While I try to spread things around when wagering during the regular season in college football, when it comes to actually watching games, I usually focus on the Power 5. The best chance to get a look at teams from smaller conferences comes during bowl season, when those teams are often the only ones on TV at any given time. It is also cool to see matchups that would ordinarily never happen during the course of a regular season, so while some bowl games are routinely ignored, I think there is something intriguing about all of them. With the 2022 Birmingham Bowl, we have a matchup that promises to be a high-scoring game and one that I definitely have on my must watch list. The East Carolina Pirates and the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers will be locking horns on December 27 at 6:45 PM EST. East Carolina are currently pretty firm favorites, with the bookies having them in at -8. The point total for this one is at 61 ½, which tells you that some serious offense is expected here. With all that in mind, it’s time to look at both teams and how they stack up against each other so you can make your bets on the NCAA Football Bowl Odds.
Who is Playing in the Birmingham Bowl? | Costal Carolina Chanticleers vs East Carolina Pirates Betting Preview
East Carolina Pirates
Other than a stretch in the second half of the season where they reeled off 3 straight wins, the East Carolina Pirates had some difficulty staying consistent. Even in conference play, they struggled to get anything going, finishing down the American Conference standings at 4-4 and finishing 7-5 overall. They were, though, perhaps a little unfortunate not to finish the season with a better record, as 3 of their 5 losses were decided by 3 points or fewer. The offense certainly did their part in the regular season, averaging over 30 PPG, but the defense wasn’t quite as stout, surrendering 27 PPH, which tells the whole story of why so many of their games were tight at the end. The Pirates were a bit of a coin flip against the spread, going 7-5, while the O/U was at 6-6.
Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
It’s tough to know what sort of mindset teams head into their respective bowl games with, but I have the feeling that Coastal Carolina are going into this one with a bit of a chip on their shoulder. They ended the season at a very respectable 9-3, but they were soundly beaten by Troy in the Sun Belt Conference Championship Game. That is something that is sure to sting, which is why I think the Chanticleers want to close out the season on a more positive note, not to mention as double-digit winners on the year. It should be noted that they played one game fewer than most after their game against Virginia was canceled after tragedy struck the Cavaliers. Coastal Carolina lost both games after that. Overall, they went 4-7-1 ATS and 7-5 O/U.
Betting and Prediction
Like I mentioned earlier in this piece, I think there is a very good chance that we get a ton of offense in this one, so I like the OVER even though that number is on the higher end of the scale. While I think the Chanticleers can certainly hang in there for a long stretch, I think we will see the Pirates pull away in the 4th quarter, doing enough to win and cover.