Ball State vs Georgia Odds, Picks, and Predictions: Cardinals' Team Total is Laughably Low

While the Cardinals' chances of escaping Athens with a win on Saturday are next to impossible, there's plenty of handicapping value surrounding their low team total. Read more in our Ball State vs. Georgia betting picks.

Jason Ence - Betting Analyst at
Jason Ence • Betting Analyst
Sep 8, 2023 • 12:44 ET • 4 min read
Kadin Semonza Ball State Cardinals NCAAF
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

It’s the second week of Ball State’s SEC tour as the Ball State Cardinals travel between the hedges to face the top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday.

After narrowly missing covering against Kentucky in their season opener, the Cardinals will hope to build on some of the positives that it showed against the Wildcats. Freshman quarterback Kadin Semonza took over during the game and could get his first start in what would be a very hostile environment.

The Bulldogs rolled in their opener against UT-Martin, but it took a bit of time for the offense to get going. That said, they will see multiple key players returning who missed that contest, including running back Daijun Edwards. According to college football odds, Georgia enters this contest as massive 40+ point favorites.

Find out what your best wagering option is in our college football picks and predictions for Ball State vs. Georgia on September 9. 

Ball State vs Georgia best odds

Ball State vs Georgia picks and predictions

Ball State lost to Kentucky by 30 points, but it took a very late touchdown from the Wildcats to cover the spread. The Cardinals weren’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, as two of their touchdowns allowed came via a defensive scoop-and-score and by way of a kick return touchdown to open the second half.

That said, they only ran for 72 yards on 41 attempts, allowed 5.7 yards per carry on defense, and gained less than 300 yards despite having the ball for nearly two-thirds of the game.

What they did manage to do against Kentucky was grind out drives. Ball State converted on nine of its 17 third-down attempts with Kadin Semonza completing 22 of 30 passes and developing a strong rapport with tight end Tanner Koziol.

While that won’t be enough to even come close to threatening Georgia, it will give the Cardinals a solid shot at scoring some points. 

Georgia allowed UT-Martin to score a touchdown in the opener and although it came late in the contest, it was still seven points and that’s all we’d need here. UT-Martin did a decent job moving the football at times, especially on the ground. If Ball State can replicate that, even in garbage time, it gives the Cardinals a great shot to get in the endzone.

And looking back under head coach Kirby Smart, Georgia rarely denies opponents a shot at the endzone in these types of games. The Bulldogs tend to show respect to the “money game” opponents they host, and given Ball State took this matchup on short notice, I expect a similar situation with starters coming out early in the second half and the intensity levels fading. 

Last year, fellow MAC team Kent State put 22 points on the board at Sanford Stadium. The year before, UAB found the endzone with five minutes to go — much like UT-Martin a week ago — and even Charleston Southern managed to post seven points.

In fact, five of Georgia’s last six non-P5 opponents have gotten past the three-point mark in their games. While it may take a while, I expect Ball State to do the same. This is a team that is expecting to compete for a place in the MAC Championship game, and the Cardinals have enough weapons on offense to put together at least one successful drive before it’s all over. 

When it comes to playing our best bet, bet365 is offering the Ball State team total at the best price. They have it listed at -105, versus -120 or more at other books. 

My best bet: Ball State team total Over 3.5 (-105 at bet365)

Ball State vs Georgia same-game parlay

Ball State team total Over 3.5 (-105)

Georgia -34.5 (-280)

First score method: Touchdown (-240)

Our same-game parlay at bet365 combines our best bet with two other plays for what should be a profitable day. First, we’re taking Georgia to win by at least five touchdowns.

I’m quite confident that the Bulldogs can cover that number, and given we’re expecting a Ball State touchdown at some point, it helps prevent a backdoor cover by the Cardinals on the regular spread of 42 points or more.

We're also going with the opening score of the game to be a touchdown. Seven of the 10 scoring plays in Ball State’s opener with Kentucky were touchdowns, with the opening field goal mostly attributed to UK's offense stalling out early. With Georgia focusing on the run, I expect them to hit paydirt early.

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

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Ball State vs Georgia spread and Over/Under analysis

Georgia covered a 40+ point spread a week ago, and the defending national champs will be looking to do the same against Ball State. They’re currently laying anywhere between 42 and 43.5 points after opening as 40-point favorites.

While Ball State only lost by 30 to Kentucky, this is a different animal. Georgia’s going to run more than the Wildcats did and should have much more success doing so. In addition, the Bulldogs are getting multiple players back who weren’t available in the Week 1 opener. 

That said, the spread is simply too high for me to take. Georgia struggled with Kent State last year, and considering what went on to get this game scheduled, I can see Smart calling off the dogs early enough to keep this closer to a 40-point game.

The total is in a similar tricky spot. It’s come down from an opening number of 56.5 and has settled around between 52 and 53.5 points. For me, this comes down to whether Georgia decides to run it up or not.

I’ve got this game around a 45-7 final score, putting it right at the number depending on where you get it. I think there are better places to find value, however, so I’m avoiding the total here. 

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Ball State vs Georgia betting trend to know

Georgia has successfully cashed the first quarter moneyline in all of its last seven games (+6.00 Units / 26% ROI). Find more college football betting trends for Ball State vs Georgia.

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Ball State vs Georgia game info

Location: Sanford Stadium, Athens, GA
Date: Saturday, September 9, 2023
Kickoff: 12:00 p.m. ET
TV: SEC Network

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