The Georgia State Panthers (6-1) visit the Georgia Southern Eagles (5-2) for an entertaining Sun Belt Conference Thursday night game. Both teams are likely to be playing in minor bowl games. For a Thursday night game, it’s not a bad one. Each team is averaging more than 30 points and is a bit unsteady in pass defense. There are plenty of worse games the networks could have selected for television. The Georgia State vs GA Southern odds have the Eagles favored by 2.5 points at home with the total at 62 points.
Location: Paulson Stadium
Line: Georgia Southern -2.5
Panthers Become Bowl Eligible
The Georgia State Panthers earned bowl eligibility last week with a 20-17 over Louisiana. This week could see a little bit of a letdown, but with rival Georgia Southern and a national TV audience, that shouldn’t be the case. But James Madison is on deck, so you can’t be sure. Georgia State is a fair rushing team, running for 4.6 yards per carry against teams allowing 4.5 yards. The Panthers run the ball a lot, averaging 39 rushing attempts and 27 passes per game. The team’s 413.3 yards of total offense are 40 more than foes allow. Georgia State is averaging 30.9 points against teams allowing 27.2.
The Panthers allow 22.9 points to teams averaging 26.7. Georgia State is pretty solid against the run, allowing 3.7 yards to teams averaging 4.3 yards. The pass defense is a different story, with Georgia State allowing 275.4 yards per game. The Panthers are allowing 394.3 total yards per game. But teams have to travel 17.3 yards to score a point against Georgia State.
Georgia Southern Can Air It Out
The NCAA football scores are showing Georgia Southern scoring 32.3 points per game against teams that allow 27.7. Georgia Southern is a better than average running team, gaining 4.5 yards against teams allowing 4.3 yards. But the Eagles prefer to throw, gaining 318.7 yards per game on 49 attempts. Georgia Southern throws a fair number of high-percentage short passes.
The Eagles allow 24.3 points per game. But their opponents are scoring just 22.0 points a contest. So Georgia Southern is allowing a few more points per game than it should. The Panthers are pretty solid against the run, allowing 3.9 yards per carry. It’s the pass defense that is a little suspect, allowing 251.7 yards to teams averaging 197.7. Georgia Southern is allowing 7.8 yards per pass to teams averaging 7.0.
What to Expect
The college football standings have both teams with a division loss, so they’ll have a tough time catching James Madison. Georgia Southern already lost to the Dukes and Georgia State plays them next week. So this is a big game for both squads and you can make a case for both teams needing the game more.
The Panthers like to run the ball even though they’re a solid passing team. Georgia State won’t have an easy time running against Georgia Southern, but it will certainly try. The run game makes its passing game that much more effective.
The Eagles are going to pass and pass some more. Georgia Southern should be able to complete the short passes against the Panthers. There’s no need to do anything different than they’ve been doing all season in this one.
Georgia State is 5-2 against the college football betting lines, losing both games as favorites. The Panthers are 2-0 straight-up as an underdog this season. Georgia State is 3-4 in totals on the season and 1-2 when the over/under is in the 60s.
Georgia Southern is 4-3 against the spread this season, but just 2-5 in totals. This will be the seventh straight week the Eagles have played to a total in the 60s.
Who to Bet On?
The Georgia State at GA Southern odds of Eagles -2.5 are pretty much what you would expect. Georgia Southern was going to be a slight favorite, so anything less than a field goal isn’t a surprise. The Eagles have been a strong favorite recently, going 7-3 ATS over the last three years, including a 4-1 mark this season.
The Georgia State at GA Southern odds on the total make sense, considering the numbers Georgia Southern has played to. But it might be a bit on the high side, especially if Georgia State can run the ball a little bit. More people will wager on this game than typically would, considering it’s a Thursday night ESPN2 game. But that could have the total slightly higher than it should be. The value on this one is on the under 62.