NCAAF Friday Night Betting (GSU-MEM Sept. 14)
by Fairway JayWeek 3 NCAAF Friday Night betting is a time for Memphis to really prove if they're ready to repeat as division champions after a strong 10-3 SU and 7-5-1 ATS season. The Tigers will host the Georgia State Panthers hoping to not only put on a show, but prove to themselves that last weekend was an anomaly. Are they a college football betting darling like last year, or standing on wobbly ground?
Memphis rolled over FCS Mercer opening week 66-14, as QB Brady White put together the greatest debut by a Tigers pivot in program history, completing 22-of-28 passes for 358 yards and 5 touchdowns. But in the American Athletic Conference opener last week, the Tigers blew a 21-9 fourth quarter lead and lost to Navy on the road 22-21. That loss overshadowed a big game for RB Darrell Henderson, who rushed 13 times for 212 yards and 3 touchdowns. Henderson leads the FBS with 13.1 yards per carry through two games. Last year Henderson rushed for 1,154 yards and was second in the nation with an 8.88 yards per rush average.
The Tigers entered the season as the favorite to repeat as champions of the AAC West division, but have had some early season woes already. Memphis will take out their frustrations on Georgia State in a Friday night feature, which is “Memphis State Day” at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
Georgia State Panthers (1-1) vs. Memphis Tigers (1-1) Thursday, September 14th - 7:00pm NCAAF Friday Night Betting Line: Memphis Tigers -27.5 (58.5)
Watch on ESPN and ESPN+This line has been bet up sharply from the opener of -22.0, and Memphis is likely to put a pounding on the Panthers. Georgia State was crushed by NC State last week 41-9 allowing 543 yards including 426 through the air. The Panthers have fewer experienced players this season and just one returning starter in the secondary.
My projections show Memphis piling up more than 550 yards offense and able to balance the attack with ease as needed. Running back Henderson has already accounted for three plays over 50 yards this season, and the passing attack led by White should shine against GSU for an ESPN audience.
Stats and Notes:
-Memphis head coach Mike Norvell, 36, is one of 12 FBS head coaches under the age of 40. He entered the season with 18 wins in two seasons as Tigers coach. His dynamic offensive philosophies have put Memphis on the map, as the Tigers offense scored 505 points in 2016 and then set school records last year with 6,917 yards offense and scoring 595 points for an average of more than 45 points per game.
-Memphis is 14-0 SU when playing a regular season non-Saturday game since 2014. This is the first of four NCAAF Friday Night betting night games for Memphis this season, and the Tigers went 5-0 SU last year in non-Saturday games.
-Georgia State is 22-9 ATS in their last 31 road games
-Over the last three seasons, the Memphis defense is one of just six FBS programs to have 60-plus combined takeaways.
-Special teams also strongly favors Memphis is this match-up, especially in the return game. Tony Pollard has been the best return man in college football since 2016, averaging 32 yards per return with six career kickoff return TD’s, which is one shy of the NCAA career record.
-Georgia State punter Brandon Wright leads the nation with an average of 55.0 yards per punt. Georgia State ranks fourth nationally with a net of 46.25.
-Last week’s power ratings would have had this line near the opener of 22. But motivated Memphis is going to keep scoring in this Friday night mismatch
-OVER is 7-1 O/U in last 8 non-conference games for Memphis
Fairway’s NCAAF Friday Night Betting Forecast: Memphis rolls up 50+ points in a spread-covering victory.