennial Bank Stadium. The Red Wolves come in as 3.5-point home favorites and we’re expecting a shootout with a 70.5 over/under. These two teams differ greatly in style, so it’ll be interesting to see who can end up on top. Let’s dive in and break down who will cover the spread and whether it will go over or under the total. 

When the Georgia State Panthers Have The Ball

The Panthers opened up the season by nearly upsetting 19th-ranked Louisiana Lafayette. They fell just three points short (34-31), though, and a loss is a loss. They followed it up with a commanding 49-29 victory over East Carolina in a game that was never close. They rushed for 247 yards as a team and forced three turnovers. 

The Panthers bread and butter is running the ball. The offensive line is filled with veteran upperclassmen and they move defenses. Junior RB Destin Coates leads a backfield that averages 235 rushing yards, good for 12th best in the country. He’s run for 263 yards and three touchdowns alone in just two games. 

QB Cornelius Brown IV hasn’t been bad, either. He’s thrown for 434 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions. The turnovers are worrisome in an offense that’s predicated on keeping the ball safe and it’s something he has to work on moving forward. Still, he’s done a great job of getting weapons the ball in space. He’s also the second-leading rusher with 90 yards and a score on the ground. 

WR Sam Pinckney is a guy some NFL scouts have their eyes on and he does a lot of the hard work for Brown IV when targeted. Pinckney has turned 11 catches into 155 yards and two touchdowns in just two games. Cornelius McCoy and Terrance Dixon are options on the outside and guys that Arkansas State will have to watch for in the Red Zone. 

Defensively, the Panthers are tough as nails. They just forced ECU QB Holton Ahlers to throw three interceptions behind just 236 yards. He was sacked four times and never got into a rhythm. They’ve been a bit more susceptible on the ground, though Arkansas State would prefer to pass it anyway. They’ll have a tough test against one of the best passing teams in the nation in the Red Wolves. 

When The Arkansas State Red Wolves Have The Ball

The Red Wolves have already played four games this season, which is a lot compared to some other teams. They’ve been up and down, winning and losing alternating games. They’re coming off a big 50-27 win over Central Arkansas in a game that was never very close. The Red Wolves threw for six touchdowns and ran for 181 yards, beating the Bears with a balanced attack.

Arkansas State is doing something very unique, deploying both Layne Hatcher and Logan Bonner at QB. They each threw three touchdowns against Central Arkansas and have combined for 14 on the season. Both have looked great under center and I expect we see the pair play the rest of the season together. It certainly keeps defenses on edge as they play a very different QB position. While they are both pass-first quarterbacks, Bonner typically drives the ball downfield while Hatcher tends to check it down.

No matter who’s throwing the ball, there are a ton of weapons to look at. Jonathan Adams Jr. is one of the best wide receivers in the country and he’s already caught 26 balls for 362 yards and five touchdowns. Dahu Green and Brandon Bowling are extremely underrated and the pair has combined for 430 yards and six touchdowns while defenses hone in on Adams.

While the Red Wolves are an offense that’s based on the pass, they run the ball effectively. Jamal Jones leads the way with 212 yards, but backup Lincoln Pare has averaged 7.8 yards per carry on 20 attempts. There’s a ton of upside in his legs and I expect Arkansas State to continue his increased involvement. All in all, this is a dangerous offense. Where they struggle is defensively and that will once again be an issue against a tough Georgia State attack.

Spread Prediction

The Pick: Arkansas State -3

The Red Wolves offensive attack will be too potent for Georgia State to keep up with. While Georgia State is effective at running the ball, they don’t have much success through the air. The Arkansas State defense isn’t going to stuff the run, either, but I do think they make enough stops for their offense to take advantage. Logan Bonner and Layne Hatcher are both solid QB’s and it’s tough to figure an offense out when you don’t know what QB will play the following drive.

When the Red Wolves have the ball, Georgia State is in trouble. They’re a bit too slow in the back two levels and I suspect Arkansas State will have a lot of success through the air. Jonathan Adams Jr. can beat up a secondary by himself and the chemistry through four games is still growing. Three points at home aren’t nearly enough as they will handle the Panthers with ease. I’d be willing to bet on Arkansas State in this game up to a touchdown.

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Total Prediction

The Pick: Over 72.5 Final Score Prediction: Red Wolves 45, Georgia State 34

I don’t have a ton of interest in betting this total as I am extremely confident in the Arkansas State Red Wolves against the spread. I do think this game can go two different ways, though, and while both end in Arkansas State victories, the total is a very tough one. The Georgia State Panthers pride themselves on their defense, but I have a hard time seeing them keep up.

There’s a better chance this turns into a pure shootout as the Red Wolves haven’t shown an ability to stop much of anyone this season. Georgia State won’t be able to keep it up for the full game, but I think get into the 30’s before the Red Wolves turn it up and keep scoring. Take the over here, but I’d much rather bet the Red Wolves as one of my favorite bets of the entire weekend.

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