NCAA Football Mid-Major Free Betting Picks: Marshall Thundering Herd Week 13
It's time for the Week 13 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? Prior to this season's numbers, 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. 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. Marshall has leveled off a bit in recent weeks, so we'll dig in to see if it looks like this team is capable of finishing strong.
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Marshall led 7-6 with two seconds remaining against UTSA, but UTSA nailed a 40-yard field goal as the clock hit zero and beat the Thundering Herd 9-7. Marshall had the game's only touchdown, but the Thundering Herd couldn't move the ball consistently on offense. In fact, UTSA outgained Marshall 355-229 in this one. The Roadrunners had 23 first downs compared to only 12 for Marshall. The Marshall defense did a great job keeping UTSA out of the end zone, but they didn't get enough help from the offense in this contest.
A major key for Marshall this year has been whether they win or lose the turnover battle. As has been in the case in their other losses, Marshall lost the turnover battle by one in this game. Marshall quarterback Chase Litton threw one interception and lost a fumble. Marshall was only able to run for 40 yards in this one. The Thundering Herd averaged only 1.7 yards per carry.
Malik Gant had 16 tackles in this game for Marshall. C.J. Reavis had 15 tackles as well. The Thundering Herd played without Tyre Brady, and they definitely missed his playmaking ability on the offensive side of the ball.
The extremely low-scoring game meant our two unit selection on the under in last week's contest was a winner.
Notes of Interest
-Marshall fans are passionate about football, and their passion turned into a bunch of negative messages about the team and the coaching staff on Twitter and other social media outlets on Saturday night. Most of the posts were directed at Marshall offensive coordinator Bill Legg and quarterback Chase Litton. Some Marshall "fans" even called for a boycott of this weekend's game against Southern Miss. Marshall senior tight end Ryan Yurachek is a team captain, and he went ahead and spoke his mind about this issue on Sunday on Twitter. Yurachek said in the post, "When y'all think about 'boycotting' the game Saturday, think about... us seniors, who gave our blood, sweat and tears to this football program for the last four years, rarely see our families, and spend countless hours working for this program and the community. Think about that." I personally don't blame Yurachek one bit. Apparently many Marshall fans can't put this season in perspective. This is a team that is 7-4 after being 3-9 a year ago.
-Marshall Coach Doc Holliday posted on Twitter Monday that it was great seeing the team have a tremendous day in the weight room on Sunday after a challenging weekend. Holliday has talked extensively all season about how much he likes this team and how hard they have worked on a consistent basis.
-Marshall hosts Southern Miss this weekend in their regular-season finale. Southern Miss has been up and down this year, but the Golden Eagles have peaked at the right time. Southern Miss has scored a whopping 109 points in their last two games. After battling Keon Howard for the starting job much of the year, Kwadra Griggs has emerged as the team's starting quarterback. Griggs has been tremendous late in the season. Griggs has thrown 12 touchdowns and only two interceptions this season. Even though Griggs has played well, it is Ito Smith and the Southern Miss running game that is key to their offensive success. Last week, Southern Miss ran for 8.64 yards per carry against Charlotte.
-Marshall is second in the country in sacks allowed and sack yardage allowed on the season. The Thundering Herd have allowed only seven sacks for 39 yards this season. On the other side of the ball, Marshall has sacked opposing quarterbacks 27 times for 158 yards.
-Southern Miss is 9-4 against the spread in their last 13 games.
-Marshall is 16-3-2 ATS in their last 21 games vs. a team with a winning road record.
-The 'over' is 5-2 in Southern Miss' last seven conference games.
-The 'under' is 22-5 in Marshall's last 27 conference games.
Southern Miss vs. Marshall College Football Odds
The Thundering Herd opened as five-point favorites in this one. There has been a steady stream of money on Southern Miss, and Marshall is now favored by only 2.5 points in this one. The posted total opened at 49 points but it has since edged down to 48.
Southern Miss vs. Marshall College Football Picks
I believe Marshall is the better team here, but I do worry about the Thundering Herd's downward trend in recent weeks. Marshall has lost three of four games, with their only win being at home against Western Kentucky. Southern Miss has gone in the other direction, though their last two wins that look really impressive on the surface were against Rice and Charlotte. Those are the two worst teams in the conference.
I am a little concerned about Marshall's confidence given the negativity surrounding the team and the program. Still, I'm going to lay 2.5 points since I feel they have the better defense and are on their home field. I'll limit this to a one-unit selection based on the concerns listed above.
Pick #180- Marshall -2.5 (1 unit play)
Season Results- 7 Wins 4 Losses (+$430)
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