College Football Picks: Samford vs. Georgia State

David Lawrence

Friday, August 30, 2013 1:27 PM GMT

Friday, Aug. 30, 2013 1:27 PM GMT

It’s not often that an FCS school is favored on the college football odds over an FBS school but that’s the case in this matchup. However, keep in mind that Georgia State is a fresh addition to the FBS’ Sun Belt Conference, so this isn’t a mistake on the lines.

The Bulldogs can win because… 

The Panthers are going through a ton of turnover. There’s a new coaching staff, a new division and a new conference. After a 1-10 season, you can probably say that they needed a new coaching staff but a new division and conference aren’t going to make matters easier for them. The Panthers didn’t even exist as a football program four years ago and now they are in the FBS. It’s not like they were prepared for this jump. 

The Bulldogs are going to relish this matchup, though, because they have a chance to make history: they have never beaten an FBS school. Sure, a win against Georgia State isn’t a win over Alabama, but it’s still something the Bulldogs have never done and it’s an achievement that can help define their season.

Samford has far more consistency on their roster as they return quarterback Andy Summerlin, running back Fabian Truss, wideouts Kelsey Pope, Chris Cephus and Kelvin Clay, as well as all-conference lineman Kasey Morrison. They should be able to move against a Georgia State team that produced only 10 sacks last season and lost nine of their games by double-digits.

Look at our favorite 'Total College Football Betting Options for the Opening Week'.

The Panthers can win because… 

The new coaching staff gives them reason to be optimistic. First-year head coach Trent Miles has orchestrated impressive turnarounds before and now he’s got a new challenge in front of him. Those making their college football picks might recall that Miles coached Indiana State from 2008-12 and his Sycamores won just once in their first 23 games. However, the Sycamores would go on to finish over .500 in each of his last three seasons, which included a solid campaign in 2012. Last season, Indiana State was ranked (in the FCS) for most of the season and barely missed the playoffs at 7-4. 

Yes, Georgia State is a massive project to tackle but at least the Panthers have someone that’s done this before.

There will be plenty of excitement for this contest as it’s a fresh new start for the Panthers. They should have an edge on the sidelines as Samford’s head coach Pat Sullivan is going to miss the opener as he recovers from back surgery.

[gameodds]6/241560/?r3=19-349/dec&r-1=19-349/us[/gameodds] 

Outlook & NCAA Football Betting Prediction: 

We saw a couple of FCS schools upset FBS schools on opening day – could we see another? It’s quite likely but don’t look at this as much of an upset for our sports picks. The Bulldogs are actually favored and they are the far more competent team. 

We’ve seen this line open at Samford -6 at 5Dimes and then climb to 7.5. That movement of the college football odds seems accurate as the Bulldogs should win and cover on the spread.

NCAA Football Picks: Samford -7.5

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