The East Carolina Pirates will host the Old Dominion Monarchs in an inter-conference tilt Saturday afternoon from Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. The Monarchs pulled off the huge 49-35 upset win against #13 Virginia Tech last week, and the Pirates fell 20-13 to USF in their previous action. These teams last met in 2013 in a game East Carolina won 52-38.
Monarchs Pull Off Shocking Upset Against #13 VA Tech
The Old Dominion Monarchs enter this contest riding a wave of momentum after mounting a stunning 49-35 upset win against #13 Virginia Tech last week in a game that had the Hokies favored by 27.5 points. Blake LaRussa put on a show, accumulating 495 passing yards with four touchdowns. The junior QB had only tallied 143 passing yards in two games prior to last week as the backup QB, and he now has 678 passing yards with a 5:0 TD to INT ratio on the season. Jeremy Cox came through with his best game of the season against VA Tech, notching 130 rushing yards. The senior RB didn’t do big damage in his first three games, and he is up to 253 rushing yards on the year. Watch for Jonathan Duhart in this one as he has been dangerous, racking up 502 receiving yards in four games which included 142 against the Hokies last week. The Monarchs struggled on the offensive side in their first three games which made their 49 point burst against Virginia Tech a shocking surprise.
The Old Dominion defense did surrender 600 total yards against Virginia Tech last week, and their defense has conceded big yards in all four games. Their rush and pass defense rank near the bottom of the country. The Monarchs were only averaging 18.3 points before their upset win against Virginia Tech, and they are now averaging 26 points on the season, ranking them 90th overall. Old Dominion is allowing an average of 35.8 points, pegging them down at 109th in the country.
Pirates Competitive in Loss to USF in AAC Opener
The East Carolina Pirates were very competitive in their 20-13 road loss to USF in their AAC opener last Saturday to fall to 1-2 on the season. Reid Herring did tally 253 passing yards, however, he only completed 44% of his passes, and he tossed one INT. The sophomore QB has attempted a whopping 145 passes in three games, and he has 852 passing yards with a 3:3 TD to INT ratio on the season. Herring is dealing with a sore ankle, however he will start in this one. Pirates’ leading rusher Anthony Scott added 39 rushing yards on 11 carries last week. The senior RB has tallied 146 rushing yards with an average of only 3.6 yards per carry on the year. Trevon Brown continued his strong play last week, leading the Pirates with 99 receiving yards, and he now has 246 receiving yards on the season. While the Pirates’ offense only managed 19 points against USF, they had possession for a whopping 38 minutes. Their passing offense currently ranks 30th in the country.
The ECU defense played well last week, limiting a potent USF offense to only 296 total yards. They limited North Carolina to only 19 points two weeks ago as well, and overall they appear to have improved defensively after a rough 2017 season. The Pirates are currently averaging 25.7 points, ranking them 92nd overall. ECU is allowing an average of 22.3 points, pegging them 48th in the country.
The East Carolina Pirates are:
- 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games against a team with a losing record.
- 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up loss.
- 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games on grass.
The Old Dominion Monarchs are:
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
- 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games against a team with a losing record.
- 4-13 ATS in their last 17 non-conference games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I am taking East Carolina in this contest. While Old Dominion did notch the upset win against VA Tech last week, this Monarchs team lost 52-10 to the Liberty Flames in week one, and they rank near the bottom of the country in most defensive categories. The Pirates feature a potent passing game that ranks 30th in the country with an average of 286 passing yards per game, and the Old Dominion pass defense is squandering an average of 284 passing yards, placing them down at 111th overall. Furthermore, East Carolina has played strong defense, holding a strong USF offense to only 20 points and 296 total yards last week. Despite scoring 49 points last week, Old Dominion still ranks down at 90th in the country with an average of 26 points per game.
Prediction: East Carolina Pirates -5
Full-Game Total Pick
The over is a solid play in this contest. Old Dominion is surrendering an average of 513 total yards per game, and they have allowed an average of 40 points in their two road games this season, plus the over is 4-1 in their last five road games. Also, Old Dominion did somehow manage 49 points against the Hokies last week, and I expect them to bring their offensive momentum into this one with a decent performance. The over is 11-4 in ECU’s last 15 September games, and it should convert again in this one.
Prediction: Over 64.5
Full-Game Prop Bet
The under on the Old Dominion team total is a strong option. The Pirates have tallied 8 sacks in their three games this season, and I expect them to make life difficult for Monarchs QB Blake LaRussa. Furthermore, Old Dominion only has a 55% pass completion percentage on the year, and they are only averaging 3.8 yards per carry on the ground. The Pirates were able to hold USF to 20 points on the road last week, and they should be able to neutralize Old Dominion.
Prediction: Old Dominion Team Total: Under
Half-Time Side Pick
I am taking East Carolina on the halftime line as well. East Carolina is averaging a solid 16 points in the first half this season, and 19 points in the first half in their two home games this season. I am confident the Pirates can win this game by more than a touchdown, so I am more than willing to take them on the smaller halftime line.
Prediction: East Carolina Pirates -4
Half-Time Total Bet
The over on the halftime total is also a strong option. Both teams are averaging more points in the first half compared to the second half this season. Furthermore, the Pirates are allowing an average of 15 points in the first half, compared to only seven points in the second half.
Prediction: Over 30.5
Half-Time Prop Prediction
I am taking East Carolina to score first in the form of a touchdown. Old Dominion has allowed their opponent to score a touchdown as the first score of the game in both of their road games this season. The Pirates were able to strike with a game-opening touchdown at USF last week, and I am confident they can score first on their home field against a weaker opponent.
Prediction: First Score of Game: East Carolina Touchdown +150