Georgia Southern faces Ohio in the Myrtle Beach Bowl on Saturday (12/16/23). In this article, find the latest betting odds for the game and a full preview of the matchup. In addition, find our best bet for the Myrtle Beach Bowl which is Georgia Southern -3.5.
Georgia Southern vs. Ohio Prediction
Ohio had a strong season, finishing 9-3 overall and winning six of their last seven games. They enter this bowl game with plenty of momentum, but without much roster continuity. Quarterback Kurtis Rourke is in the transfer portal, and with backup quarterback CJ Harris out for the season, senior Parker Navarro is the presumed starter here with 112 career passing yards to his name.
To compound matters for the Bobcats, top running backs Sieh Bangura and O’Shaan Allison and top wide receiver Miles Cross are in the portal. That leaves Ohio without over 2,000 total yards of offense at the skill positions. It’s a shame, because this would have been a great opportunity for Rourke to have a showcase game against a Georgia Southern defense ranked 117th in pass defense success rate.
The Eagles’ offense is intact for this game with quarterback Davis Brin under center. Clay Helton’s team throws the ball over the yard, averaging 46 passing plays per game, the most in the FBS. However, they run into an Ohio defense ranked sixth against the pass by success rate.
Overall, Ohio has allowed just 15.4 points per game, which ranks fifth in the country. Still, I’m not totally buying those metrics quite as much given the horrendous state of offensive play in the Mid-American Conference this year – three of the five worst scoring offenses were in the MAC this season. Georgia Southern comes from the Sun Belt, where the overall quality of play was much better this season.
I’m not thrilled about laying over a field goal with a Georgia Southern team that lost four straight games by over 14 points per game to close out the season, but perhaps the time off will give them an opportunity to reset and redeem themselves. I’ll back Clay Helton to pick up his first ATS cover in a bowl game after an 0-5 start to his career.
Georgia Southern vs. Ohio Prediction: Georgia Southern -3.5
Georgia Southern vs. Ohio Best Odds
As is often the case during bowl season, there has been significant odds movement in this game. Ohio opened as 1.5-point favorites with the spread climbing as high as -2.5, but the news of Kurtis Rourke’s transfer caused it to steam the other direction, and now it’s come all the way out to Georgia Southern -3.5. The total also moved quite a bit from 54.5 down to 48.5. The current numbers lead to an implied final score of around 26-22.
Georgia Southern vs. Ohio Key Matchups
With so much uncertainty for Ohio’s offense, the key matchup in this game comes from Georgia Southern quarterback Davis Brin against the Ohio pass defense. That’s especially true with Georgia Southern’s lead back Jalen White missing the team’s regular season finale. Let’s break it down.
Davis Brin vs. Ohio’s Pass Defense
Davis Brin is coming off his worst game of the season in the final week of the year as he had a whopping six turnover-worthy plays against Appalachian State with a brutal 43 PFF passing grade. He was awful under pressure for much of the year, with an ugly 6.7% turnover-worthy play rate and seven interceptions to just two touchdowns.
If there’s a path for Ohio finding a win here, it starts with generating pressure on Brin. They do rank 16th in team pass rush grades per PFF, and Vonnie Watkins is expected to play after leading the team with 34 pressures. If the Bobcats can create a couple of short fields with turnovers, they can turn this game on its head despite having the much less proven quarterback in the game.