College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Tulane vs. East Carolina: Lots of Value in Over

College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Tulane vs. East Carolina: Lots of Value in Over article feature image
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  • East Carolina hosts Tulane in an AAC game between two teams heading in opposite directions.
  • The Pirates are on a two-game winning streak while the Green Wave are attempting to snap their two-game losing streak.
  • Mike Ianniello previews the showdown and offers up his best bet.

Tulane vs. East Carolina Odds

Tulane Odds -3 (-110)
East Carolina Odds +3 (-110)
Moneyline -155 / +135
Over/Under 64.5 (-110 / -110)
Time 3:30 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

American Athletic Conference play will begin for Tulane and East Carolina in Greenville, North Carolina, on Saturday.

The Green Wave (1-3) played one of the hardest non-conference schedules in the country, featuring games against Oklahoma, Ole Miss and UAB.

East Carolina (2-2) dropped its first two games against Appalachian State and South Carolina before bouncing back to pick up wins against Marshall and Charleston Southern.

The Pirates lead this all-time series 11-6, but the Green Wave have won three straight games against ECU.

Where does the edge lie in this season’s matchup?


Tulane vs. East Carolina Betting Preview

Saturday, October 2
3:30 p.m. ET
ESPN+

Tulane Green Wave

Tulane Offense

The Green Wave offense took off in Week 3 last season when true freshman Michael Pratt took over as quarterback.

Pratt started the final nine games and threw for 1,806 yards with 20 touchdowns, the most for any true freshman in the country. He also added eight touchdowns rushing.

On top of the individual numbers, Tulane scored at least 30 points in every Pratt start last year.

Now in his second year, Pratt has tossed 10 touchdowns and two interceptions in the first four games. He’s thrown for multiple scores in every game this year and also has two total touchdowns with his legs.

Pratt has plenty of weapons to throw to, including wide receiver Duece Watts and tight end Tyrick James, who’s the team’s current leading receiver.

Running the ball has been an issue early for the Green Wave, as they’re averaging 155.7 yards per game on the ground and rank 78th in Rushing Success Rate.

Their lead back has been 220-pound bowling ball Cameron Carroll, who rumbled for 12 touchdowns last year but has started slow this season.


Tulane Defense

Last season, the Green Wave defense was dominant and generated pressure.

This year, they lead the American with 101 tackles for loss and 37 sacks. However, the team’s top two sack leaders, All-AAC defensive end Patrick Johnson and Cameron Sample, are both gone. In turn, the unit has struggled to turn up the heat without them.

After finishing 30th in Havoc rate and 20th in Pass Rush last year, Tulane’s defense is just 72nd in Havoc and 92nd in Pass Rush this season.

The rest of the defense has really taken a step back as well.

In 2020, the Wave finished 27th in Rushing Success and 33rd in Passing Success. This year, they’ve fallen to 71st in Rushing Success and 98th in Passing Success.

They allowed 707 yards of total offense and 61 points to Ole Miss. Even though Ole Miss is No. 12 and features one of the better offensive arsenals in the country, this Tulane unit still allowed the Rebels to do whatever they pleased.

Even if you take out the Ole Miss game, the defense is still allowing 365.7 yards of offense per game, which ranks 71st in the country.

Tulane is struggling to create Havoc and gives up a ton of big plays.

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East Carolina Pirates

East Carolina Offense

Holton Ahlers is in his fourth season as the ECU starting quarterback and has tossed 56 touchdowns and racked up 8,077 yards in his career for the Pirates.

Early this year, Ahlers has struggled with turnovers, throwing five interceptions along with his five touchdowns.

Tyler Snead was Ahlers’ go-to receiver last season and has been once again this year — although they’ve found more diversity in the attack. While Snead leads the team with 18 catches and 202 yards, seven different players have a receiving touchdown this year, including Ahlers.

The Pirates’ rushing attack was led by a pair of true freshmen last year in Rahjai Harris and Keaton Mitchell. They combined for 1,067 and six touchdowns.

Fast forward a year and they’ve continued to split carries. However, it’s been Mitchell taking over as the most productive back, as he’s averaging 7.8 yards per carry and is third in the American with 353 yards.

.@_KeatonMitchell has been @ECUPiratesFB's HOME RUN threat this season, scoring touchdowns of 6⃣3⃣, 8⃣8⃣ and 7⃣4⃣ yards through the first four weeks. #AmericanPow6r pic.twitter.com/asQYqEvSSK

— American Football (@American_FB) September 28, 2021

Appalachian State and South Carolina presented problems for the ECU offense, but they picked things up over the last two weeks, including putting up 561 total yards and 42 points against a very good Marshall defense.


East Carolina Defense

This unit got torched through the air last season, ranking 114th in Passing Success Rate on defense.

This year hasn’t been much better as it ranks 97th and has allowed 326.8 pass yards per game, the second-most in the American.

They do have a really good cornerback in Ja’Quan McMillian, though. He led the team with four interceptions last year and has three already this season, one of which he returned for a touchdown. McMillian also leads the team in tackles this year and has been their best defender.

Although nothing to write home about, East Carolina was better at defending the run last season, ranking 55th in Success Rate. This year, that has dropped down to 87th after the Pirates gave up over 200 yards on the ground to App State and Marshall.

The Pirates have given up way too many big plays, ranking 126th at defending Explosiveness. They’ve also allowed 27 plays from scrimmage of 20+ yards, with only five teams in the nation giving up more.


Tulane vs. East Carolina Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Tulane and East Carolina match up statistically:

Tulane Offense vs. East Carolina Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success
78
87
Line Yards
46
74
Pass Success
62
97
Pass Blocking**
103
117
Big Play
69
126
Havoc
75
59
Finishing Drives
22
60
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

East Carolina Offense vs. Tulane Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success
113
71
Line Yards
75
87
Pass Success
90
98
Pass Blocking**
112
92
Big Play
64
102
Havoc
99
72
Finishing Drives
113
23
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling
116
94
PFF Coverage
50
100
Middle 8
105
89
SP+ Special Teams
80
68
Plays per Minute
16
39
Rush Rate
50.% (95)
48.6% (102)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.


Tulane vs. East Carolina Betting Pick

This matchup has all of the makings of a really fun game, making it a great spot to play the over.

These two teams rank 97th and 98th in Passing Success Rate on defense. Both defenses will be tasked with facing a quarterback that has proven he can fill up a stat sheet in Ahlers and Pratt.

Each defense has struggled to keep the ball in front of them and they both give up a ton of big plays. Tulane ranks 102nd at preventing big plays and East Carolina sits 126th.

Both offenses like to run up-tempo, with each ranking in the top 40 in plays per minute. The Green Wave play especially fast at 16th in the country in pace.

If you need any more convincing, both teams rank outside of the top 90 in tackling this season, according to Pro Football Focus.

Good quarterbacks who run tempo against weak pass defenses that allow big plays and struggle to tackle?

Sign me up for over 64, and I would play it to 66.

Pick: Over 64 (Play to 66)

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