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Georgia State Legitimate Threat to Win National Invitation Tournament

Before suffering a surprising loss to Louisiana-Lafayette in the Sun Belt Conference tournament finals, I had Georgia State projected to reach the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA tournament. Regardless of that loss, I expect head coach Ron Hunter to have his team prepared to make a serious run in the NIT, and it all begins with a road game against Clemson.  Indeed, Georgia State is a profitable 9-1 ATS on the road versus teams with a winning record, 17-6 ATS in the month of March and a perfect 10-0 ATS in first round tournament games, whereas the Tigers are a money-burning 6-17 ATS in opening round tournament contests.

Fundamental Analysis: Georgia State

Offense:

Georgia State is averaging 78.0 points per game against tams that would combine to allow 71.8 points per game, including shooting 47.3% from the field and 37.6% from beyond the arc.  The Panthers were also 12-8 SU and 11-9 ATS on the road this season where they averaged 76.0 points per game on 45.7% shooting from the floor and 37.6% from three-point territory.  Overall, Georgia State is 6.2 points per game better than average offensively, which is not good enough to penetrate an excellent Clemson defense that is 12.6 points per game better than average (58.0 points per game to teams that would combine to average 70.6 points per game).  However, Georgia State catches the Tigers’ stop unit in a lull as they have yielded 67.6 points over the last five games, and it’s hard to imagine Clemson being motivated to face a Sun Belt squad in the opening round of the NIT.

Defense:

Georgia State is allowing 68.2 points per game to teams that would combine to average 70.7 points per game, thereby making the Panthers 2.5 points per game better than average.  However, the Panthers have been playing outstanding defense in their last five games over which time they are limiting opponents to a mere 62.6 points on 37.9% shooting from the field.  Meanwhile, Clemson takes the floor with a pedestrian attack that is averaging just 63.3 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 68.5 points per game.  Overall, Clemson is 5.2 points per game worse than average offensively, which gives the Panthers a significant 7.7 points per game advantage at the defensive end of the floor tonight.

For added technical support, let’s note that Georgia State is 9-2 ATS in its last eleven road games and 7-1 ATS in its last eight road games versus teams with a winning record, including a perfect 7-0 ATS away from home versus .601 or greater opposition.  Grab the generous points and invest with confidence.

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