NCAA Football Mid-Major Free Betting Picks: Marshall Thundering Herd Week 3
It's time for the Week 3 edition of the college football 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.
For the report this season, I'm following the Marshall Thundering Herd. This is a team with a proud past in college football, and they are coming off an extremely disappointing season. Many believe their coach is on the hot seat, and there is pressure for them to perform in the year ahead. I expect a much-improved team.
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I'll be following beat writers, following players and coaches on Twitter, and reading the press conference transcripts to find information on the Thundering Herd. I'll be looking to make myself an expert on this Marshall team.
There will be a selection on each game at the end of the weekly article. We'll be using the Doc's Sports Unit Betting System for every pick, which will allow readers to follow along and track the results.
Marshall started strong last week against NC State on the road. The Thundering Herd actually jumped out to a 20-10 lead with five minutes left in the second quarter. Marshall got a 75-yard touchdown pass from Chase Litton to Tyre Brady to give them that 10-point lead late in the second quarter. Unfortunately, NC State would then respond with two quick touchdowns to lead 23-20 at halftime.
Marshall then failed to score at all in the second half, though they punted only one time. Marshall missed a field goal on their first drive of the second half. They fumbled on one possession. Then late in the game they threw an interception in the end zone. The Thundering Herd ended up falling 37-20 to NC State.
Marshall was only outgained 485-451. The Thundering Herd's biggest problem in this game was hurting themselves with penalties and turnovers. Marshall turned the ball over twice, while NC State had zero turnovers. Marshall also committed nine penalties compared to NC State's three.
There were some encouraging signs from this game. Marshall hung tough against a good ACC opponent on the road. The Thundering Herd averaged a solid 4.0 yards per carry on the ground against an elite defensive front. The defense held NC State to only 144 yards rushing. Marshall did allow NC State to complete 29 out of 36 passes for 341 yards.
On the selections last week, the two-unit play on "under" 55 was a narrow loser. The one-unit play on Marshall +24.5 cashed in.
Notes of Interest
-Doc Holliday said at this week's press conference, "When we walked out of there (NC State), there wasn't anyone that was happy at what happened. We went there expecting to win." He went on to say the effort was tremendous from his team, and they had clearly improved from Week 1 to Week 2. Holliday said there are several things that need to be cleaned up before this weekend.
-Chuck McGill, who follows Marshall at HerdZone, wrote this week about the importance of Tyre Brady's breakout for this Marshall offense. Brady had a whopping 248 receiving yards against NC State last weekend. Tyre Brady leads all FBS receivers with seven 20-yard-or-longer receptions on the season already. McGill talked to Marshall players about Brady's emergence and what it will mean for the team. Marshall tight end Ryan Yurachek said, "I have a hard time believing that Kent State comes in here Saturday and just tries to play him straight up man-to-man." With a big playmaker like Brady getting a lot of attention, it should help all the other pass catchers and even the running game. This is something to keep an eye on moving forward.
-Kent State is Marshall's opponent this week, and the Golden Flashes have a unique offense. Kent State has Nick Holley at quarterback, and he has previously been a tailback and wide receiver for the team. Holley is a natural runner, and the Golden Flashes very rarely put the ball in the air. In their season opener against Clemson, Kent State threw the ball only five times compared to 44 rushing attempts! On the year as a whole, Holley is 9/20 passing. Kent State's offense is a modified triple-option attack. Marshall has spent the week working on preparing for the triple-option.
-Kent State is 0-4 against the spread in their last four games.
-Marshall is 20-7-1 ATS in their last 28 games.
-The 'under' is 11-5 in Kent State's last 16 road games.
-The 'over' is 6-0 in Marshall's last 6 nonconference games.
Kent State vs. Marshall College Football Odds
Marshall opened as 13-point favorites in this one. Many books have this one up to Marshall -14.5, but there are a few 14s still showing . The posted total opened at 50.5, and it currently sits at 50 points.
Kent State vs. Marshall College Football Picks
Kent State's offense is so one-dimensional, and I think that will really help Marshall's defense here. Marshall has a strong defensive line, and they should have the upper hand against Kent State's offensive front. I don't expect Holley to be able to have a big day on the ground against Marshall.
The Thundering Herd offense definitely looks improved from a year ago. Brady's emergence should help in a big way. Kent State doesn't have much of a pass rush, which should give Litton the ability to make some big plays in the passing game.
This is easily the worst team Marshall has played so far this year, and I think Marshall bounces back in this one. I'm going to lay the two touchdowns with Marshall here.
Pick #114- Marshall -14 (2-unit play)
Season Results- 2 Wins 1 Losses (+$80)
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