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Georgia State Panthers vs. Western Michigan Broncos, Preview, and Odds
NCAAF: Saturday, September 14, 2019, Waldo Stadium, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 7:00 pm EDT
Even though they ended the previous campaign with seven consecutive losses, the Georgia State Panthers opened this campaign with a couple of wins. They had a lot of trouble to beat FCS member Furman Paladins, but once again, the Panthers’ offense impressed. Although they are underdogs at Waldo Stadium, the visitors will surely have a chance to upset the Broncos.
On the other hand, Western Michigan was excellent against the Monmouth Hawks in the opening week, but they were powerless against No. 19 Michigan State Spartans on the road. These rivals have met once before, and it was in 2018 when the Broncos defeated the Panthers 34-15 in Georgia.
Georgia State came from behind to beat Furman
An excellent third-quarter display helped the Georgia State Panthers to overcome a 17-point deficit and defeat the Furman Paladins 48-42. Senior quarterback Dan Ellington had the best game of his career as he completed 29 of 37 passes for 362 yards and five touchdowns. He also led all the runners with 86 yards on 15 carries. The second-year wideout Cornelius McCoy recorded ten catches for 143 yards and a score while Sam Pinckney and Terrance Dixon combined for 148 yards and a couple of touchdowns.
— GSU Football (@GeorgiaStateFB) September 10, 2019
Georgia State has a top 40 rushing offense, which can be a big problem for Western Michigan’s defense that allows 189.5 yards per game to the opposing runners. If the running doesn’t work, the Panthers could turn to pass. Considering that the Broncos’ secondary is letting 262.5 passing yards per contest Ellington and his receiving corps could have another big game. Junior linebacker Trajan Stephens-McQueen impressed with 11 tackles (8 solos) while Dontae Wilson had a pair of sacks. Two of them will pose the biggest threat to Western Michigan’s QB Jon Wassink and RB LeVante Bellamy.
The Broncos suffered expected loss to the Spartans
The Western Michigan Broncos lost the in-state derby to the Michigan State Spartans after opening the year with a comfortable win over the Monmouth Hawks. The Broncos trailed from the first drive of the game, and allowed even 21 points in the opening quarter, failing to get on the scoreboard in two. Michigan State deserved a 51-17 victory as they collected 582 yards in opposite to the Broncos’ 352, and had 13 first downs more than the visitors (31-18). Senior QB Jon Wassink completed 23 of 37 passes for 252 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. His backup, Griffin Alstott, played well in garbage time and had 4/4 for 33 yards with a TD.
Senior receiver Keith Mixon Jr. led his team with 71 yards on four receptions while Giovanni Ricci and Ryan Selig found the end zone. Western Michigan has a great passing offense this year, which is among top 20 in the country with 326.5 yards per contest. Georgia State’s secondary is among the worst in college football as they are allowing 311.0 yards per game, so the hosts will have a great chance to add 300+ passing yards here. That being said, Wassink is expected to have a bounce-back display on Saturday. However, the Broncos’ running offense is an entirely different story. With just 78.5 yards per game and the Panthers’ solid defense against opposing runners, I expect the hosts to focus on passing the ball.
— WMU Football (@WMU_Football) September 8, 2019
Head coach Tim Lester wasn’t happy with the way his team played in a big loss. “Obviously, a frustrating day,” Lester said. “There were some bright spots out there but not enough of them.”
- 3-7 ATS in their last ten non-conference games
- 6-14 ATS in their last 20 games following a straight-up loss of more than 20 points
- 1-7 ATS in their last eight games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game
- 0-4 ATS in their last four games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game
- 3-1-2 ATS in their last six games after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous game
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Broncos are firm favorites here, and although they secured a comfortable win in the previous H2H encounter last year, it’s going to be harder this time around. Georgia State has a more versatile offense while Western Michigan is mainly focusing on passing, which can be a problem if it doesn’t work. Still, the Panthers’ weak secondary is too lenient to opposing receivers, so I don’t think the hosts will have problems with passing.
However, their running game is practically non-existing while Georgia State is much stronger in that department. Also, the Panthers’ offense is more efficient thus far in the season, and even though I am not saying they will get a win here, I am backing them to cover the +9.5 spread and put up a fight here.
Prediction: Georgia State Panthers +9.5 (-110)
Full-Game Total Pick
Georgia State has a top 30 offense at the moment, but their defense is among the weakest in the country while Western Michigan’s D is also not impressive. Both teams are averaging 400+ yards per contest, and I expect to see multiple passing touchdowns from Ellington and Wassink. Also, some rushing TD’s, especially from the visitors. The Panthers conceded 72 points in the first two games, including 42 to FCS member Furman, and that’s why I am backing the hosts to burn their secondary. I am going with over 69.5 points in this one.
Prediction: Over 69.5 (-110)