East Carolina Pirates vs. Florida Gators Point Spread

Birmingham Bowl Betting Odds

Point Spread Line: Florida -7
Moneyline: Pirates +248 /Gators -270
Over/Under: 56.5

Time: 12 PM EST Saturday January 3, 2015 on ESPN / WatchESPN

Birmingham Bowl Preview
East Carolina Pirates (9-4) vs. Florida Gators (6-5)

While Florida is no stranger to playing games after the New Year they are usually the bigger bowl games. Still, a bowl game is a bowl game and they look to end their season with a winning record facing East Carolina. The Gators played a much, much tougher schedule than the Pirates and they are the 7-point betting favorite.

While the Pirates are the underdogs they have one of the best offenses in the nation. They rank 2nd in the nation in passing yards per game, 5th in total yards, per game, and 14th in points per game. That offense will be going up against a Florida defense that ranks 20th in the nation.

Obviously, Florida was in a much tougher conference paying in the SEC, but both they and ECU had 1 win over a top 25 teams on the season.

Outside of the SEC Florida ranked up an average of 542.5 yards per game in their first 2 non-conference games and then narrowly lost to a top 5 Florida State team in their season finale.

In their last games to end the regular season Florida lost to Florida State 24-19 and East Carolina lost to Central Florida 32-20.

East Carolina is 5-7 ATS and they have an Over/Under record of 6-6 and Florida is 6-5 ATS and they have an Over/Under record of 8-3.

East Carolina QB Shane Carden has the 2nd most passing yards in the nation this season and his main target is 3rd team All American Justin Hardy (110 rec 1,334 yards and 9 TD) Still, Florida and their 23rd ranked passing defense still has to be wary about the duo of Cam Worthy and Isaiah Jones, who each had over 765 receiving yards.

ECU is, pretty much, all about the pass and while RB Breon Allen had 869 rushing yards this season he really struggled in the last 2 games of the season. It may be tough for him to have a big game facing a Gators' run D that ranks 13th in the nation.

Florida QB Treon Harris is a question mark for this game after a recent arrest, but the Gators only rank 106th in the nation in passing yards per game, as their rushing offense, which ranks 43rd, is key. Matt Jones led the Gators in rushing yards this season, but has struggled in the last 3 games and 2nd leading rusher Kelvin Taylor has failed to average over 4 yards per carry in his last 2 games.

East Carolina ranks 9th in the nation in run defense, but only 104ht in pass defense, so whoever is under center for Florida may get the green light to air it out.

East Carolina Pirates vs. Florida Gators Betting Trends

East Carolina is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games, 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games overall, and they have an Over record of 9-4 in their last 13 games facing a team with a winning record.

Florida is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall, 10-4 ATS in their last 14 neutral site games, and they have an Over record of 8-3 in their last 11 games.

Free Point Spread Pick

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