Abilene Christian vs. Georgia State College Football Picks

David Lawrence

Sunday, August 24, 2014 6:52 AM GMT

Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014 6:52 AM GMT

On Wednesday, the first FBS game of the season is played, as Georgia State of the Sun Belt hosts lower-division opponent Abilene Christian. Here's our recommended college football betting strategy.

The first full day of Football Bowl Subdivision college football is Thursday, August 28, but there is one game involving an FBS team before them: Abilene Christian vs. Georgia State.

 

The Wildcats Can Win Because…
They are playing a team that went 0-12 last season. Georgia State could not solve the Sun Belt Conference at all, not even winning against one opponent in the league. The Panthers rarely scored more than 28 points in a game, doing so only once all season, and the team scored more than 21 points only four times during the 12-game slate. Georgia State’s defense normally gave up at least 35 points per game last season. The Panthers gave up 35 or more in nine of their 12 games. The GSU defense surrendered at least 31 points in every game but one. Georgia State played one overtime game, lost a second game by two points, and lost two other games by touchdowns. However, eight of this team’s 12 losses were by at least two scores (nine points or more). This was just a terrible team that was rarely close to winning. Only twice was victory attainable in the final minutes of the fourth quarter or later. Abilene Christian might have problems of its own, but the Wildcats might not be the team with the most severe problems in this game. Their opponent might be worse off.

 

The Panthers Can Win Because…
They're not the team in the more severe crisis situation, even though it’s close. Abilene Christian is in a tougher spot than Georgia State. Want to know why? The Wildcats return only three starters on offense. That’s not a misprint. Abilene Christian brings back only three starters, and it doesn’t have a returning quarterback to keep things glued together. John David Baker was the name of Abilene Christian’s quarterback in 2013. He set all sorts of records and helped Abilene Christian score a ton of points. Abilene Christian scored at least 60 points in four of its six victories last season. It scored 52 in a fifth win and 40 in a sixth win. Baker was a redshirt senior who blended in well with the rest of the offense in his first full season of action after playing behind a talented starter in the previous three years of his college career. Baker is gone now, though, and so are receivers Taylor Gabriel, Darrell Cantu-Harkless, and Darian Hogg. Three veteran offensive linemen who had anchored the Wildcats’ offensive front over the previous two seasons are also gone. This offense had to score a lot to win games last season. With almost everyone gone, how will Abilene Christian score enough to win this game against Georgia State?

 

Outlook & Prediction
Before placing your College Football picks, keep in mind that Georgia State is a bad team, and Abilene Christian just doesn’t have much of a team to start with. Abilene Christian is building from scratch. Georgia State at least had last season as a teaching test, a sort of trial run for what it hopes will be a better season in 2014. Abilene Christian doesn’t know what it has on offense. Georgia State is likely to make at least some small improvements and beat a lower-division team at home.

Free College Football Pick: Georgia State -4 at Bodog Sportsbook

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