By Ryan Mayer
The college football bowl season is upon us. With 40 games spread out over the next two weeks there is plenty of opportunity to add a little bonus to your holiday gift pile. Our bowl picks series will let you know who we think will come out on top against the spread. All lines and totals courtesy of Sportsline/Bookmaker.eu. Find all our picks here.
Popeyes Bahamas Bowl
Eastern Michigan vs. Old Dominion
Spread: Old Dominion -4
Spread: This is a great story on both sides. The Eagles haven’t been to a bowl since 1987, whereas the Monarchs are making their first bowl appearance in just their 3rd year of existence as an FBS program. Both teams have been very good ATS this season with EMU going 9-3 and ODU going 8-3-1. That’s been good news for bettors this season, but does us little help here when looking for an edge. The Eagles top rusher, Ian Eriksen, is dealing with an as yet unspecified injury, which hurts the Eagles as the next best rusher has just 369 yards on 69 carries. The Monarchs on the other hand, got good news with QB David Washington expected to play in this game despite a knee injury.
The Eagles have gone just 2-4 since a 5-1 start to the season, while the Monarchs rolled through their final six games winning five of six including their final five. That does come with a caveat though. The Monarchs opponents in the five-game winning streak? Record of 20-40. The Eagles opponents over their last six? 42-32, including a 14 point loss to Western Michigan in which the Eagles were down just seven with 5:16 left in the third quarter. The Eagles may lose, but I think they’ll keep it close. Eastern Michigan +4
Total: These offenses have been pretty prolific during the course of the year combining to average 66 points per game. That, combined with a pair of defenses that aren’t exactly stingy, means we could be in for a shootout. Also, just for fun, the Bahamas Bowl has been a shootout in each of its first two years of existence. 2014: WKU 49 Central Michigan 48. 2015: Western Michigan 45 Middle Tennessee 31. Over 64.
Ryan Mayer is an Associate Producer for CBS Local Sports. Ryan lives in NY but comes from Philly and life as a Philly sports fan has made him cynical. Anywhere sports are being discussed, that’s where you’ll find him.