NCAA Football Mid-Major Free Betting Picks: Marshall Thundering Herd Week 9
The Week 9 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 and MTSU have become rivals largely because they have played so many tight games that were decided on the final play of the game in recent seasons. MTSU hosted Marshall last Friday, and the Blue Raiders planned a blackout game. The game was on national television.
Marshall rolled to a 38-10 victory last Friday night. The Thundering Herd took the opening kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown to jump ahead 7-0. MTSU responded with a field goal to make it 7-3. It was still 7-3 early in the second when John Urzua threw an interception that Marshall's Artis Johnson ran back for a touchdown. On the ensuing MTSU possession, the Blue Raiders fumbled on the first play from scrimmage. Marshall took advantage by going only 18 yards to make it 21-3. That was the key couple minutes in the game, and Marshall never looked back.
The Thundering Herd outgained the Blue Raiders 366-273 yards in this one. Marshall didn't turn the ball over at all in this contest. Six different Marshall players caught a pass in this game. On the defensive side of the ball, the story was Marshall racking up six sacks and eight tackles for a loss. They were in the MTSU backfield all night long.
The two unit selection on Marshall -2.5 was a winner last week.
Notes of Interest
-Grant Taylor, writer at The Herald-Dispatch, wrote about the stark differences between last year's Marshall football squad and this year's team. There were some really interesting comparisons in this article. The turnaround on the defensive side has been the big driver to Marshall's success this year. Last year, Marshall averaged 35.3 points per game, which was 107th best in the country. So far this year, Marshall is allowing only 14.3 points per game, which is eighth best in the nation. Marshall allowed 210 rushing yards per game last year. They are giving up only 110 yards per game on the ground this season. The efficiency of the offense in third-down conversion attempts has jumped from a 34.1 percent success rate last year to a 45.7 percent success rate this season. In this article, Traylor notes that Doc Holliday appreciates that all of these numbers are crucial. Still, Holliday believes it is the cohesion of this year's team that has driven this turnaround.
-Marshall has been amazing when it comes to getting after the passer and protecting their own quarterback this year. The Thundering Herd are averaging 3.14 sacks per game, which is 13th best in the country. They are allowing only 0.43 sacks per game (three total sacks in seven games), which is good for third best in the nation. The big difference in this area has been crucial to the team's 6-1 start.
-Marshall will host the FIU Golden Panthers this weekend. FIU started the season by getting squashed 61-17 by UCF. Since then, they have won four of five games, and they are coming off their best game of the season. They upset Tulane 23-10 two weeks ago. FIU had a bye week last week, so they had extra time to prepare for this game at Marshall.
-FIU is 3-1-1 ATS in their last five games vs. a team with a winning record.
-Marshall is 4-1 ATS in their last five games against FIU.
-The 'under' is 3-1-1 in FIU's last five games overall.
-The under is 20-6 in Marshall's last 26 conference games.
FIU vs. Marshall College Football Odds
Marshall opened as 16.5-point favorites at home here. The Thundering Herd are now favored by 17 points across the board . The posted total opened at 46 points, and it has been bet down a bit to 45 points.
FIU vs. Marshall College Football Picks
Sometimes the best bet is a bet you don't make. There are plenty of opportunities to find value when betting on sports, and if you are forcing plays when you don't see value it is going to hurt you in a big way in the long run. I don't see any value in this game, so for the first time this year I will pass on making a selection in this one.
I believe this is a tricky spot for Marshall. FIU has had two weeks to get ready for this game. Marshall has a huge game next Friday against Florida Atlantic, so this could be considered a look-ahead spot. At the same time, I think Marshall is a much better team than FIU, and I don't want to fade the Thundering Herd.
Pick- Passing This Week
Season Results- 6 Wins 2 Losses (+$560)
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