They say there are no locks in sports betting, but it’s a guarantee that a team nicknamed the Eagles will emerge victorious from Saturday’s Camellia Bowl between Georgia Southern and Eastern Michigan from Montgomery, Ala.
It’s the first-ever meeting between Georgia Southern and Eastern Michigan. Georgia Southern used to be an FCS/I-AA powerhouse and has only been an FBS program in the Sun Belt Conference since 2014. It’s the second bowl trip for the program. It won the 2015 GoDaddy Bowl over Bowling Green 58-27.
Camellia Bowl Betting Analysis
Like Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan is from the Mid-American Conference. It’s the third-all-time bowl appearance for these Eagles. They won the 1987 California Bowl and lost the 2016 Bahamas Bowl. It’s EMU’s first game vs. a Sun Belt team in a bowl. Georgia Southern is 2-1 all-time against current members of the MAC, with the other two games coming against Western Michigan.
On the race to 10 points, Georgia Southern is a -125 Sports Interaction favourite with EMU at -116 – those are the same odds for each school to score first overall. The second quarter is favoured as the highest-scoring quarter are +175. The leader for winning margin is Georgia Southern by 1-5 points at +275. EMU by the same is +350.
Georgia Southern Eagles
The Eagles are looking to win 10 games for the first time as an FBS program. They had one of the nation’s biggest turnarounds from 2017 when they were 2-10. Current coach Chad Lunsford took over midway through last season when Georgia Southern started 0-6. What Lunsford’s team does is excel at the turnover battle. It has just five giveaways this year, which would be an NCAA record at the FBS level. The current mark of eight is held by a handful of schools.
On the flip side, Georgia Southern has forced at least one turnover in 15 consecutive games. This is a very run-heavy, option team. QB Shai Werts attempted only 109 passes on the season, completing 65 for 954 yards, 10 scores and no picks. He’s the second-leading rusher with 829 yards and leads with 13 TDs. Georgia Southern was one of the best ATS teams in the nation at 9-3 ATS.
Eastern Michigan Eagles
EMU improved from 5-7 in 2017 to 7-5 this year under fifth-year coach Chris Creighton. It had one of the more unlikely victories of the year, winning at Big Ten school Purdue 20-19 on Sept. 8. The Eagles closed the season winning five of six, with the loss out-of-conference to a good Army program (which like Georgia Southern runs the option).
Eastern was one of the MAC’s top defensive teams. It allowed just 22 points per game, best for the school since 1993. Eastern surrendered just 352.9 total yards per game, which was Top 35 nationally. The Eagles also forced 24 turnovers. Defensive end Maxx Crosby had 7.5 sacks and forced five fumbles, tied for second nationally. EMU was 7-5 ATS on the year.