NCAA Football Free Pick: Appalachian State Mountaineers at Arkansas State Red Wolves

Jose VasquezArticles, College Football, Football

The Appalachian State Mountaineers are set to take on the Arkansas State Red Wolves at Centennial Bank Stadium. Kickoff for this important SBC game is set for 8:00 p.m. ET and ESPN2 is scheduled to broadcast the action.

Betting Preview: Appalachian State Mountaineers vs. Arkansas State Red Wolves

The Mountaineers have gained 1.0 unit so far and are 4-0 against the spread (ATS). The team’s posted an O/U record of 4-0.

The Red Wolves have gained 0.5 units this season. The team is 1-4 ATS and owns an O/U record of 1-3.

The Mountaineers are 3-1 straight up (SU), including 1-0 SU against SBC opponents. The Red Wolves are 3-2 SU overall and are also 0-1 SU in conference play.

These two SBC foes did not get a chance to play one another last season.

The Mountaineers are coming off a resounding 52-7 win over South Alabama on September 29. The passing game could’ve been better as Zac Thomas completed just eight-of-18 passes for 146 yards, two scores and two interceptions. Jalin Moore (123 yards on 19 rush attempts, two TDs) and Marcus Williams Jr. (59 yards on nine carries) led the ground attack while Thomas Hennigan (four receptions, 65 yards) and Corey Sutton (two catches, 46 yards, one TD) handled the receiving duties in the win.

Back on September 29, Georgia Southern took care of this Arkansas State team by a score of 28-21. The Red Wolves defense allowed the Eagles to kill the clock by rushing for 348 yards on 49 attempts, including three rush TDs. Wesley Fields was on a different level for Georgia Southern, putting up 98 rushing yards on 10 attempts, along with 61 yards on one catch. For Arkansas State, Justice Hansen completed 38-of-50 passes for 376 yards and one touchdown. Hansen (40 rushing yards on 16 attempts, one TD) and Marcel Murray (42 yards on 10 carries) handled the running game while Kirk Merritt (11 receptions, 92 yards, one TD) and Justin McInnis (eight catches, 60 yards) led the pass-catching corps in the loss.

Appalachian State’s run the ball on 62.2 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Arkansas State has an overall rush percentage of 48.6 percent. The Mountaineers have rushed for 269.5 yards per game and have 13 scores on the ground this year. The Red Wolves are averaging 175.4 rushing yards per game and have four total rush TDs.

It appears that the Mountaineers ought to have the advantage in terms of RB efficiency. Their running backs has generated 6.5 yards per carry while the defense is allowing a YPC of 2.8 to opponents. The Red Wolves have rushed for 4.6 yards per carry and given up 5.7 YPC to opponents.

The Mountaineers offensive scheme has logged 254.0 yards/game through the air overall and has 10 passing TDs so far. The Red Wolves have recorded 296.2 pass yards per outing and have 12 total pass scores.

Appalachian State has allowed opponents to rush for an average of 104.3 yards and pass for 172.0 yards per game. The Arkansas State D has given up 148.0 yards per game to opposing passers and 244.4 yards per game to opposing runners. The Mountaineers are giving up an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of just 3.74 to opposing QBs, while the Red Wolves have allowed a 5.45 ANY/A.

Offensively, Thomas is up to 711 passing yards this year. He’s connected on 67 percent of his 70 attempts with seven scores through the air and three interceptions. Thomas has a pristine 9.53 adjusted net yards per pass attempt, including 8.09 over the last two games.

The Mountaineers will probably try to maintain tempo by feeding their running backs early and often. Jalin Moore (249 rush yards, three rush TDs), D’Andre Hicks (28 rush yards), and Marcus Williams Jr. (90 rush yards, one receiving TD) have brought significant production to the offensive gameplans for Appalachian State.

Justice Hansen has completed 99-of-155 passes for 1,130 yards, eight TDs and two INTs for Arkansas State. His ANY/A sits at 6.90 for the year and 7.12 over his last two outings.

The Red Wolves should also look to control the clock by turning to their backfield. In addition to Marcel Murray (90 receiving yards, one receiving TD), Kirk Merritt (zero rush yards, 204 receiving yards, one receiving TD) and Omar Bayless (zero rush yards, 187 receiving yards, one TD) have gotten a lot of action lately.

Appalachian State Mountaineers vs. Arkansas State Red Wolves Free Pick

SU Winner: Arkansas State

Team Betting Notes

  • The Mountaineers offense has recorded three pass plays of 40 or more yards, while the Red Wolves have accounted for one such play.
  • The Appalachian State defense has allowed two pass plays of 40 or more yards, while Arkansas State has given up seven such plays.
  • The Appalachian State offense has created eight rushing plays of 20 yards or more, while Arkansas State has created six such runs.
  • The Mountaineers defense has allowed one rushing play of 20 or more yards, while the Red Wolves have given up 11 such runs.
  • The Arkansas State defense has sacked opposing QBs 13 times this season. Appalachian State has recorded just seven sacks.
  • Appalachian State, as a team, has produced 7.12403100775194 yards per carry over its last three games and 8.3 over its last two.
  • Arkansas State has averaged 4.3 yards per carry over its last three outings and 4.4 over its past two.