The Beef O’Brady’s Bowl from Tropicana Field in Tampa, FL is a Monday Afternoon (2:00 pm ET) affair featuring the Ohio Bobcats (7-5) out of the Mid-American Conference taking on the East Carolina Pirates (9-3) out of Conference USA. The Bobcats blew out UMass 51-23 in their season finale, but lost 3 of their last 4 games to close the season after beginning the year with a 4-1 start. East Carolina was smoked by Marshall 59-28 to close the regular season, but the Pirates had won 5 consecutive games prior to that. Ohio U is making their 5th consecutive bowl game appearance under Head Coach Frank Solich and has bowl wins in each of the last 2 seasons. ECU will be making their 19th bowl appearance overall.
Ohio ranks 87th among FBS teams in total offense with 374.8 yards per game and 71st in scoring offense with 28 points per game scored. Veteran quarterback Tyler Tettleton has thrown for 2,623 yards with 20 TDs and 9 INTs. Beau Blankenship is the Bobcats’ top rusher with 844 yards (4.7 YPC) and 5 TDs, while Donte Foster (63 receptions, 858 yards, 6 TDs) and Chase Cochran (32 receptions, 656 yards, 4 TDs) are the leading receivers. Ohio ranks 54th nationally in total defense with 392.3 YPG allowed and 64th in scoring defense with 26.7 PPG allowed.
East Carolina ranks 30th among FBS teams in total offense with 459.8 yards per game and 10th in scoring offense with an average of 40.4 points per game. Quarterback Shane Carden threw for 3,866 yards with 32 TDs and 10 INTs for ECU, while running back Vintavious Cooper ran for 995 yards and 11 scores. Wide receiver Justin Hardy is the Pirates’ top receiving threat with 105 receptions for 1,218 yards and 8 TDs. ECU ranks 30th nationally in total defense with 363.3 YPG allowed and 51st in scoring defense with 25.2 PPG allowed.
Ohio vs. East Carolina Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Ohio Bobcats +14
@ East Carolina Pirates -14
Over 62 (-110)
Under 62 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Ohio vs East Carolina Pick
The favorite is 4-1 ATS in the 5 previous Beef O’Brady bowl games. East Carolina is 6-6 ATS this season while Ohio U is also 6-6 ATS. The OVER is 6-1 in ECU’s last 7 games.
East Carolina owns wins over in-state rivals North Carolina (55-31 in week 5) and N.C. State (42-28 in week 13) of the ACC, and should be able to bounce back from a disappointing loss to Marshall to end the regular season. Ohio U did not fare well against the bowl teams on its schedule including Louisville (49-7 loss in week 1), Buffalo (30-3 in week 11) and Bowling Green (49-0 in week 12); and that does not bode well for them in this game. They are playing perhaps the most explosive offensive offense they have seen this year, and the Bobcats are vulnerable to big plays, which ECU is very capable of making with Carden, Hardy and Cooper all explosive players. East Carolina has played well on defense this season with the exception of their stinker in the season finale against Marshall, and that should again be the case in this game. Expect Carden to have a big day in the climate-controlled conditions at Tropicana Field and for ECU to shut down an Ohio U offense that has not shown up in their games against quality defenses this year. Take East Carolina and lay the points here.