The Sun Belt conference has provided a lot of entertaining games this season so we’ll see what they have in store for us in the last game of the season. One of the conference games being played to wrap up the regular season features Georgia State heading to Marshall to take on the Thundering Herd. I’ll preview the game and then get into why backing the home favorite in Marshall is the right betting play.
The Panthers of Georgia State will be playing in their last game of the season today as their 4-7 record is not enough to make them bowl-eligible. In the last two weeks, the Panthers have suffered two straight conference losses and allowed a combined 73 points to be scored in that span. The defense has been an issue all season for this team as they enter today allowing an average of 31.5 points per game.
It could be argued the defense not doing their job is what kept this team from reaching bowl eligibility. The Panthers allow a lot of points but thanks to their running game they also score a lot of points. To say this is a run-heavy offense is an understatement as the Panthers rank fourth in the country in rushes per game and average 227.9 rush yards a game.
It’s shaping up to be strength against strength in this one since Marshall boasts one of the best rush defenses in the country. The Thundering Herd is 11th in the country in yards per carry allowed and average rushing yards allowed a game. We’ll see if they can keep that up against the two-headed monster of Tucker Gregg and Darren Grainger.
The way Marshall has been able to win games is the opposite of Georgia State as their defense has led them to this 7-4 record. Despite the occasional inconsistency on offense, running back Khalan Laborn has rushed for 1323 yards and 14 touchdowns so he could have a field day against the Panthers' defense.
In most sportsbooks right now the Thundering Herd are favored by -6 points and I think that is a good number for them. Since he took over at quarterback Cam Fancher has had this Marshall offense operating at a higher level, with his dual-threat ability the combination of him and Laborn I think will be too much for the Panthers to deal with.
Marshall enters this week on a three-game winning streak and has allowed 31 combined points in those three weeks. Think about that for a second, the Thundering Herd allowed 31 points in three weeks to conference opponents while Georgia State allowed 73 points in just two weeks.
The duo of Gregg and Grainger is certainly talented and can run all over defenses but this Marshall defense is built to stop the run so if they limit the run and force the Panthers into passing situations they should be able to beat up on Georgia State by at least a touchdown.