East Carolina vs Coastal Carolina Predictions, Picks, Birmingham Bowl Odds (12/27/22)
East Carolina faces Coastal Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl. East Carolina had a decent year and finished up their season beating Temple in a shootout. Coastal Carolina was on a hot streak all year, but ended their year with two straight blowout losses to James Madison and Troy. This should be an interesting matchup for the directional schools in each Carolina. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for this game!
East Carolina vs. Coastal Carolina Odds
East Carolina is a 9.5-point favorite against Coastal Carolina and is at -315 on the money line. The over/under is also at 59.5. East Carolina being favored here makes sense because Coastal Carolina lost it’s head coach and has had a few impact players transfer like their starting quarterback Grayson McCall. The over/under makes sense too because both of these teams can score pretty well. This spread should stay where it’s at because Coastal Carolina has lost the core of it’s team compared to East Carolina.
East Carolina vs. Coastal Carolina Prediction & Pick
The pick: East Carolina -9.5
East Carolina had a very good year this year and it started when they lost to NC State after a missed field goal in Week 1. That put them on notice for the college football world and now they are in a bowl game. They have a great offense, but the defense has been suspect. They average 31 points and 459 total yards a game on offense and give up 27 points and 411 total yards on defense. Keaton Mitchell has been the main playmaker for the Pirates this year and he’s a real difference maker at running back. Holton Ahlers has also been great at quarterback for the Pirates. On the other side, Coastal Carolina has taken a beating this offseason with Jamey Chadwell leaving for another job and most of their best players leaving through the transfer portal.
The biggest departure was easily Grayson McCall at quarterback. They still have CJ Beasley at running back and Sam Pinckney as a playmaker on the outside at wide receiver. They average 29 points and 411 total yards on offense and they give up 30 points and 413 total yards on defense. The Pirates have way more to trust in this game than the Chanticleers whether it’s just pure motivation to play in this game or the fact that the Pirates still have all their impact players still available to play in the bowl game. This game has a chance to get out of hand in favor of East Carolina because of how outmanned the Chanticleers seems to be.
East Carolina vs. Coastal Carolina Key Matchups
Can Coastal Carolina contain Holton Ahlers? Can East Carolina slow down CJ Beasley?
Holton Ahlers vs the Coastal Carolina Secondary
Holton Ahlers has been great for the Pirates this year on offense. He has 3,408 passing yards, 23 passing touchdowns, five interceptions, and he has a 67% completion percentage on the year. Ahlers has been great for East Carolina in an offense that has been explosive all year. The most he’s thrown for in a game this year was for 465 passing yards. He has a very good matchup against the Chanticleers pass defense who give up 282 passing yards a game. The key for East Carolina all year has been their offense and Ahlers is the main component to that. He needs to have a big game in order for the Pirates to feel good about winning.
CJ Beasley vs the East Carolina Front Seven
CJ Beasley was very solid for the Chanticleers this year and is the best player available for them now that Grayson McCall is gone. He has 136 carries, 704 rushing yards, and four rushing touchdowns on the year. Beasley has been very solid and he’s going to be leaned on more in this game because of the departure of Grayson McCall at quarterback. The most he’s run for this season was for 142 rushing yards. Beasley needs to have an even bigger game here because most of the offense will be relying on what he can do on the ground. Coastal Carolina’s chances of winning rely on Beasley.