Two teams that like to run the football, Bobcats of Texas State (+13.5) are set to welcome the Arkansas State Red Wolves (-13.5) to Jim Wacker Field at Bobcat Stadium. Kickoff for this conference matchup is set for 4:00 p.m. ET and ESPN 3 is in line to have the TV rights.
Betting Preview: Texas State Bobcats vs. Arkansas State Red Wolves
In this Saturday Sun Belt game, Arkansas State is projected as the heavy favorite and is currently giving up 13.5 points. In order to take the favorite, moneyline gamblers would currently have to lay down $600 to win $100 back on the Red Wolves (-600). The Bobcats are getting +425 moneyline odds. Oddsmakers have set the over/under (O/U) at 53 points, and if one team gets out in front early, it’ll likely result in a reasonable in-game betting scenario.
The game’s total has moved downward after initially being set at 54.5. The opening spread (13.5) has not shifted.
The Red Wolves have gained 1.9 units so far and are 5-6 against the spread (ATS). They’ve been a good under bet and have posted an O/U record of 3-7.
The Bobcats have lost 3.5 units for moneyline bettors this season. They’re 6-4-1 ATS and have an O/U record of 4-7.
The Red Wolves are 7-4 straight up (SU), including 4-3 SU against SBC opponents. The Bobcats are 3-8 SU overall and 1-6 SU in conference play.
These two squads met last year with the final result being a 30-12 win for Arkansas State.
Arkansas State enters this matchup on a zero-game losing streak while Texas State has won zero in a row. The Red Wolves hope to keep things rolling after a 31-17 victory over Louisiana-Monroe last week. The defensive unit did its part in the win, keeping the Warhawks to just 218 passing yards and 58 yards on the ground. Marcus Green had a productive day for the Warhawks in that one with 69 yards on five catches. Offensively, Justice Hansen completed 21 passes on 27 attempts for 246 yards and three touchdowns. Marcel Murray (94 rushing yards on 17 attempts) and Warren Wand (48 yards on 14 carries) provided the ground attack while Kirk Merritt (six receptions, 89 yards, two TDs) and Wand (four catches, 30 yards) handled the receiving duties in the win.
Texas State just fell 12-7 to Troy. The defensive unit allowed the Trojans to eat up the clock by running for 141 yards on 47 rush attempts. B.J. Smith put up a good showing in the win, posting 94 rushing yards on 24 attempts for Troy. For Texas State, Tyler Vitt completed nine-of-23 passes for 155 yards and five interceptions. Anthony D. Taylor (32 yards on 13 rush attempts, one TD) and Caleb Twyford (73 yards on 11 carries) mounted the running game as Keenen Brown (three receptions, 29 yards) and Hutch White (two catches, 42 yards) led the receiving corps in the loss.
Arkansas State has run the ball on 50.8 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Texas State has an overall rush percentage of 57.2 percent. The Red Wolves have rushed for 178.3 yards/game (including 171.6 per game versus Sun Belt opponents) and have 16 touchdowns on the ground this year. The Bobcats are logging 139.5 rush yards per game (127.9 in conference) and have 14 total rushing TDs.
It seems like the Red Wolves ought to own the edge in the trenches, as their offensive line has allowed just 35 sacks while the D-line registered 35 sacks. The Bobcats, on the other hand, have given up 36 sacks and their defense has sacked opposing QBs on just 21 occasions.
The Red Wolves offensive scheme has logged 282.5 yards per game through the air overall (286.1 per game against conference opposition) and has 26 passing TDs so far. The Bobcats have recorded 186.6 pass yards per outing (197 in the SBC) and have 15 total pass scores.
On the defensive side of the ball, Arkansas State has allowed 196.9 rush yards and 179.8 pass yards per game. The Texas State D has allowed 194.8 yards per game to opposing passers and 179.2 yards per game on the ground. Both teams allow similar adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) to the opposition, as the Red Wolves have given up an ANY/A of 5.84 to opposing QBs, while the Bobcats are allowing an ANY/A of 5.48.
Offensively, Hansen is up to 2,643 passing yards this season. He’s completed 65 percent of his 344 attempts with 21 scores through the air and only six interceptions. He’s got a 7.44 adjusted net yards per pass attempt overall, although that number is 13.60 over the last two games.
We’re looking for Red Wolves to maintain tempo by putting the ball in the hands of their running backs. In addition to receiver Kirk Merritt (606 receiving yards and five touchdowns), Marcel Murray (668 rush yards, six rush TDs, one receiving TD) and Warren Wand (454 rush yards, two rush TDs, 143 receiving yards) have delivered in the Arkansas State offensive scheme.
In the home locker room, Tyler Vitt has connected on 84-of-137 passes for 920 yards, six TDs and nine INTs. Vitt’s ANY/A stands at a terrible 3.70 for the season and -0.15 over his last two games.
The Bobcats also prefer to utilize their backfield. In addition to Caleb Twyford (91 receiving yards), Keenen Brown (62 rush yards, two rush TDs, 512 receiving yards, four receiving TDs) and Anthony D. Taylor (286 rush yards, four rush TDs) have gotten a lot of touches recently.
Arkansas State Red Wolves at Texas State Bobcats Free Pick
SU Winner: Arkansas State, ATS Winner: Arkansas State, O/U: Under
Team Betting Notes
- Texas State has lost 10 fumbles this season while Arkansas State has lost five.
- The Arkansas State defensive unit has more than twice as many sacks as Texas State this year (28 versus 13).
- As a team, Arkansas State has produced 4.6 yards per carry over its past three contests and 4.9 over its last two.
- Texas State has averaged 3.7 yards per carry over its last three matchups and 3.2 over its last two.
- Over its last three matchups, Texas State is 2-1 ATS and the under cashed in two of those three.
- The Over/Under for Arkansas State’s last game was set at 68.5. The under cashed in the team’s 31-17 win over Louisiana-Monroe.
- In its last three matches, Arkansas State is 3-0 ATS and the under cashed in each of those three.
- The Over/Under for Texas State’s last matchup was 47.5. The under cashed in the 12-7 defeat to Troy.