The Eastern Michigan Eagles are set to host the Charlotte 49ers in Week1 action on Friday, Sept. 1st. Kickoff is set for 7:30 EST at Rynearson Stadium. Those wanting to catch the action, can watch the game on ESPN3.

Taking a look at the opening week odds, the books have Eastern Michigan listed as either a 13.5 or 14 point favorite. All the early money is on the Eagles, who opened at -11.5. The total for the contest is current at 56.5-points.

E. Michigan vs Charlotte Vegas Game Preview & Betting Odds

The Eagles are coming off a surprising 7-6 season in year 3 under head coach Chris Creighton. Which saw them make a bowl game for the first time since 1987. As you might have guessed, Eastern Michigan was a great bet in 2016, going an impressive 10-3 ATS.

It was quite a turnaround for a team that hadn’t won more than 2 games in each of the previous 4 seasons (1-11 in 2015). Expectations are high for Creighton and his staff in 2017, as the Eagles return 16 starters (8 on each side of the ball).

Charlotte went a mere 4-8 last year, but that was considered a success for a program that didn’t start playing football until 2013. This will be just their 3rd go of things at the FBS level, as they joined in 2015 after two years at the FCS level.

Head coach Brad Lambert has been at the helm from the beginning. He figures to have his work cut out for him in 2017, as the 49ers only bring back 12 starters, losing several key pieces on both sides of the ball.

Free College Football Betting Selection: Eastern Michigan -13.5

This doesn’t figure to be a game that draws a lot of interest from the public. However, I think there’s some decent value here with the Eagles. Note that these two teams played last year in Charlotte. Eastern Michigan won that contest 37-19 and had a 34-6 edge going into the 4th quarter.

Click here to access all of our expert free NCAAF picks for Week 1 action.

The problem a lot of people are going to have with the Eagles is it’s hard to trust a team that has been as historically bad as they were. I think now is the time to ride the wave of Eastern Michigan. Chris Creighton is the real deal. The guy has won every where he’s went and will likely parlay this job into something bigger down the road.

Keep in mind that it’s typically the 3rd year with a program that a head coach gets things turned around. Now he’s got a team with experience that believes it can win. I know a lot of people aren’t expecting a lot out of this team, but they are a legit sleeper in a wide open MAC West division.

Let’s also not overlook the competition here. Charlotte was the 2nd most experienced team in the country last year and only won 4 games. They lost their leading rusher, top receiving threat and arguably their two best defensive players. I think the future is bright for Lambert in Charlotte, but 2017 has all the makings of a rebuilding year.

Charlotte is just 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games against a non-conference opponent. The Eagles on the other hand are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 outside of league play and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 versus C-USA.