The teams might share Carolina in their names but there is little history to speak of between the teams. With no track record between the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers and East Carolina Pirates, it is going to be hard to project how the Birmingham Bowl will play out.
For just the second time in the last six matchups, there will not be a ranked team taking part in the Birmingham Bowl.
Four of the last five Birmingham Bowls have finished as one-score games, with American Athletic Conference teams winning four of those contests. East Carolina has dropped four of its last five bowls so something will have to give in the Tuesday night game (6:45 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Defensive coordinator Chad Staggs will coach Coastal Carolina in the game after Jamey Chadwell took the job at Liberty. Coastal Carolina hired North Carolina State offensive coordinator. However, Beck said he will not coach in the game.
The total opened at 62½ but it didn’t take long for that number to change with money coming in on the over and it is now at 65. The line opened at 6½ according to the college football odds and is in the 7-8 point range in favor of East Carolina.
Below, we have four proposition bets ahead of this game, highlighting some key players in both camps.
Let’s check the latest college football odds, stats, injury reports, and college football lines for Coastal Carolina vs East Carolina. We’ve plenty of Birmingham Bowl predictions and picks for you to consider.
NCAAF: East Carolina vs Coastal Carolina Props
- Coastal Carolina to score first (+110)
- The first score of the game to be a field goal (+250)
- Teams to combine for 41-50 points (+550)
- Coastal Carolina to lead by 1-6 points after one quarter (+700)
Chanticleers Ready to Strike First
When looking at the way things played out at East Carolina, the Pirates were not too bothered when falling behind early.
East Carolina had a better record (4-1) when the opposing team scored first than when the Pirates opened the scoring (3-4).
Coastal Carolina was a mediocre 2-2 when falling behind early.
It won’t be surprising to see the Pirates needing to play from behind once again.
- Pick: Coastal Carolina to score first (+110)
Getting Their Kicks
Good luck finding another bowl game featuring two teams where the kickers were called upon earlier than in the Birmingham Bowl.
A field goal accounted for the first points four times in Coastal Carolina’s first 12 games, with the opposing team making a field goal to open the scoring three times.
Those numbers pale in comparison to what happened with the Pirates in 2022.
Seven times, the first points came on a field goal, with of those kicks coming from East Carolina’s Andrew Conrad or Owen Daffer.
Coastal Carolina was tied for 12th out of 14 Sun Belt teams with 12 attempted field goals while East Carolina was seventh out of 11 teams in the American Athletic Conference in field goal tries. Even with those numbers, it might be worth taking a shot on the first points in the game coming on a field goal.
- Pick: The first score of the game to be a field goal (+250)
Can Defenses Offer Some Resistance?
There are some projections of both teams scoring 30 points. Some of that has to do with East Carolina engaging in a wild 49-46 affair with Temple in the final game of the regular season.
Add in the fact that in the 2021 Cure Bowl, Coastal Carolina outscored Northern Illinois 47-41.
With quarterbacks Holton Ahlers of East Carolina and Grayson McCall of Coastal Carolina expected to play, both teams figure to be airing things out.
— Coastal Football (@CoastalFootball) December 20, 2022
With a Moneyline of +550 according to the Las Vegas odds for the game to land between 41-50 points, compared to +320 for a game to finish with 51-60 points and +275 for 61-70 points, it might be worth going with a lower-scoring game than anticipated.
- Pick: Teams to combine for 41-50 points (+550).
Early Action for Coastal Carolina
While the schedules played by the Chanticleers and Pirates are very different, it is hard to ignore the fact that Coastal Carolina is one of the better teams when it comes to putting points in the first quarter.
The Chanticleers average 9.8 points in the first quarter while giving up just 5.1 points. East Carolina’s numbers aren’t terrible with 5.42 points scored and 4.8 allowed.
A smart way to go would be to project Coastal Carolina to head to the second quarter with a lead. While it will be tempting to take a flier on the +1000 price according to the sportsbook for the Chanticleers to be up by 7-12 points, playing it a little safer and going with a 1-6 point edge for the Chanticleers after one quarter.
- Pick: Coastal Carolina to lead by 1-6 points after one quarter (+700)