Eastern Michigan vs. Georgia Southern, Camellia Bowl: Prediction, pick, odds, line, TV, live stream, watch online

If you like close games -- hey, who doesn't? -- then there's a good chance you'll like the Camellia Bowl between Eastern Michigan and Georgia Southern. No team seems to play things close like EMU does. The Eagles at one point played six games in a row that were decided by a touchdown or less. In fact, five of them were by a field goal or less. Georgia Southern, meanwhile, will have a chance to post its best record since joining the FBS five years ago. This one should be a lower scoring, defensive battle sure to satisfy the old fashioned football fan in all of us.

Let's get you ready for everything Camellia Bowl from Alabama on Saturday night.

Viewing information

Event: Camellia Bowl
Date: Saturday, Dec. 15 | Time: 5:30 p.m. ET
Location: Cramton Bowl -- Montgomery, Alabama
ESPN | Live stream: WatchESPN


Eastern Michigan: Going against option-based offenses is always a tough assignment if you're not used to it, but EMU has a couple of things going for it that should help. The Eagles have allowed 17 rushing touchdowns this season, tied for second-fewest in the MAC. Additionally, this defense has been good at forcing turnovers. Defensive lineman Maxx Crosby leads the conference with four fumbles forced and the Eagles as a whole are second in the MAC with 24 turnovers gained. While this defense may give up some yards, their stoppage could come in the form of turnovers. That's something to watch.

Georgia Southern: Obviously, the Eagles are a big-time rushing team. Only five teams in the country run the ball more and four of them are triple-option teams. So it's pretty clear what GSU is going to do. What's amazing, though, is how well the Eagles do it without turning the ball over. I mentioned that Eastern Michigan is good at forcing fumbles. However, GSU leads the nation in turnover margin (+22) and has a FBS-best five turnovers on the season -- all fumbles, of course. And while GSU doesn't have a 1,000-yard rusher yet, it's theoretically possible it gets two by the end of this game if the option attack is really clicking. Wesley Fields (959) yards is most likely to reach 1,000, but quarterback Shai Werts (822 yards) could as well.

Game prediction, picks

Again, Eastern Michigan loves close games and the 1.5-point line from Vegas reflects this. Sometimes bowl games don't follow any of the trends from the season, but with these two defensive-minded, possession teams, it should go absolutely to script. Take the under (point total is 47.5) and enjoy what should be a tight game. With Georgia Southern's ball security and Eastern Michigan's ball-hawking defense, something is going to give. Pick: Georgia Southern -1.5

So, which side of the Georgia Southern vs. Eastern Michigan spread hits in nearly 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see the computer's strong 2018 Camellia Bowl picks, all from the model that has returned over $4,000 in profit for $100 bettors, and find out.

CBS Sports Writer

Ben Kercheval joined CBS Sports in 2016 and has been covering college football since 2010. Before CBS, Ben worked at Bleacher Report, UPROXX Sports and NBC Sports. As a long-suffering North Texas graduate,... Full Bio

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