Camellia Bowl Pick

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Camellia Bowl


Eastern Michigan


Georgia Southern


The most exciting thing about the Camellia Bowl is that neither of these teams played in a bowl last season and Georgia Southern actually finished with only two wins. That’s why oddsmakers were unsure of where to put this Game with the Georgia Southern Eagles a -1 point favorite with an over/under of 48 a week before the Game in Montgomery, Alabama.

In the battle of Eagles, it’s hard to say which team had the better season, though Georgia Southern smashed its 5.5 over/under with nine wins. Eastern Michigan, who also hit its over, started slow due to a difficult Schedule, but was never really blown out and got a huge win at Purdue in its second Game. It won five of its last six, but only one of those teams had a winning record.

Then again, it wasn’t much different for Georgia Southern as none of its wins stood out except against Appalachian State, the Sun Belt winner. The 19-point loss at UL Monroe was surprising, but that was their only bad Game of the season. 

The biggest thing for EMU is that it gets a couple extra weeks to prepare for the triple option, which it already struggled with more than a month ago in the 37-22 loss to Army. Sure, the Knights may be a little better than GSU, but they ran for 289 yards and controlled that Game. GSU isn’t at those same levels, but it still ran for 260 yards per Game behind quarterback Shai Werts (829 yards, 13 TDs) and Wesley Fields (959 yards, 9 TDs). Just as good is that Werts didn’t throw an interception on his 109 pass attempts, which is huge in close Games.

The problem is that Eastern had a great pass defense, yet allowed 192 rushing yards per Game on 4.4 yards per carry. All signs point to Werts and Fields having success in this Game, so it’ll be up to the EMU offense to stay competitive, something it couldn’t do against a stout Army defense. GSU has decent defensive numbers, giving up just 21.6 points per Game, but that’s what happens when you play in the Sun Belt. While it held Arkansas State and App. State in check, it was torched by UL Monroe and Troy late in the season.

The problem is that Eastern has won most of its Games through defense this season, scoring no more than 28 points in the final three Games against bad MAC teams. Quarterback Tyler Wiegers was fine with 11 touchdowns and three interceptions, but 7.15 yards per attempt is an issue and he didn’t throw for more than 150 yards in the last three Games. Part of that is because the running Game picked up with the return of Ian Eriksen (337 yards) after Shaq Vann (590 yards) led the team most of the season. Of course, the Eagles still managed just 3.8 yards per carry as a team and if they are down, that may not be enough against a defense allowing 3.9 yards per carry.

The GSU Eagles are 9-3 ATS this season and have covered in their last Four out of conference, but haven’t covered in their last six on field turf. The EMU Eagles are 14-3 ATS in their last 17 non-Conference Games and 14-5 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.

Our Pick – Georgia Southern pk

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