NCAA Football Mid-Major Free Betting Picks: Marshall Thundering Herd Week 5
The Week 5 edition of the college football mid-major betting report is here. Marshall had the week off in last week, but they are back in action playing against the Cincinnati Bearcats this weekend.
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. 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 Thundering Herd team.
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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 beat Kent State 21-0 in Week 3. The two-unit selection at the end of the article on Marshall -14 cashed. The Thundering Herd defense controlled the game throughout. Kent State completed only seven passes all game. The Golden Flashes ran for 144 yards, but that was on 44 rushing attempts.
It is important to point out that Kent State's quarterback Nick Holley was injured early in the game, so the Golden Flashes had to play the majority of the game with backups at the quarterback spot. Kent State was only 4/15 on third-down conversions. They were just 1/3 on fourth-down conversion attempts.
Tyler King was the offensive star for Marshall in this game. King had 14 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, Ryan Bee had a ridiculous 10 tackles from his defensive tackle position. He had two sacks and four solo tackles. He also had a quarterback hurry. Bee dominated the game from the middle of the defensive line by getting in the Kent State backfield constantly.
Notes of Interest
-Chuck McGill, who follows Marshall football at HerdZone, wrote about the potential and the importance of the Marshall ground game. The Thundering Herd started the season by averaging only 2.36 yards per carry against Miami (Ohio). They followed that up by rushing for 4.04 yards per carry against NC State. Against Kent State, they averaged 4.79 yards per carry. The most encouraging number for Marshall's running game is how they performed in the fourth quarter against Kent State. The Golden Flashes knew the run was coming since Marshall was ahead, but Marshall still averaged 8.5 yards per carry in the fourth quarter of that game. How important is the running game to Marshall's success? Marshall is 26-2 in their last 28 games when rushing for 150 yards or more.
-Marshall goes to Cincinnati this weekend to take on the Bearcats. Cincinnati is coming off a 42-32 loss at Navy last weekend. The previous week Cincinnati made a late comeback to beat rival Miami (Ohio). One thing that stands out when you look at the Bearcats statistics is how they have won the field position battle through good special teams play. Cincinnati is averaging 2.5 yards more per punt return than they are allowing. They are averaging 2.7 yards more per kickoff return than they are allowing. Marshall will need to be good on special teams this week.
-Marshall is 22/45 on third-down conversions on offense this year (49 percent success rate). Opponents are only 15/42 on third down conversion attempts against Marshall (35.7 percent success rate).
-Marshall is 21-7-1 against the spread in their last 29 nonconference games.
- Cincinnati is 1-9 ATS in their last 10 home games.
-The 'under' is 8-3 in Marshall's last 11 games overall.
-The under is 18-7-1 in Cincinnati's last 26 games overall.
Marshall vs. Cincinnati College Football Odds
Cincinnati opened as a 5-point favorite in this contest. The Bearcats are now favored by only 3.5 points across the board . The posted total opened at 50.5 points. It has been bet up to 52.5.
Marshall vs. Cincinnati College Football Picks
Marshall had a bye week to prepare for this game. The Bearcats were busy taking on a Navy team that is brutal to defend with their triple-option. Marshall clearly has a big edge when it come to rest coming into this one.
Cincinnati is averaging only 3.09 yards per carry on offense this year. The Bearcats have become too one-dimensional. I see that being a problem for their offense against a Marshall defensive line that can get after the quarterback. Hayden Moore has potential for Cincinnati, but his completion percentage is only 53.5 percent on the season. Consistency has been an issue.
Marshall already went on the road to a tough opponent in NC State and held their own for much of that game. Cincinnati is down a couple notches from where they were a few years ago. I expect this game to be tight all the way to the end, and I think Marshall has a real chance of winning outright. I'll grab the points as a two-unit selection.
Pick #137- Marshall +3.5 (2-unit play)
Season Results- 3 Wins 1 Losses (+$280)
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Read more articles by Aaron Smith
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