NCAA Football Mid-Major Free Betting Picks: Marshall Thundering Herd Week 7
It's time for the seventh 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.
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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We'll take a look back at last week's contest, find some important nuggets of information regarding Marshall football, and then give a selection for this week's game.
Marshall beat Charlotte 14-3 on Saturday night. The Thundering Herd had a whopping 23-9 first down advantage in this game but couldn't put the game away thanks to turnovers and dropped passes. Marshall finished with 404 yards of total offense. Charlotte had only 212 yards. The Thundering Herd got into the red zone five times but averaged only 2.80 points per trip into the red zone. Chase Litton's line was solid at 19/28 for two touchdowns and no picks, but it could have been better without a couple key drops. Marshall lost two fumbles in this game. The Thundering Herd forced only one turnover, so they lost the turnover battle here.
Marshall's defense was dominant. The Thundering Herd held Charlotte to 3/14 on third-down-conversion attempts. Charlotte averaged only 3.1 yards per carry. What about through the air? Charlotte's Hasaan Klugh was a miserable 10/26 for no touchdowns and one interception. Malik Gant led Marshall with 11 tackles, and Gant had 1.5 tackles for a loss in the game as well.
Marshall -15 was an against the spread loser on last week's selection. I think the statistics show Marshall was the right side here, but the Thundering Herd failed to take advantage of opportunities to blow this game open.
Notes of Interest
-Chuck McGill pointed out on Twitter this past weekend that Marshall's defense had to be on the field for only 52 plays against Charlotte this past weekend. The Thundering Herd did a great job controlling the game.
-Marshall receiver Tyre Brady was placed on the Biletnikoff Award watch list thanks to his impressive start to the season.
-Doug Smock, writer for the Charleston Gazette-Mail, wrote about Marshall's offensive line getting a test from the Old Dominion defensive front this week. Old Dominion is first in Conference USA with 19 sacks this season. Marshall has allowed only two sacks in five games. There's only three teams in the country that have allowed less than two sacks. Those teams are Army, UCF, and Minnesota. Army and Minnesota run the ball constantly, and UCF hasn't even played four full games yet. Marshall's offensive line has been elite in pass protection this year. It is strength vs. strength in this one. Old Dominion's sack output is even more impressive when you consider that the team has been without their top two defensive ends the last two games. Those ends (Bunmi Rotimi and Daneil Appouh) are questionable for this weekend's game. In this article, Litton called Old Dominion defensive star Oshane Ximines "a freak of nature."
-Keep an eye on the status of running back Ray Lawry for Old Dominion. Lawry is arguably the best running back in Conference USA, and he was upgraded from doubtful to questionable on Tuesday. Harry Minium, writer at The Virginian-Pilot, wrote about Lawry in an article this week. In his article Lawry says, "I think I'll play. It felt good today. There was no pain at all." Lawry has had a hamstring injury, and Coach Bobby Wilder had even suggested the team might try to get a medical redshirt on Lawry.
-Old Dominion is 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight games vs. a team with a winning record.
-Marshall is 19-9-1 ATS in their last 29 home games.
-Marshall is 2-8 ATS in their last 10 conference games.
-The 'over' is 14-6-1 in Old Dominion's last 21 road games.
-The 'under' is 19-7 in Marshall's last 26 conference games.
Old Dominion vs. Marshall College Football Odds
Marshall opened as a 16.5-point favorite across the board. The Thundering Herd are now favored by 16 most books , but the line is down to 15.5 at a couple key books such as Bookmaker. The posted total opened at 52.5. It has edged down to 51.5 at most books, though there are a couple books that are still showing 52 as the total here.
Old Dominion vs. Marshall College Football Picks
There are a lot of moving parts in handicapping this game. Old Dominion has a number of key players questionable for this game. I don't like to make big plays in those spots. This is a homecoming game for Marshall, and it should be a well-attended contest.
Instead of getting involved on the side, I'm going to make a small play on the under in this one. Marshall's defense is the strength of this team. I believe they are the best defense in the conference. Old Dominion is likely to at least get some of their defenders that have been out back in this one.
I think Marshall wins this game, but the spread is a tough call. I'm going to go with a one-unit play on the under here.
Pick #153 Old Dominion/Marshall under 52 (1 unit play)
Season Results- 4 Wins 2 Losses (+$260)
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Read more articles by Aaron Smith
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