NCAA Football Mid-Major Free Betting Picks: Marshall Thundering Herd Week 11
It's time for the Week 11 edition of the mid-major betting report. This is the seventh straight season I'm doing the mid-major report for Doc's Sports. How have the selections on the mid-major betting report done? Overall, the record is 40 wins and 29 losses with a gain of $1,500.
The Marshall Thundering Herd were the team I chose to follow this season, because I thought they could turn things around. This team has a proud past, and so far this season they have indeed been much-improved from a year ago. How much? Marshall has already surpassed their opening season win total of five games. The rest of the season I'll continue to follow beat writers, follow players and coaches on Twitter, and read the press conference transcripts to find information on the Thundering Herd. I'll be looking to make myself an expert on this Thundering Herd team.
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Marshall has dropped two straight after a great start to the season. Can Marshall get back on track? Let's take a closer look at what has happened and what may come in the next couple weeks.
Marshall went to Florida Atlantic for a huge showdown last week and ended up losing 30-25. Marshall played really poorly in the first half of that game. Florida Atlantic led 16-3 at half. The Thundering Herd made a run in the third quarter, but they were never able to get over the top. Lane Kiffin took a safety on purpose with a few seconds left to make the final 30-25, and that was something that got a lot of publicity in the industry thanks to the fact that Florida Atlantic closed as a 6.5-point favorite at many books.
Two weeks ago, Marshall outgained FIU but lost because of the turnover battle. The same happened again last week. Marshall outgained Florida Atlantic 381-353. The Thundering Herd had 21 first downs to 17 for the Owls. Marshall turned the ball over four times. Florida Atlantic had zero turnovers. You can't lose the turnover battle to that degree and expect to win many games.
Chase Litton threw four interceptions. Litton threw a grand total of three interceptions through Marshall's first seven games. Litton has thrown six interceptions in the last two games. Both were losses. Litton has to be able to take better care of the football moving forward.
The biggest positive of last week's game for Marshall was their ability to slow down Florida Atlantic's tremendous rushing attack. The Owls busted a couple big gainers, but in general Marshall did a great job against the run. Florida Atlantic averaged only 4.2 yards per carry. The Owls have averaged 6.07 yards per carry on the season as a whole.
Neither offense got going last week, and the 'over' 66 selection for one unit was a loser.
Notes of Interest
-Doug Smock, staff writer at the Charleston Gazette Mail, wrote an interesting piece about Litton's interception blues. In that article, Litton showed tremendous leadership, and his quotes are very telling. Litton said, "We have all ten on offense clicking but one and that's me. It's my fault. We lost this game because of me, put my team in bad situations." He went on to say the receivers have been playing well and he's been throwing some bad balls and making bad decisions of late. Marshall star tight end Ryan Yurachek made a point to say it wasn't any one person's fault this week, and he isn't down on his quarterback.
-This weekend Marshall will host Western Kentucky. In this game, Marshall will honor the victims of the plane crash from 1970 that tragically killed all 75 on board. Doc Holliday has done a good job since he arrived at Marshall of making sure everyone on his team's are well aware of that Marshall team from 1970. They are often referred to as "the 75" by people around the Marshall program, and the entire community always rallies around the football program on this weekend.
-Western Kentucky has had all sorts of injuries of late. Quinton Baker (running back) and Demetrius Cain both suffered season-ending injuries against Vanderbilt last week. Star quarterback Mike White was injured on the final drive of the game. White is considered questionable for this weekend's contest against Marshall. Because of White's importance to this offense, this is a huge injury to keep an eye on this week. Note that Western Kentucky backup Drew Eckels isn't 100 percent healthy, either.
-Western Kentucky has allowed 29 sacks so far this year, which ranks worst in Conference USA.
-Western Kentucky is 1-8 against the spread in their last nine games overall.
-Marshall is 7-2 ATS in their last nine games overall.
-The over is 15-5-1 in Western Kentucky's last 21 vs. a team with a winning record.
-The 'under' is 21-6 in Marshall's last 27 conference games.
Western Kentucky vs. Marshall College Football Odds
Marshall opened as 13-point favorites at most books, and the line hasn't moved at all from that number. The posted total opened at 47 points. It has since been bet up to a current level of 50.5.
Western Kentucky vs. Marshall College Football Picks
Western Kentucky ranks dead last in the nation in yards per carry at 2.28. They are completely reliant on the passing game. Mike White is listed as questionable. If White doesn't play, it is a huge downgrade to this passing attack. Without White, it would be hard to imagine Western Kentucky scoring many points at all here. Even if White does play at less than 100 percent, I expect Marshall's defense to play very well in this spot.
Western Kentucky has beaten Marshall in three straight meetings. Last year, Western Kentucky won 60-6. If there were ever a time for Marshall to exact some revenge, it is now. This should be a really emotional night, and I think this Marshall team bounces back in this one. I'll take Marshall -13 for two units. If I knew White wasn't playing it would be a bigger play, but as I said I do still like the selection even if White plays.
Pick #206- Marshall -13 (2 unit play)
Season Results - 6 Wins 3 Losses (+$450)
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