Game Information:

  • Date: December 16, 2023
  • Time: 2:30 PM EST
  • Location: Brooks Stadium, Conway, South Carolina
  • Spread: Georgia Southern -4
  • Total: 48.5

Unpacking the Numbers:

Beyond the team’s individual strengths, we need to consider the Pythagorean theorem. This mathematical formula, when applied to each team’s point totals, predicts Georgia Southern with a 25.4 win expectation and Ohio with a 27.1 win expectation. While this suggests a closer game than the current spread, it’s important to remember that strength of schedule plays a crucial role.

Georgia Southern’s 123rd ranked strength of schedule suggests their wins might be inflated compared to Ohio’s 101st ranked strength of schedule. This factor adds another layer of complexity to the prediction.

Injury Report and Weather Watch:

Let’s not forget the impact of injuries. Georgia Southern will be missing key wide receivers Beau Allen and Jalen White, while Ohio suffers the loss of running back Jacoby Jones and linebacker CJ Harris. These absences could significantly impact the teams’ offensive and defensive capabilities, respectively.

Additionally, we need to factor in the weather forecast for Conway, South Carolina. A 50% chance of rain and a cool 52 degrees Fahrenheit might favor a more conservative run-heavy game plan, potentially benefiting the Bobcats’ defensive strategy.

Model Predictions and Personal Insights:

The betting models paint a somewhat consistent picture. BettingPros, ESPN, CBS Sports, and Sports Illustrated all favor Georgia Southern, with win probabilities ranging from 56.6% to 64%. The AI models, including FiveThirtyEight and NumberFire, also lean towards the Eagles, with win probabilities exceeding 69%.

Final Verdict and Picks:

After meticulously analyzing the teams’ strengths, weaknesses, injuries, weather, and model predictions, I’m confident in backing Georgia Southern. Their offensive prowess, combined with their recent success and head-to-head dominance, gives them a slight edge over Ohio.

Considering the following factors:

  • Strength of schedule: Georgia Southern’s weaker schedule might inflate their win total.
  • Injuries: The loss of Jacoby Jones for Ohio hurts their running game.

Final Prediction:

  • Georgia Southern: 32
  • Ohio: 24

Pick: Georgia Southern -4 Under 48.5 ***LOSE***