Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 3:45 PM EST.
ARKANSAS ST -3½ +100 over Georgia St
7:30 PM EST. Let’s have a quick look at recent prime time, isolated football games. It started last Thursday when Tampa Bay, as a -3½-point favorite went into Chicago and lost outright, 17-16. The next night, on Friday, Louisville was favored on the road (-4½) at Georgia Tech and the Yellow Jackets would eventually lay waste to the Cardinals by a final score of 46-27. On Sunday night, Minnesota lost to Seattle but the Vikes easily covered the +6½-point spread and were never in jeopardy of not covering. On Monday Night Football, the Saints beat the Chargers but once again, the underdog (+7) was never in danger of not covering the number and easily took home the money in an OT loss. Two nights ago, on Tuesday Night Football, the favored Bills never had the number covered and ended up losing, 42-16. Last night, Louisiana was spotting -9 to Coastal Carolina and lost outright. The past six prime-time isolated games saw the underdog getting the money and in the last five, the underdog was never in jeopardy.
Obviously, the results above will not impact the outcome of this game but it absolutely impacts how the market will approach it. At this very moment, the market is extremely reluctant to spot points in a prime time game because it has been burned not once, not twice, not three times, not four times, not five times but six prime time football games in a row. We’re now provided a great opportunity to get the chalk at a reduced rate.
Arkansas State opened as a -5 point choice and it has been slowly and progressively dropping ever since. Furthermore, there is some recency bias at play here, as Georgia State just whacked East Carolina 49-29 while Arkansas State was recently crushed by Coastal Carolina, 52-23. The Red Wolves would rebound last week with a win over Central Arkansas but Central Arkansas is a Southland Conference team that has less market credibility than an FCS team. Furthermore, that game was played on October 10, just five days ago so this is Ark State’s second game in five days and the market does not like that.
Results aside, East Carolina was favored over Georgia State in Georgia. ECU is favored every leap year, which is an indication of just how little faith oddsmakers had in the Panthers but it gets even better. Against Louisiana, Georgia State covered but they were a 17-point underdog in that game.
Coastal Carolina beat Louisiana last night, 30-27 and Arkansas State was a -3½-point road favorite over Coastal Carolina. Coastal Carolina and ULL are comparable teams so we’ll state that again. GSU was a 17-point underdog against ULL while Arkansas State was a -3½-point road favorite over CC. We now get Ark State at the same price at home as they were when they traveled to Coastal Carolina.
This will be Arkansas State’s second home game after they played their first three games on the road versus Memphis, K-State and CC. Incidentally, the Red Wolves hung tough versus Memphis, eventually losing 37-24 and they also beat K-State. The Panthers will bring their porous defense that doesn't get enough pressure to protect a weak secondary. They also field a decidedly weaker offense and are disadvantaged on special teams. Unless the bounces drop the Panthers way, they are not coming in under a TD but more importantly, we get the Red Wolves at a greatly reduced price. Fire away.
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ARKANSAS ST -3½ +100 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.00)