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Coastal Carolina vs East Carolina Prediction, Odds and College Football Betting Picks for Birmingham Bowl

One of Tuesday’s primetime college football bowl games will feature two schools that are separated by just over three hours. Carolina supremacy will be on the line when the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers collide with the East Carolina Pirates in the Birmingham Bowl. Both programs had successful seasons, but one side has seen a ton of roster turnover and even a coaching change in the weeks leading up to the bowl game. As a result, the Coastal Carolina vs East Carolina odds and college football betting picks view the AAC representative as a decisive favorite.

The following game preview provides the college football betting odds, trends and FEI Index ratings before sharing our official Coastal Carolina vs East Carolina prediction for the Birmingham Bowl matchup.

Coastal Carolina vs East Carolina Prediction | College Football Betting Picks

Birmingham Bowl
Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (9-3, 6-2 SBC) vs. East Carolina Pirates (7-5, 4-4 AAC)
Date: Tuesday, December 27, 2022
Time: 6:45 p.m. EST
Venue: Protective Life Stadium — Birmingham, AL
Coverage: ESPN

With several starters departing, most believed that Coastal Carolina would be hard-pressed to replicate last year’s 11-win showing. For most of the regular season, the Chanticleers proved to be up to the challenge. Coastal won six straight to begin the year and was sitting pretty stop the Sun Belt East Division standings at 9-1 by mid-November. However, CCU was then blown out by James Madison in the finale and again by Troy in the conference title game. Head coach Jamey Chadwell has since departed for the same role at Liberty.

East Carolina missed a field goal as time expired that prevented a massive upset over NC State in its season-opener. The Pirates quickly regrouped to win three of their next four games before getting shut down by eventual American Athletic Conference Champion Tulane. ECU once again rallied back to pick up three quality wins in a row over Memphis, UCF and BYU, respectively. As last year’s bowl game was canceled, Tuesday’s matchup will mark the Pirates’ first bowl game appearance since 2014.

Keaton Mitchell Coastal Carolina vs East Carolina prediction odds college football betting picks Birmingham Bowl game predictions
Credit: East Carolina University Athletics

Coastal Carolina vs East Carolina College Football Betting Picks and Odds

All college football betting odds for Coastal Carolina vs East Carolina can be found at BetOnline Sportsbook.

Moneyline: CCU: (+240) | ECU: (-285)
Point Spread: CCU: +7.5 (-119) | ECU: -7.5 (-101)
Total: 65 — Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)

College Football FEI Ratings

The following table shares the Fremeau Efficiency Index rankings for both teams involved in this Birmingham Bowl matchup. The purpose of the FEI ratings is to represent the per-possession scoring advantage that a team would be expected to have on a neutral field against an average opponent. The rankings for offense and defense are out of 131 total FBS-level teams.

Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI) ratings are froFootball Outsiders

TeamOverall FEI (Rk)OFEI (Rk)DFEI (Rk)
Coastal Carolina-.23 (82).37 (43)-.63 (109)
East Carolina.04 (64).59 (31)-.35 (87)
  • Chanticleers are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games overall.
  • The OVER is 9-1 in the Chanticleers’ last ten games against opponents who are coming off a straight up conference in their previous game.
  • Chanticleers are 1-7-1 ATS in their last nine games following an ATS loss.
  • Pirates are 4-0 ATS in their last four non-conference games.
  • Pirates are 7-3 ATS over the last two years against opponents allowing more than 29.0 points per game defensively.
  • The UNDER is 8-1 in the Pirates’ last nine games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game.
  • Since 2012, the Pirates are 0-3 both straight up and ATS against Sun Belt Conference opponents while allowing 41.7 points per game.

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Coastal Carolina vs East Carolina Prediction | College Football Betting Picks

Given the close proximity of the two schools and the fact that both teams have “Carolina” in their names, this is certainly a compelling bowl matchup. Some may be surprised that the Coastal Carolina vs East Carolina odds are so heavily tilted in the Pirates’ favor. The disparity is likely attributable to the Chanticleers’ poor finish to the season as well as all of the recent turnover within the program.

In addition to losing head coach Jamey Chadwell, quarterback Grayson McCall has already announced that he will enter the college football transfer portal. However, he is going to stick around long enough to play in the Birmingham Bowl, making for a rather unique scenario. Coastal Carolina will also be without its starting center and three defensive players, all of whom departed via the portal.

Not to be outdone, East Carolina will also be without a trio of starters in this matchup, including tight end Ryan Jones who has opted out to prepare for the 2023 NFL Draft. That said, the Pirates’ primary core of offensive playmakers remains intact.

Running back Keaton Mitchell will be one to watch in this game. The sophomore finished second in the AAC with 1,325 rushing yards on the season. The East Carolina passing attack is led by a pair of seniors in quarterback Holton Ahlers and 1,000-yard receiver, Isaiah Winstead. That tandem figures to thrive in a matchup against a CCU defense that allowed 266.5 passing yards per game to opponents.

Meanwhile, ECU was actually one of the roughly 25 teams who were worse at defending the pass than Coastal Carolina this season. In fact, the Pirates gave up the second-most passing yards per game (299.5) in all of college football. No wonder McCall is sticking around to play in the bowl game! The best value on the game total is long gone, but these two offenses certainly have enough firepower to push the final tally past 65 points.

OVER THE TOTAL will be our official college football betting Coastal Carolina vs East Carolina prediction for the Birmingham Bowl.

For what it’s worth, the ESPN Matchup Predictor gives East Carolina a 64.0% chance to win this game outright.

Bet: OVER 65 (-110 at BetOnline Sportsbook)

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