Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:30 AM EST
East Carolina -2 -105 over GEORGIA ST
Center Parc Stadium – Atlanta, GA
On ESPN U in the Sports Group
12:00 PM EST. Last week, Georgia State made our board as a fade target after standing toe-to-toe with UL-Lafayette, who has very quickly become one of the most talked about Group of Five teams in the early stages of the 2020 season. The Panthers were priced as a three-point favorite (after opening as a one-point dog) heading into their clash with the 49ers but nonetheless, the bout with Charlotte was cancelled the night before due to escalations surrounding COVID concerns. Despite an additional week lapsing, Georgia State’s overtime scare delivered to ULL seems to be cultivating a similar overreaction this week.
Though another week has elapsed, the market sentiment has very much been the same with respect to the Panthers. The appeal is high on this side after GSU led the Ragin’ Cajuns by as much as 14, before losing in gut-wrenching fashion in extra time two weeks ago in Atlanta as a 17-point underdog. The outcome earned national attention and given that this is their first game back since that showing, that attention is driving this market. When State’s opponent is considered into the equation, Georgia State offers that much more allure.
East Carolina has very low market appeal and has had so for years. The Pirates haven’t had a winning season in six years and outside of occasional sneak attacks on opponents who take them lightly, ECU hasn’t been a threat to any FBS team outside of UConn or Old Dominion over that span. And yet in this contest, they are favored. Why? Contrasting that to what Georgia State nearly pulled off two weeks ago, it makes the Panthers look like a gift here taking back points but we’re almost always on the lookout for games like this.
ECU has played one game and it was a 28-point underdog. ECU has been a 28, 15½, 7, 23 and 25 point dog over its last five games dating back to last season. The last time they were priced as a 1-point underdog also came last year and it was against South Florida. The Pirates lost that game, 45-20.
We don’t know how Georgia State will approach this contest after an additional week to tend to its broken heart. The Panthers may come in with a chip on their shoulder or they may actually be extremely flat. However, we cannot worry about that. When a historical dreg like ECU is spotting a price, on the road, no less, against a team with market appeal like GSU, it triggers our suspicious radar to a high degree. Be extra careful if you were thinking of pulling the trigger on Georgia State here.
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East Carolina -2 -105 (Risking 2.10 units - To Win: 2.00)