James Madison vs Coastal Carolina Prediction, Odds, Pick: 2 Picks for Sun Belt Clash
Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images. Pictured: James Madison’s Phoenix Sproles (left) and Zach Horton (right).
James Madison vs Coastal Carolina Odds
Sun Belt football is upon us as the surprising James Madison Dukes square off against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.
After a devastating loss to Appalachian State, James Madison will no longer be undefeated in its second season in FBS play. The Dukes have been dominant all season, standing atop the Sun Belt with a 10-1 record.
Before losing last week at Army, Coastal Carolina went on a five-game winning streak, all against conference opponents. It’s a big game in front of their home fans, though. Win tonight, and it's in the Sun Belt Championship game.
Where does the betting value lie in this matchup? Let's find a James Madison vs. Coastal Carolina Prediction, Odds, Pick in this college football betting preview for Saturday, Nov. 25.
Jordan McCloud is playing like one of the top quarterbacks in the nation.
He helped this program rank seventh nationally in passing Success Rate and 17th in Passing PPA with the 15th-most passing yards in the country (3,076). On top of that, McCloud has completed 68% of his passes.
Receivers Elijah Sarratt and Reggie Brown have been McCloud’s favorite targets, combining for 1,921 yards. They account for 48% of JMU’s receptions, with Sarratt averaging 14.25 yards per catch and Brown averaging just under 20 yards per catch.
While the Dukes account for most of their offense through the air, the run game has taken a backseat. They lack significant Explosiveness and rank 101st in Rush Success Rate and 125th in Rush PPA.
Both Kaelon Black and Ty Son Lawton generate most of the carries, and each only averages about 4.5 yards per carry. McCloud is also a threat on the ground, as he averages five yards per run and seven touchdowns.
Defensively, it’s hard to find a better team.
Though prone to allowing explosive play occasionally, they’re among the elite in Standard Down metrics. Stopping the run is where they thrive, ranking first in Rush Success Rate allowed and second in Rush PPA allowed.
Not bad for a second-year FBS team, right?
Defensive linemen Jalen Green, Mikail Kamar, and Jamree Kromah are the stars. Green and Kamara have combined for five forced fumbles, and the three have over 17 tackles-for-loss. It's just pure domination.
The Dukes rank first in Pass Success Rate allowed, but it starts with Green. The mammoth man leads the nation in sacks with 16, whereas Kromah has 10. The unit also leads the nation in Defensive Line Yards.
This front line is a problem.
Last week was a grind for the Chanticleers, and they were destroyed on the ground.
Coastal Carolina’s quarterback situation is a delicate one. One of the more successful Sun Belt players, Grayson McCall’s season has been cut short due to a head injury, and his return date is unknown.
Jarrett Guest and Ethan Vasko have held down the fort in McCall’s absence.
We don’t know if Vasko or Guest starts, so it’s something to monitor. If I were to guess, I’d think Guest is the guy. He’s completed 72% of his passes compared to Vasko’s 58%, giving the team a better chance overall.
Coastal ranks 34th in Pass Success Rate, seventh in Pass PPA, and third in Explosiveness.
Sam Pinckney and Jared Brown garner most of the targets, each bringing in at least 13 yards per catch. They also combine for 11 total touchdowns.
The run game is pretty subpar. Redshirt junior Braydon Bennett only runs for 4.5 yards per carry but is efficient in the red zone. There’s not much else in the run game to write home about besides Bennett, and even he is pretty underwhelming.
Coastal comes in at 100th in Rush Success Rate, so throwing the ball is the better route.
I’ve seen better teams on the defensive end. The Chants are quite terrible at stopping the run, ranking 119th in Rush Success Rate allowed and 109th in Rush PPA allowed.
They're much better at stopping the pass, ranking 11th in Pass PPA allowed. Micheal Mason is a stud with 9.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. They also have a pretty stout secondary, with Clayton Isbell and Keonte Lusk bringing in three interceptions.
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how James Madison and Coastal Carolina match up statistically:
James Madison Offense vs. Coastal Carolina Defense
Coastal Carolina Offense vs. James Madison Defense
Pace of Play / Other
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JMU enters tonight as 8.5-point favorites against a CCU team in a bit of a bind.
Sure, the Chanticleers have won five out of their last six, but the quarterback uncertainty is glaring.
Even though the Dukes fell to Appalachian State last week, I still think they’re the superior team. The trio of Green, Kamara and Kromah is stifling, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they have their way against a reasonably weak Coastal Carolina offensive line.
Coastal's porous run defense won’t serve a purpose since JMU throws the ball quite a bit. However, the Chanticleers have a solid pass defense. Perhaps they’ll limit the Dukes like Appalachian State did last week.
I think JMU’s too much of a powerhouse. The Cinderella run continues despite the loss, as no one predicted the Dukes to be 10-1.
I have this game going in favor of JMU, and I see the game going under the total as well. Coastal shouldn't have much of a run game, and its secondary may cause JMU problems, so much so that I don’t think we’ll see a ton of scoring.
Pick: James Madison -8.5 · Under 50.5
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