BYU vs East Carolina Odds, Picks | How to Bet Friday Night’s College Football Showdown

BYU vs East Carolina Odds, Picks | How to Bet Friday Night’s College Football Showdown article feature image

Patrick Smith/Getty Images. Pictured: East Carolina’s Holton Ahlers.

BYU vs East Carolina Odds

Friday, Oct. 28
8 p.m. ET
BYU Odds
-115o / -110u
East Carolina Odds
-115o / -110u
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The BYU Cougars look to snap their three-game losing streak when they welcome the East Carolina Pirates to Provo on Friday Night.

East Carolina has been up and down this season but picked up a season-defining win last Saturday in Greenville, beating UCF, 34-13. The Pirates are now 5-3 on the season and need just one win to get to bowl eligibility.

They have Cincinnati and Houston on deck, so if they lose this game, it may come down to the final week against Temple to see if the Pirates will be going bowling or not.

BYU came into the season with high hopes and expectations after being ranked in the preseason top 25. However, it seems the Cougars have hit rock bottom after losing to Liberty in Lynchburg, 41-13.

The defense has been terrible, the offense has struggled to move the ball, and now it's looking like bowl eligibility is no longer a guarantee.

BYU Cougars

Cougars Offense

Quarterback Jaren Hall has really struggled for BYU at quarterback this season. He's coming off of a game against Liberty in which he averaged just 5.5 yards per attempt and posted a 62.1 PFF passing grade.

That's kind of been indicative of his season as a whole.

Hall only has a 74.8 PFF passing grade with 14 Big-Time Throws and nine Turnover-Worthy Plays. Additionally, his adjusted completion percentage sits at 73%, which is slightly below the national average.

For the season, he has BYU ranked 45th in Passing Success Rate and Explosiveness.

BYU's rushing attack is incredibly reliant on explosive plays, as it's 106th in Rushing Success Rate but fifth in the nation in Rushing Explosiveness. As a result, going up against a top-30 front seven is not a recipe for success on the ground for the Cougars.

Cougars Defense

The Cougars have lost three straight games because their defense is so poor. BYU allows 5.8 yards per play (95th in FBS) while ranking 114th in Success Rate Allowed, 121st in EPA/Play, and most importantly, 130th in Finishing Drives Allowed (only Arizona is worse).

I wish I could tell you there's one unit on the defense to blame, but everyone is to blame.

Arkansas and Liberty averaged over 6.0 yards per carry against BYU's front seven the past two weeks, which isn't really surprising considering BYU sits 123rd in Defensive Line Yards, 113th in Stuff Rate, 107th in EPA/Rush and 122nd in PFF run defense grade.

The BYU secondary hasn't been much better. The Cougars are 112th in Passing Success Rate Allowed, 94th in Passing Explosiveness Allowed and 114th in EPA/Pass Allowed.

Consequently, I have a hard time seeing how they are going to slow down this East Carolina offense.

East Carolina Pirates

Pirates Offense

The Pirates offense has been really strong this season. East Carolina is averaging 6.2 yards per play (26th in FBS) while ranking 30th in EPA/Play and 42nd in Success Rate.

Quarterback Holton Ahlers is having the best season of his career by far in 2022. He's averaging 8.1 yards per attempt with an 84.0 PFF passing grade, and most importantly, has only eight Turnover-Worthy Plays compared to 13 Big-Time Throws.

He torched Memphis and UCF in his last two games, so what do you think he's going to do to BYU's defense?

Image via PFF

East Carolina has an outstanding running back in Keaton Mitchell, who is having an unreal season. He's posted eight touchdowns, an 88.4 PFF rushing grade and 26 runs of at least 10 yards, all on 6.8 yards per carry.

He should have a field day against this BYU front seven.

Keaton Mitchell with the dagger 37 yard TD run for #ECU!

— 𝗙𝗢𝗟𝗟𝗢𝗪 @𝗙𝗧𝗕𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗱𝟳 (@FTBeard7) October 23, 2022

Pirates Defense

Looking at this East Carolina defense on paper, you'd would think it's been struggling considering it's allowing 5.8 yards per play, which is 98th in the country. However, it's been incredible in the most important defensive metric: Finishing Drives.

The Pirates have allowed their opponents to drive inside their 40-yard line 30 times, but they're allowing only 3.26 points per opportunity, which is the 25th-best mark in college football.

The East Carolina front seven has been incredibly stout, and it's going to be very difficult for BYU to establish a consistent rushing attack.

The Pirates are top-30 in the country in Power Success Rate Allowed, Stuff Rate, and Defensive Line Yards. Not to mention, East Carolina is also 32nd in EPA/Rush Allowed and is only allowing 3.3 yards per carry this season.

The East Carolina secondary does struggle from a Success Rate standpoint, but it doesn't give up a lot of big plays. The Pirates rank 28th in Passing Explosiveness Allowed, and Hall's PFF passing grade on throws under 10 yards is only 67.8.

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BYU vs East Carolina Matchup Analysis

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

East Carolina Offense vs. BYU Defense
Rush Success47105
Line Yards120122
Pass Success40112
Pass Blocking**91122
Finishing Drives61130
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

BYU Offense vs. East Carolina Defense
Rush Success10636
Line Yards8528
Pass Success45119
Pass Blocking**1129
Finishing Drives9325
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling5074
PFF Coverage7686
SP+ Special Teams127110
Seconds per Play26.2 (66)25.7 (46)
Rush Rate46.8% (102)46.5% (105)
Data via (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

BYU vs East Carolina Betting Pick

There's no reason why BYU should be favored over East Carolina right now given how bad the Cougars defense is.

If Hall and the Cougars can't move the ball consistently through the air, then they're in trouble with their rushing attack being incredibly reliant on explosive plays.

I have East Carolina projected as a 6.4-point favorite, so I love the value on the Pirates at +3.5.

Pick: East Carolina +3.5

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