NCAA Football Mid-Major Free Betting Picks: Marshall Thundering Herd Week 12
The Week 12 edition of the mid-major betting report is ready to go. 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 bounced back last week with a win over Western Kentucky. The Thundering Herd controlled throughout in this one and won 30-23. Western Kentucky scored twice late in the game to get a backdoor cover. That was a really tough beat for our two unit selection on Marshall -13 last week.
Marshall gave up a lot of yards late in the game to Western Kentucky as the Thundering Herd played a bit of a prevent defense with a big lead. Western Kentucky ended up with 334 yards through the air. Marshall threw for 190 yards. Chase Litton threw two touchdowns and had one pass picked off. The Thundering Herd won the turnover battle by one.
Western Kentucky was only 4/11 on third down. Marshall was 7/16 on third down. Marshall's defense picked up seven tackles for a loss in this one. Nazeeh Johnson had an interception return for a touchdown that was huge for the Thundering Herd. Kaare Vedvik went 3/3 on field goals in this game for Marshall, and that included a 44-yard field goal.
This was a key game for Marshall to get back on track as they honored those lost in the plane crash in 1970. It was an emotional atmosphere, and the Marshall football team came up with a positive performance on the field.
Notes of Interest
-Marshall Coach Doc Holliday talked about the need to avoid an emotional letdown. He talked about how he believes the team had a letdown after their Friday night big win over Middle Tennessee State earlier this year. They lost their next game at home to FIU. Holliday said, "Hopefully, we learned our lesson from the Middle Tennessee game. We played extremely well against Middle Tennessee, emotional game, and came back the next week and didn't play well." He went on to say at his press conference this week that he believes it is part of a young team growing up, and it is something that has been addressed this week.
-UTSA is Marshall's opponent this week. UTSA has fallen short of expectations so far this year, but they have been victims of a bunch of close losses. UTSA has lost four games in Conference USA play, but they have been by a combined 17 points. UTSA is a senior-laden team (12 senior starters) that needs one more win to become bowl eligible. UTSA has a tough game at Louisiana Tech next weekend, so the Roadrunners are very likely to put a lot into this contest looking to become bowl eligible.
-Marshall's defense has done a really nice job keeping everything in front of them this season. The Thundering Herd have allowed only one play of 50 yards or more. Only three teams in the country have allowed none. The Thundering Herd have gotten very good play out of the secondary this year, and that has been a key to their improvement.
-UTSA has been hurt by penalties this season. The Roadunners are being called for 7.7 penalties per game on the season. That is among the 20 worst teams in the country. Marshall is being whistled for only 6.1 penalties per game, which is slightly better than the national average.
-Marshall is 4-1 against the spread in their last five games following an ATS loss.
-UTSA is 0-4 ATS in their last four home games.
-The 'under' is 21-5 in Marshall's last 26 conference games.
-The under is 6-0 in UTSA's last six following a loss.
-The under is 5-0 in UTSA's last five conference games.
Marshall vs. UTSA College Football Odds
Marshall opened as one-point road chalk in this one. There has been a move in the market toward UTSA. The Roadrunners are now one-point favorites at some books , with other books showing UTSA at -1.5. It is a flipped favorite spot, but obviously there are no key numbers there so it hasn't been a significant move. The total opened at 45, and it has stayed at 45 at most books, but there are a couple books showing 45.5.
Marshall vs. UTSA College Football Picks
I don't like to handicap solely based on trends, but they are definitely something to consider. Marshall's defense is tremendous this year, and the UTSA defense is also pretty solid. The under trends listed above are strong. Both of these teams have been under machines inside Conference USA.
I think Marshall shows up focused here, but I also believe UTSA gives a good effort to try to get bowl eligible. What should that mean? I think it means a very tight game where the winner is hard to predict. Instead, I'll opt to take the under for two units. I think both defenses have the upper hand here.
Pick #411- Marshall/UTSA under 45.5 (2 unit play)
Season Results- 6 Wins 4 Losses (+$230)
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