Georgia State is in the Pomeroy Top 100 and the Panthers have beaten the top teams in the CAA this season, while James Madison is 4-11 in conference and has not beaten anyone this good all year.
There could be a possible mismatch in the Colonial Athletic Association Tuesday night when the underrated Georgia State Panthers (17-9 overall, 6-5 away) pay a visit to the struggling James Madison Dukes (11-16 overall, 4-8 home) at the James Madison Convocation Center in Harrisonburg, VA at 7:00 ET.NCAA Basketball Pick
Georgia State is quietly ranked 84th in the country in the Pomeroy Ratings right now at 17-9, and they are 9-6 in CAA play, but what really points to the quality of this Panthers team is how it has performed vs. the top teams in the conference. Drexel, VCU and George Mason are in a three-way tie atop the conference all at 13-2, and Drexel and VCU each suffered one of their two CAA losses to these Panthers while Georgia State also lost by just three points at George Mason!
As if that were not enough of a reason to like Georgia State here even as a road favorite on the NCAA Basketball odds vs. a conference doormat like James Madison, consider also that the Panthers should come out breathing fire after getting upset at home by three points in overtime by Delaware as 11-point favorites on Saturday.
The Dukes meanwhile are five games under .500 overall and a dismal 4-8 straight up here in their own building. Furthermore, James Madison is only 4-11 in conference play, and all four wins have come vs. the bottom half of the conference while the Dukes have not been competitive vs. the better teams in the CAA. Thus, they are ranked just 231st overall by Pomeroy and the highest ranked team they have beaten all season was 133rd ranked Penn in non-conference play.
The point spread at 5 Dimes has Georgia State as a -4 road favorite for this contest at current odds of -105.
Now Georgia State will not blow you away offensively, but the Panthers are winning with defense, ranking 16th in the country in scoring defense at just 58.7 points per game and ninth in the nation in field goal percentage against at a scant 37.9 percent. As mentioned, the Panthers have not exactly done this vs. a cupcake schedule either.
Therefore, Georgia State ranks a surprising 17th in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency and 18th in effective field goal percentage allowed, including ranking ninth in two-point defense at 41.5 percent. For good measure, the Panthers also rank 35th in forcing turnovers, seventh in blocked shots and fourth in steal percentage.
That great defense has helped cover up the fact that the Panthers rank only 212th in the land in offensive efficiency, although it should be pointed out that they did put up 74 points in a 16-point home win over these Dukes on January 23rd back at home.
James Madison does not grade out well on either side of the ball, ranking 197th in efficiency and 183rd in effective field goal percentage on offense and 260th in efficiency and 192nd in effective filed goal percentage allowed on defense. Besides the fact that the Dukes have not beaten a Pomeroy Top 100 team like Georgia State all season, they were also life and death to beat a 1-26 Towson team 58-56 on Saturday.
There is not doubt that the Panthers are the superior team here, as that narrow escape vs. Towson snapped a five-game James Madison losing streak. Also, coming off of an upset home loss should keep Georgia State fully motivated here from start to finish.
: Georgia State -4 (-105)