The Austin Peay Governors will try to build on their surprising success from a year ago when they kick off the 2020 college football schedule on Saturday night against the Central Arkansas Bears. The 2020 Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff is the only game on the slate this weekend, and it pits playoff teams from a year ago. The Governors (11-4, 7-1 in 2019) won the Ohio Valley Conference for the first time since 1977 and reached the FCS quarterfinals, losing to Montana State.
Central Arkansas shared the Southland championship with Nicholls after going 9-4. Kickoff is set for 9 p.m. ET at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery. Central Arkansas is a five-point favorite after dropping as low as 4.5, while the over-under is 45.5 in the latest Central Arkansas vs. Austin Peay odds from William Hill. Before making your Austin Peay vs. Central Arkansas picks, be sure to see the college football predictions from SportsLine's Emory Hunt.
Hunt is the founder and CEO of Football Gameplan, which has been supplying analysis for all levels of football since 2007, and he is a former running back at Louisiana-Lafayette. He knows the game from a player's and coach's perspective.
The football analyst was SportsLine's No. 1 college football expert last season. Hunt went 116-79 on college football picks against the spread in 2019, returning a huge profit of $2,976 to his followers. He capped off the year with LSU -5.5 over Clemson in the national championship. Anyone who has followed him is way up.
Now, Hunt has studied Central Arkansas vs. Austin Peay from every angle and has revealed his picks over at SportsLine. Here are the college football odds and trends for Austin Peay vs. Central Arkansas.
- Central Arkansas vs. Austin Peay spread: Bears -5
- Central Arkansas vs. Austin Peay over-under: 45.5 points
- Central Arkansas vs. Austin Peay money line: Central Arkansas -215, APSU +185
- UCA: QB Breylin Smith threw for 283 yards or more in eight of the 13 games in 2019.
- AP: QB Jeremiah Oatsvall has 3,016 passing and 997 rushing yards with 42 total TDs in 25 games.
Why Central Arkansas can cover
The Bears' passing attack averaged 292.8 yards per game last season, and Breylin Smith led the charge. The junior All-Southland quarterback completed 64.5 percent of his passes and threw for a school-record 3,704 yards and 32 touchdowns. With a more experienced line in front of him, he should avoid the sacks and interceptions that cropped up last season and take advantage of his vast array of weapons.
Southland Freshman of the Year Tyler Hudson burst onto the scene with 55 receptions for 975 yards and 12 touchdowns, including a 78-yarder. He was a strong complement to standout receiver Lujuan Winningham, who was named to the All-Southland team after catching 50 passes in nine games, including an 80-yard TD. The defense is led by NFL prospect Robert Rochell, who had five interceptions on his way to All-America honors.
Why Austin Peay can cover
The Governors didn't face big expectations last season after they were picked to finish fourth in the conference, but a stout defense led to success. Austin Peay led the OVC in scoring defense at 20.6 points per game, and the run defense ranked 16th in the nation, allowing 104.1 yards. The unit is led up front by 285-pounder Josephus Smith, who had 7.5 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss. The Governors also forced 25 turnovers, with Kordell Jackson getting seven interceptions.
Austin Peay's offense averaged 34.5 points, but the starting quarterback and playmaking running back need to be replaced. The good news is 2017 OVC Freshman of the Year Jeremiah Oatsvall returns after being injured in the second game last season.
He has strong targets in DeAngelo Wilson, who had 89 receptions for 1,564 yards and 15 touchdowns, and Baniko Harley, who caught 53 passes and scored seven times.
How to make Central Arkansas vs. Austin Peay picks
Hunt is leaning over on the total, and he's also found a critical x-factor that makes one side of the spread a must-back. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Central Arkansas vs. Austin Peay? And which critical x-factor has Hunt jumping all over one side of the spread? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Austin Peay vs. Central Arkansas spread to jump on Saturday, all from the expert who was up almost $3,000 last season on college football picks, and find out.