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Georgia Southern vs. Ohio: Picks, best bets for Myrtle Beach Bowl on Saturday

The Eagles and Bobcats meet on the campus of Coastal Carolina for the Myrtle Beach Bowl.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 09 Ohio at Florida Atlantic Photo by Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Georgia Southern Eagles take on the Ohio Bobcats in the Myrtle Beach Bowl on Saturday, December 16. The bowl takes place at Brooks Stadium, on the campus of Coastal Carolina University, and kicks off at 11:00 a.m. ET.

Georgia Southern (6-6, 3-5 SBC) suffered a tough loss to Appalachian State in their final game of the season, losing 55-27. The Eagles started off strong, but went on a four-game losing streak to finish the year. Their best win came over Coastal Carolina. One of the better offenses in college football this season, their defense couldn’t keep up the pace. They ranked 11th in the nation in passing yards per game with 300.5 and ranked first in the nation in completions per game.

Ohio (9-3, 6-2 MAC) finished second in the MAC East this season and wrapped up their year with wins over Central Michigan and Akron in conference play. Their biggest win of the season came early when they beat Iowa State, 10-7, at home. The Bobcats had one of the top-ranking defenses in the nation this season, allowing opponents an average of 180.9 passing yards per game, ranking 20th in the nation in passing defense, and just 323.9 all-purpose yards per game, ranking 21st in the nation. The Bobcats’ leading passer and receiver, Kurtis Rourke and Miles Cross respectively, have opted out of the bowl into the transfer portal.

Here’s everything you need to know and a pick for the bowl.

SP+ Rankings

Georgia Southern: 80 overall, 40 offense, 120 defense
Ohio: 74 overall, 115 offense, 13 defense

List of injuries and players opting out of game

Georgia Southern

QB Beau Allen - Out (Transfer portal, Kentucky)
WR Anthony Queeley - Not on depth chart
LS Mark Langstron - Out (Transfer portal)
RB Jalen White - Questionable (undisclosed)

Ohio

QB Kurtis Rourke - Out (Transfer Portal, Indiana, previous starter, 2207 yards, 11 TDs)
WR Miles Cross - Out (Transfer Portal, 617 yards, 5 TDs).
RB Sieh Bangura - Out (Transfer Portal, 811 yards, 7 TDs)
RB O’Shea Allison - Out (Transfer Portal, 452 yards, 3 TDs)
WR Tyler Walton - Out (Transfer Portal, 349 yards, 2 TDs)
LB Keye Thompson - Out (Transfer Portal)
WR Aramoni Rhone - Out (Transfer Portal)
TE Alec Burton - Out (Transfer Portal)
RB Nolan McCormick - Starter on the depth chart
RB Rickey Hunt - No. 2 on depth chart
QB Parker Navarro - Starter on depth chart (7/10, 65 yards passing this season)

ATS/Total

Against The Spread in 2023

Georgia Southern: 6-6 ATS
Ohio: 5-7 ATS

Total in 2023

Georgia Southern: Over 6-6
Ohio: Over 3-8-1

Team Pace

Georgia Southern: 24.6 seconds per play
Ohio: 28.9 seconds per play

Odds at DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Georgia Southern -3
Total: 49
Moneyline: Georgia Southern -142, Ohio +120

Weather

57 degrees, cloudy, 8 MPH winds NE with 15 MPH wind gusts

Our Best Bet for the Myrtle Beach Bowl

Ohio +3

The Ohio defense was the real deal this season, so the offensive losses to the transfer portal shouldn’t take too much of a hit on their ability to cover the spread. Georgia Southern seriously struggled down the stretch this season, losing each of their last four games. If Ohio can control the pace of the game here and protect the ball, the Bobcats can cover.