NCAA Football Mid-Major Free Betting Picks: Marshall Thundering Herd in New Mexico Bowl
It's time for the bowl season edition of the mid-major 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 they did have a nice turnaround season from a year ago. Marshall has seven wins on the year, and they are looking to make it eight here in the New Mexico Bowl against Colorado State.
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Marshall closed out the regular season with a 28-27 loss at home against Southern Miss. Marshall scored what looked like the tying touchdown with a minute left in the game, but they decided to go for two instead of kick the extra point. The two-point conversion attempt was a pass that was picked off. Marshall then kicked onside and Southern Miss recovered the kick and closed out the win.
This was a very evenly played game. Marshall outgained Southern Miss 382-371. The Thundering Herd had 23 first downs. Southern Miss had 22 first downs. What was the difference? Marshall turned the ball over three times and Southern Miss turned it over only once. Marshall's offense clearly missed Tyre Brady in this one. Chase Litton threw for four touchdowns and 308 yards, but the running attack averaged only 2.8 yards per carry.
Chase Hancock has been a great leader for the defense this season, and he was amazing in this one. Hancock had a whopping 18 tackles in the contest.
The one unit selection on Marshall -2.5 was a loser.
Notes of Interest
-Doug Smock, staff writer for the Charleston Gazette Mail, wrote an article this week predicting a high-scoring game between Marshall and Colorado State. Smock pointed to several key statistics in saying he sees a shootout. He pointed out that Colorado State is averaging 33.8 points per game on the season. The Rams also have a ridiculously high 50.6 percent conversion rate on third down. Smock mentioned Colorado State's defensive woes as well. The team has allowed 40 points or more four times this year. Smock finished the article by saying, "No matter who wins or loses, expect something like a 39-37 score."
-Marshall moved their men's basketball game start time back, so they could host a viewing party at the arena for fans of the football team. This is a community that is passionate about football, and the athletics department is moving things around to help accommodate fans of both the basketball and football teams.
-How will the week go for Marshall when it comes to traveling and getting ready for the game? The Thundering Herd will fly to New Mexico on Dec. 13. They typically practice before boarding the plane, but this week the team will wait to have two hard practices in New Mexico. Why is that important? This game is played at an elevation much higher than any game Marshall plays at normally. The Thundering Herd players need to get accustomed to the differences. Colorado State plays here on a regular basis, and that gives them an advantage when it comes to the conditions.
-Colorado State's offense ranks No. 14 in the country at an impressive level of 6.72 yards per play. Marshall is 95th in yards per play at 5.33. What about the defenses? Marshall is 23rd in the nation, allowing only 4.98 yards per play. Colorado State is all the way down at No. 101, and they are giving up 6.18 yards per play.
-As mentioned above, Hancock has been the leader of this defense. In fact, he was named the MVP of the team for 2017 last week at the team's awards banquet. Hancock walked on at Marshall to play football, and now the redshirt junior is the leader of this team.
-Marshall is 5-0 against the spread in their last five bowl games.
-Colorado State is 0-6 ATS in their last six games overall.
-The 'over' is 7-1 in Marshall's last eight nonconference games.
-The 'under' is 6-2 in Marshall's last eight games overall.
-The under is 11-5 in Colorado State's last 16 nonconference games.
New Mexico Bowl: Marshall vs. Colorado State College Football Odds
This line has been incredibly steady at Colorado State -5.5 . There have been almost no shifts across the market on the side. The total is a different story. The posted total opened at 55 at some books and 56 at others. The total has been bet up to a current level of 58.
New Mexico Bowl: Marshall vs. Colorado State College Football Picks
Both of these teams peaked earlier in the season and struggled a bit late in the year. Colorado State's offense is the best offense Marshall has faced all season. Michael Gallup is an elite wide receiver that can put up huge numbers. Nick Stevens is an excellent passer. Colorado State has a great offensive line as well. I expect Colorado State to score quite a few here.
If you look at Colorado State's defensive performances, you'll see that this is a unit that has given up a lot of big plays against all of the decent offenses they have faced. Brady should be back for Marshall here, and that's a big boost to the offense. Litton has taken a lot of heat from Marshall fans, but overall he has been a solid quarterback in his time at the school. Look for plenty of big plays from the Marshall offense here.
I'll take over 58 for two units here. I see a back-and-forth affair in this one.
Pick #207- Marshall vs. Colorado State over 58 (2 units)
Season Results- 7 Wins 5 Losses (+$320)
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