Eastern Michigan vs. Old Dominion - 9/5/15 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Old Dominion Monarchs (6-6) at Eastern Michigan Eagles (2-10)
College Football: Saturday, September 5, 2015 at 3:30 pm (Rynearson Stadium)
The Line: Eastern Michigan Eagles +7 -- Over/Under: 65.5 See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN 3
The Old Dominion Monarchs will travel to Rynearson Stadium to take on the Eastern Michigan Eagles as both teams will kick off their 2015 seasons.
The Old Dominion Monarchs and coach Bobby Wilder exceeded expectations in their first season in Conference USA finishing 4-4 in conference play and a 6-6 overall record. Wilder will break a new QB this season as the Monarchs no longer will have Taylor Heinicke who finished last season with a 63.2 completion %, 3476 yds, and 30 TD’s. Looking to replace Heinicke will be incoming freshman Shuler Bentley, who Coach Wilder thinks could be a good as Heinicke who was a Walter Payton Award winner while ODU was still in the FCS. ODU has some talented playmakers returning on offensive in RB Ray Lawry and WR and Zack Pascal. For ODU to continue to improve they’ll need to get better on the defensive side of the ball as they were ranked as one of the worst defensive units last year giving up 38 ppg. ODU was especially bad against the run as they allowed 225.5 rushing years per game. ODU’s defense is only returning 5 defensive starters this season and leading the defensive will be LB TJ Ricks and DE Poncho Barnwell. ODU wasn’t invited to a bowl game last year but as they should be a strong team against this season and have a favorable schedule, it won’t be shocking to see the Monarchs in the first bowl game at the end of the season.
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Eastern Michigan has long been at the bottom of the MAC standing by year end and although they are still currently in transition under second year head coach Chris Creighton, things are starting to look up for the Eagles. EMU finished with a 2-10 overall record and a 1-7 conference record but did give NIU a run for their money last year and was able to pull off an upset against Buffalo. Leading the way for the Eagles offensive will be QB Reggie Bell (57.1 comp %, 1297 yds, 9 TD and 8 Int) and Dustin Creel. EMU’s defensive was absolutely brutal last year as they were ranked last in the MAC allowing almost 500 ypg and had a TO margin of -18. Although the defensive was quite bad last year, they are returning 8 defensive starters including T Pat O’Connor (1st Team All-Mac) and LB Great IBE who is arguably one of the best LB’s in the MAC. EMU still has a lot of question marks on offensive and although the defensive should be better, EMU is still a year or two away of becoming relevant in the MAC.
The Monarchs are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games overall and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games. The Eagles are 18-37 ATS in their last 55 home games and 8-21 ATS in their last 29 games overall.
ODU is going to be a solid team this year and although opening the road with a freshman quarterback, I just don’t see EMU going to be able to hang around in this one. These defenses should be better than last year so I’m staying away from the O/U in this one but I feel that ODU will pull away late in this one and cover this spread. Take ODU to cover.