After seven straight losing seasons, the East Carolina Pirates finally got back on track last season with seven wins. Coach Mike Houston has quickly turned the once-proud program back around and seems to have the Pirates taking the proper steps back to relevance.
Not only that, the Pirates played in a slew of close games last year, with seven decided by a touchdown or less. The Pirates, if they take another step forward this year, could position themselves to be the conference’s top dog in just a few years when the American Athletic reshuffles, gaining and losing some teams. The 6.5 season wins total set by most sportsbooks seems about right, and the Pirates should expect to make a bowl game again this year.
If North Carolina state lawmakers finally get on the same page, North Carolina sports fans might be able to partake in legal sports betting this fall, but time is running out.
East Carolina Futures Odds 2022
|Sportsbook||Season Wins Total||AAC Championship Odds|
|Caesars||Over 6.5 (-115)|
Under 6.5 (-115)
|DraftKings||Over 6.5 (+120)|
Under 6.5 (-140)
What’s the holdup?: Big voices support legalization of North Carolina sports betting
East Carolina 2022 Schedule
Sept. 3: vs. North Carolina State
Sept. 10: vs. Old Dominion
Sept. 17: vs. Campbell
Sept. 24: vs. Navy
Oct. 1: at South Florida
Oct. 8: at Tulane
Oct. 15: vs. Memphis
Oct. 22: vs. UCF
Oct. 28: at BYU
Nov. 11: at Cincinnati
Nov. 19: vs. Houston
Nov. 26: at Temple
Pirates 2022 Outlook
East Carolina needs more from both of its units this year. The offense was decent but could definitely use more big plays and take more risks. While the defense made massive strides last year, it was average compared to the conference’s elite defenses.
The offense will have an experienced signal-caller in Holton Ahlers. Still, the question is can the experienced quarterback take a step forward and win games with his arm in the fourth quarter? It would certainly help if he had time to throw, as the offensive line struggled against good pass-rushing teams last year. With multiple starters back and West Virginia transfer Parker Moorer taking over the left tackle spot, there is reason to believe the unit could be much better.
The Pirate defense improved last year, and the development of some guys from a few years ago who got roughed up as young players are starting to pay off. Even last year, with a couple of all-conference players, younger players still rotated in often. The long-term plans for Houston may start to pay off. The defense is a decent pass rush away from being a top-three defense in the American Athletic.
The Pirates really should get to six wins comfortably with their schedule and to finish above the season wins total of 6.5 means they would have to win one of their other six games — of which a few are considered toss-ups. This line should really be at 7.5, in my opinion, so with that said, take the over at DraftKings (+120) and thank me later.
AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker