Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:30 AM EST.
Saturday, December 15th, 2018 – Raycom Camellia Bowl – Cramton Bowl – Mobile, AL
5:30 PM EST. Georgia Southern enters into the Raycom Camellia Bowl as one of the most improved teams in the country after they went 2-10 in 2017. A win here brings the Eagles to the coveted 10-win threshold and the market has been placing stock in that narrative along with the fact Georgia Southern was just one of two teams to beat the big dog of the Sun Belt, Appalachian State this season. Georgia Southern manhandled a ranked-Appalachian State in Statesboro on October 25th as an 11-point underdog. It is wins like this along with the fact that Georgia Southern owns one of the most unique option offenses in America that seemingly cannot be stopped (averaging 261.5 rushing yards per game) that gives Southern plenty of appeal here. They opened as a pick-em against the always scrappy Eastern Michigan Eagles and the market has responded to make the underdog the true value play here. EMU figures to be ready.
The Eagles are no stranger to the option offense. EMU has played Army in a home-and-home series over the last two years. The Black Knights have established themselves as the best in the business when it comes to running the option, as Army has compiled back-to-back 10 win seasons in both 2017 and 2018. Though EMU lost by 15 to the men from West Point, the Eagles were hanging with Army for most of the game. In fact, losing close games seems to be a motif that best defines the legacy of the Eagles over the last two seasons. This year in particular, Eastern Michigan lost three games by a margin of a field goal or less, two of which were settled in overtime against MAC Champion Northern Illinois and the then-defending Mountain West Champion San Diego State on the road. After qualifying for a bowl game in 2016 and losing a heartbreaker to Old Dominion in the Bahamas Bowl, the Chris Creighton-led bunch are delighted to be back in a bowl game and a win here snaps a 31-year bowl victory drought for the once widely-esteemed cupcake from Ypsilanti.
The market this time of year is different than it is during the regular season. Much like March Madness in the NCAA, when people only bet that sport for three weeks and try to get familiar with teams the night before it starts, a similar narrative happens in this sport. There is lots of uneducated money floating around and what we mean by that is many folks will be reading what the experts are saying and act accordingly. In that regard, Southern has the better resume on paper and the so-called experts are eating it up. After all, the Eagles have produced more NFL-caliber prospects, they have beaten and/or given trouble to Power Five opponents on their own field (Florida and Georgia), and they have the best win on paper this season. That’s all great information and a good reason to get behind the favorite only the oddsmakers did not overlook it when they opened the game as a pick-em. Had the Eagles not been snake-bitten so many times this season, we would likely see them favored here. Very simply, the price dictates the play.
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Eastern Michigan +140 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.80)