The Week 10 college football weekday slate continues Thursday night with a game featuring two of the Sun Belt’s best. The West Division-leading Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns host the Georgia State Panthers, one of three teams tied for the East Division lead.
As of Wednesday, Louisiana is a 12.5-point favorite on some oddsboards (FanDuel, PointsBet), but the Ragin’ Cajuns can be found for -12 at DraftKings and Caesars. Louisiana has never lost to the Panthers.
Georgia State Panthers (4-4 SU, 5-3 ATS)
The Panthers got off to a rough start this season, losing four of their first five games. But they have since rattled off three wins in a row, all in conference, including by a 21-14 score over Georgia Southern last week. The win moved them into a three-way tie for first in the Sun Belt’s East Division.
Georgia State’s luck seemed to turn once Darren Grainger locked down the starting QB job. He has not transformed the passing game for the Panthers, but he is more accurate than Cornelius Brown IV. During the win streak, he has thrown six touchdowns and no interceptions.
But the driving force behind the streak has been their No. 16-ranked rushing attack (221.9 yards/game). In their last three games, the Panthers rushed for 326, 283, and 237 yards.
They will need the run game to be as potent against Louisiana, keeping their dreadful defense off the field. Opponents have averaged over 400 yards of offense and 30 points a game this season. They have played three Power Five teams; in conference play, they are giving up 390.5 yards and 24 points a game.
While their run game is promising, their winning streak has come at the expense of teams with a combined record of 8-16 overall and 4-10 in conference play. It will likely take their A+ game to beat the No. 24-ranked Ragin Cajuns.
Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (7-1 SU, 3-5 ATS)
Louisiana started the season with a 38-18 loss to then-No. 21 Texas but have since won seven in a row, the latest a dominant 45-0 win over Texas State last weekend. The run game has led the way during the streak, averaging 227 yards per game. In the three games in which the Cajuns did not rush for 200+ yards, the passing game came through, averaging 326 yards in those games.
The Ragin’ Cajuns are a top-three offense in the Sun Belt (total offense and scoring). But they do not rely solely on their offense to win games. Louisiana is also one of the better defensive teams in the conference, ranking fourth in total defense (360.2 yards/game allowed) and second in scoring (19.2 point/game allowed).
However, the Ragin’ Cajuns have built their win streak and their statistics without a single win over a Power Five team. Texas is the only Power Five opponent they have faced all season. Of those seven wins, three were by a field goal or less, and another was by eight points.
Had a handful of plays not gone their way in those four games, Louisiana could be a 3-5 team rather than the 7-1 squad that it is.
Georgia State vs. Louisiana Betting Analysis
A win would not be just the first for Georgia State over Louisiana; it would be their first over a ranked opponent. If they can establish the run game early and keep the Louisiana offense off the field, the Panthers could upset the Ragin’ Cajuns.
While the Panthers will probably make it a competitive game, Louisiana’s offense will be too much for them. At best, Georgia State covers the spread — but there are better bets to make this weekend.