Georgia State vs. Ball State Prediction, Pick Against the Spread, and Latest Odds

Georgia State vs. Ball State prediction and pick for Saturday's Camellia Bowl in Montgomery, AL. Mike Spector breaks down the game and gives his pick
Mike Spector |
Mon, December 20, 9:17 AM EST | 4 min read
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Georgia State vs. Ball State Prediction, Pick Against the Spread, and Latest Odds

Georgia State Panthers vs. Ball State Cardinals - Camellia Bowl

Spread: Georgia State -5

Total: 50.5

Game time: Saturday, 2:30 p.m. ET, Montgomery, AL

Where to watch: ESPN

Georgia State vs. Ball State odds

Georgia State vs. Ball State Prediction

The MAC conference had a historic season, sending a record eight teams to bowl games this year. One of those teams is the Ball State Cardinals, who face the Georgia State Panthers in the TaxAct Camellia Bowl. Unfortunately, MAC teams did not get off to a great start in bowl season when Toledo and Northern Illinois lost on the first day. Will the Cardinals bring some respectability back to the conference, or will Georgia State show they are worthy favorites?

Ball State arguably had a “disappointing” 6-6 season relative to their MAC championship since a year ago. The Cardinals needed a win in their last game against Buffalo to be bowl eligible, and their defense dominated in a 20-3 victory. This is Ball State’s first consecutive seasons making bowl games since they went to three straight from 2011-13. However, the Cardinals are trending in the right direction under head coach Mike Neu, who was rewarded with a contract extension through 2025 earlier this year.

Georgia State comes into this matchup with a ton of momentum, having won six of their final seven games after a 1-4 start. The Panthers are in a bowl game for the third consecutive season and fourth in five years. Georgia State has come a long way since moving to the FBS level in 2013. They went a combined 1-23 in those first two years but are now searching for their third bowl win in their last four appearances.

While other bowl games have lit up the scoreboard this season, the Camellia Bowl projects to be anything but a shootout. Ball State is the 94th-ranked team in points per game (24.4), while Georgia State ranks 82nd with 26.3 points per game. In addition, the Panthers’ defensive numbers are a bit skewed based on the elite competition they have played.

Georgia State faced Army, UNC, and Auburn in the non-conference portion of their schedule and allowed 136 combined points in those three matchups. If you remove those games from their schedule, the Panthers allowed an average of 21.8 points per game in their other nine games. That is impressive considering they faced high-powered offenses like Appalachian State and Coastal Carolina in that span.

Georgia State’s path to offensive success is on the heels of a top ten ground game that averages 225.4 rushing yards per game. However, that also lends itself to longer drives, eating clock, and fewer possessions for both teams.

The Panthers are the only FBS team that played four road games against ranked opponents this year. Based on how battle-tested of a team they are, I would not put anyone off backing their -5 point spread odds. However, the MAC was a sneaky good conference, as evidenced by their eight bowl teams, so Ball State has not played many slouches even though they have not faced as many ranked opponents as Georgia State.

In the last ten games combined that these teams have played, the over has cashed just once. In addition, Ball State’s team total has gone under in nine of their 12 games, while just one of Georgia State’s last six opponents has gone over its team total. We expect defenses to dominate in this game, making the under the safest play.

Georgia State vs. Ball State Pick

  • PICK: UNDER 50 (-105)
Mike Spector
@MikeSpector01

Mike Spector brings unmatched knowledge and insight into the game of football, and more importantly the process of betting on NFL football. Mike is the #2 ranked expert in FantasyPros' NFL betting contest

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