Coastal Carolina vs

East Carolina

at Birmingham AL
Tue, Dec 27
3:45 PM Pacific
Rotation: 241
Odds: East Carolina -7, Total: 63.5

Game Analysis

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Lean – Over (63.5) – East Carolina (-7)  37   Coastal Carolina  32

Coastal Carolina’s star All-American caliber quarterback Grayson McCall announced that he’d be transferring, and the line shot up to 13 points. He then added that he would stay to play in this bowl game before entering the transfer portal. When I saw that I texted out an unofficial Strong Opinion on Coastal Carolina +13, as some books still had the line up while others dropped it down to +10 initially and some took it off the board. Based on some emails, it seems like a good number of you were able to grab a +13 but I obviously can’t count that as an official play given the circumstances.

The line has now settled back down to 7 points, which is a fair number based on my calculations, but I do see value on the over in this game.

McCall had a less talented supporting cast this season, but he still completed 69% of his passes for 8.3 yards per pass play while throwing just 2 interceptions in 10 games. The Chanticleers managed just 33 total points in the 2 games that he missed and having McCall behind center makes Coastal’s offense 0.4 yards per play better than average. However, I think they’ll be even better in this game, as the Chanticleers tend to throw the ball more in competitive games and running a lot against ECU is a foolish thing to do given that the Pirates’ defense is 0.6 yprp better than average against the run while being 1.7 yppp worse than average defending the pass (7.9 yppp allowed to quarterbacks that would combine to average only 6.2 yppp against an average defense). East Carolina’s opponents have thrown the ball 5% more often against the Pirates than they have overall, and I expect Coastal to do the same. Throwing more will boost the Chanticleers’ attack given that they are 0.4 yards per rushing play worse than average while McCall is 1.4 yards per pass play better than average.

East Carolina’s offense is also better than their season rating of +0.7 yppl, as the Pirates got a boost mid-season when RB Rahjai Harris got injured. Harris’ 3.55 yards per run on 67 runs through 5 games was dragging down a rushing attack that should have been featuring more of Keaton Mitchell, who ran for 1325 yards on just 179 carries (7.4 ypr!) in just 11 games. With Mitchell getting the ball more often the Pirates’ run attack rates at 0.9 yards per rushing play better than average and veteran quarterback Holton Ahlers has had a strong season as well (7.4 yppp against teams that would allow 6.6 yppp with just 5 interceptions). Coastal Carolina’s run defense was 0.2 yprp worse than average for the season but I rate them at 0.2 yprp better than average after adjusting for the outlier against Old Dominion (319 yards at 10.6 yprp allowed). The Chanticleers are dreadful against the pass, allowing 7.9 yppp to quarterbacks that would combine to average only 5.9 yppp against an average defense, and their opponents have also thrown the ball 5% more than they normally do against Coastal Carolina. ECU probably won’t throw it that much more, but the low winds usually lead to more passing and I do expect the Pirates to throw the ball a bit more than normal.

Both teams are without their starting centers, but Coastal Carolina will have to make do without DE Josaiah Stewart, who has 10 total tackles for loss. The net of those transfers  is 0.8 points against Coastal and to the under but the math still projects 69 total points in this game (and favors ECU by 7 points). East Carolina does apply to a negative 2-25 ATS bowl situation but that’s not enough to get me leaning with the Chanticleers. I think the best play in this game is the over, which is a lean at 64.5 points or less.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Coastal Carolina
  • East Carolina


  • Run Plays 36.3 30.8
  • Run Yards 180.3 152.7
  • YPRP 5.0 5.0


  • Pass Comp 18.7 19.1
  • Pass Att 28.0 30.1
  • Comp % 66.7% 63.4%
  • Pass Yards 253.1 279.7
  • Sacks 2.2 3.0
  • Sack Yards 12.3 19.7
  • Sack % 7.2% 9.1%
  • Pass Plays 30.2 33.1
  • Net Pass Yards 240.8 260.0
  • YPPP 8.0 7.9


  • Total Plays 66.5 63.8
  • Total Yards 421.1 412.7
  • YPPL 6.3 6.5


  • Int 0.4 0.8
  • Int % 1.5% 2.5%
  • Fumbles 0.8 1.1
  • Turnovers 1.2 1.8
  • Points 29.1 30.1
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