St. Francis-PA Red Flash (0-0) vs. Eastern Michigan Eagles (0-0)
September 3, 2021 7:00 pm EDT
The Line: Eastern Michigan Eagles -30.5
(Click here for latest betting odds)
The Eastern Michigan Eagles meet Saint Francis Red Flash Friday in week 1 college football action from Rynearson Stadium. This will be the first on-field activity of the season for both teams. Saint Francis saw their 2020 campaign cancelled and will be eager to get back to the gridiron again. As for the Eagles, they went 2-4 last fall, finishing one spot out of the basement in the division. Check back all season long for free college football picks at Sports Chat Place.
Saint Francis had a full slate of games scheduled last fall, but the season ended up being cancelled. This will be the team’s first outing since November 23, 2019. In that 2019 season, the Flash finished 6-6 with a 3-4 NEC record. That left the team in fifth place in the standings.
Moving on to 2021, Saint Francis will retain head coach Chris Villarrial in his 11th season. He’ll be joined once again by second-year OC Marco Pecora and new defensive coordinator Scott Lewis.
Over on the Eastern Michigan side, they managed to get in a half-dozen conference games last fall. The Eagles went 2-4 in those matchups, landing one spot out of the basement in the West Division and just ahead of Northern Illinois (0-6).
The Eagles had something of a shaky defense last year, but the offense was good enough to keep games close. Eastern Michigan averaged 400 yards and 33 points per game last season despite a lagging ground game.
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The Eagles are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 non-conference games and 5-2 ATS in their last seven overall. EMU is 5-2 ATS in their last seven on grass as well.
The over is 3-0-1 in Eastern Michigan’s last four non-conference games and 4-1 in their last five overall. The under is 6-1 in the Eagles’ last seven Friday games and 9-3-1 in their last 13 in September.
PICK: I’m going to take Eastern Michigan in this one, but probably staying away from the team until we see them on the field for a couple of weeks. The good news for the Eagles is that the vast majority of their starters are back on offense; that experience will certainly help them on the field. Look for Eastern Michigan to push their ground game as well. The Eagles will build that facet around Darius Boone, who was the leading rusher on 254 yards last season. With some tweaking we could see a big step forward for the EMU offense in 2021.