South Alabama Jaguars vs. Georgia Southern Betting Picks and Predictions

October 26, 2020

Date:Thursday, October 29th
Time:7:30 PM ET
Network:ESPN
Venue:Allen E. Paulson Stadium
Spread:Georgia Southern -5
O/U:51.5

The 3-2 South Alabama Jaguars will go on the road Thursday night to face off with the 3-2 Georgia Southern Eagles at 7:30 PM ET in Allen E. Paulson Stadium. You can watch the showdown on ESPN as Thursday’s featured game of the night. The Eagles come in as five-point home favorites and we’re looking at a 51.5 over/under. These teams hold identical records and the loser will drop to .500 while the winner will remain atop of the conference. Let’s dive into who will win this game and cover in the process. 

Trends

  • South Alabama is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games.
  • South Alabama is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games against an opponent in the Sun Belt Conference.
  • Georgia Southern is 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games.
  • Georgia Southern is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games played on a Thursday.

When The South Alabama Jaguars Have The Ball

The Jaguars are coming off back-to-back wins after stumbling out of the gate. They’re now 3-2 on the season and looking to win their third straight contest. They did lose both of their games when the starting QB was out, so they are unbeaten when healthy under center. They’re a balanced unit with a solid defense that has more than one route to victory. With that said, the Georgia Southern Eagles are no joke and they won’t give South Alabama an easy win on the road. 

QB Desmond Trotter can do it all. The 6’3 sophomore signal-caller has thrown for 744 yards with a 67% completion percentage on six scores and two interceptions. He’s also added 82 rushing yards and a touchdown on the ground. This offense goes as Trotter goes, and he’s looked great of late. Backup Chance Lovertich has a phenomenal arm and he’s seen action in every game this season. Expect Trotter to see the majority of snaps but for Lovertich to be sprinkled in. 

Jalen Tolbert and Kawaan Baker are two of the best receivers in the conference and I would argue the entire country. This pair would be starting on any team in the country. They’re both over 6’1 and run diverse route trees. Tolbert has accounted for 486 yards and four scores as the outside X-WR. Baker has a nose for the end zone, reeling in 27 balls for 443 yards and six touchdowns. Jared Wayne is a solid number three option in the slot and he does enough to keep defenses from honing in on Tolbert and Baker. Expect 25 targets between the pair.

When South Alabama does run the ball, it’ll be Carlos Davis for the most part. He’s carried the rock 97 times for 443 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. Trotter will run it plenty as well, but this is an offense that runs the ball to set the pass up. Davis plays an important role of getting important yards when necessary.

When The Georgia Southern Eagles Have The Ball

The Georgia Southern Eagles are a tough team to gauge. They’ve played three bad teams this year and beat them all. They’ve played two good teams this year and were beat by both. This is an offense that wants to run the ball and they’ll do so with creative looks. They’re nearly impossible to slow for four quarters and they’re facing a defense that has had trouble early in the season. 

It starts with senior RB J.D. King, who’s rushed for 490 yards and four touchdowns while averaging 5.6 yards per carry. QB Shai Werts is the team’s second-leading rusher with 333 yards and two touchdowns. Wesley Kennedy is a change-of-pace back, but a great one at that. He’s been over six yards per carry with 206 yards and three touchdowns. The Eagles will run it inside and outside and they’re effective at both. Look for them to run it a ton early to set the pace of the contest and keep it out of the hands of South Alabama. 

QB Shai Werts hasn’t been very efficient (52% completion percentage), but he’s still thrown for 558 and five touchdowns, so he’s far better than a lot of quarterbacks in CFB run-first systems. He’s also a threat to run it at any point and isn’t only a threat on designed runs. He turns nothing into something multiple times every game for this offense.

When Werts does drop back, he has a couple of favorites. No pass-catcher has double-digit catches on the season, but Malik Murray and Khaleb Hood each have nine and a touchdown. Tight end Beau Johnson has converted two of his five catches into scores and has been targeted four times in the red zone. Running back Wesley Kennedy is an all-around beast and has added four catches for a whopping 127 yards. 

Spread Prediction

The Pick: South Alabama +5

The Georgia Southern Eagles haven’t shown up against quality teams this season and the South Alabama Jaguars look better than ever heading into this game. They’re offense has true balance and the defense has been forcing turnovers while staying aggressive and putting pressure on QB’s. While all indications point to South Bama struggling against the run, it won’t matter if they have enough success of their own offensively. 

Georgia Southern isn’t a lethal offense and Werts isn’t efficient enough to drive the team down the field when it’s needed. The same can’t be said for Desmond Trotter, who’s an all-around solid QB and leader of this team. The Jags have a pair of pass-catchers as good as anyone in the country and Georgia Southern isn’t phenomenal in the secondary. Give me the Jaguars to keep this game close and I wouldn’t be surprised if they squeezed out a victory. 

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Total Prediction

The Pick: Over 53
Final Score Prediction: Georgia Southern 28, South Alabama 27

This is a tough number as it really comes down to which team controls the pace of the game. The Jaguars would like to throw the ball around for the most part and keep the Eagles defense tired. The Eagles want to run the clock out and slow it down. I’m siding with South Alabama to have more success than expected and will ride with the over in turn. While South Alabama has a decent defense, it won’t matter if they’re forced to face Georgia Southern on 15 drives. There will be points here and I’ll take the over up to 53. 

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