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The Old Dominion Monarchs will be fighting to snap their 4-game losing streak when they head to Huntington, W. VA to take on the Marshall Thundering Herd this Saturday.
Despite what has been a relatively solid defense, the Monarchs have simply been unable to find wins this season. The struggling offense is a factor as they enter the weekend 1 - 4 looking up at the pack in the Conference USA East Division standings.
At the same token, the Thundering Herd are in a similar situation, as their 2 - 3 record is a result of an offense that has had issues moving the ball while the defense has done a decent job of keeping them in games.
Regardless, both teams need a win after opening conference play with a loss, and bowl eligibility could slip away as we reach the midway point of the season.
ODU needs to pick it up on offense to stay afloatPlain and simple, if the ODU offense doesn't find its way and soon, this season might be a wash before we hit the midway point of the season. At 1 - 4 and 0 - 1 in Conference USA action, another loss for the Monarchs might put an end to their hopes of avoiding a third straight losing season.
Monarchs head coach Bobby Wilder has been with this program for 11 years now, and he holds a record of 12 - 25 in games away from home in his career. Listed as underdogs by more than two TDs in this contest against Marshall might make this seem like there is no chance to win. Coach has the team hoping the defense can rise to the occasion again, but the offensive numbers don't help support his cause.
Ranked 125th in the country, the ODU offense has managed to only score 16.4 PPG while being ranked 129th in the land averaging 268 YPG. Ugly stuff and 158.8 passing yards per outing sure tell us more about the issues this year for the Monarchs. All 5 unders have hit this season, again, if the defense wasn't doing such a good job things would look even worse than they do now. Wait, it's tough to look worse than 1 - 4, but you get my drift.
Junior QB Stone Smartt has been given the chance to lead this team, but he has simply not been able to get the job done. Smartt has 5 interceptions to only 1 passing TD this season, although he has found paydirt 5 times as part of the running game.
Senior RB Kesean Strong leads the team in receiving with 133 yards from 18 grabs, and he is basically the only guy catching anything this season. ODU is so run-heavy now, that the second-leading receiver, Eric Kumah, has only 8 catches for 93 yards.
Lala Davis has averaged 5 yards a carry this season, as he Strong and Smartt are basically this entire show.
Herd strongly favored to get back to the .500 markRest assured that Marshall is aware they are heavily favored to win this weekend, but that won't let head coach Doc Holliday take this game lightly.
Having lost 3 of their last 4 games, the Herd are in no position to look at the odds just because ODU hasn't played well this year.
Cincinnati laid a whoopin' on this team after their bye week, and now they follow up a loss to a struggling Middle Tennessee squad that wasn't exactly looking good themselves going into last weekend. The line setters had Marshall at -6 to win last weekend, and now the Herd has only managed to score a total of 27 points from the last 2 losses struggling on offense.
Isaiah Green has only accumulated 996 passing yards through 5 outings, and the Herd offense ranks 95th in the country at only 24.6 PPG. The passing offense is ranked 83rd in the nation putting up 221.8 YPG but they've run the ball well.
It’s almost 🏈 time again at The Joan! Be there, be LOUD. 🤘— Marshall Football (@HerdFB) October 8, 2019
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Sophomore RB Brenden Knox will go over the 400-yard mark this weekend, and he has found the end zone 4 times as well. He and Sheldon Evans have done most of the work out of the backfield along with Green, as the three have accounted for 123 of the 185 total rushes for the Herd this season.
Expect more of the same from them as Marshall will likely stay ground-oriented this weekend to move the ball with success.
- Over is 4-1 in Thundering Herd last 5 home games.
- Over is 4-1 in Thundering Herd last 5 games on field turf.
- Over is 6-2 in Thundering Herd last 8 games overall.
- Monarchs are 8-21 ATS in their last 29 games on field turf.
- Monarchs are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in October.
- Monarchs are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 conference games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Oh, I am not a fan of laying double-digits but when the time calls for it, it must be done.
Marshall at home should be able to deal with the Monarchs defense, and until ODU proves they can move the ball consistently I cannot invest in them even with the points.
I suspect we will see a relatively low-scoring game, but this total is also pretty low at 47.
Let's call for a 36 - 18 home win, with the chalk and the over as the two plays.
Marshall -15 is the play on the side.
Prediction: Marshall -15
Full-Game Total Pick
Even though ODU has played decent defensively this year, it won't help them this weekend from allowing 36 points to the Herd on the road.
The Monarchs record away from home is bad, and their offensive season thus far has been miserable, to say the least.
ODU should be able to move the ball with the 3 guys they usually use to get the work done. so that 36 - 18 prediction points me to the over 47 in this one. That doesn't scream like much of a success on offense, but 18 points for ODU is a step up from what they have done thus far and the Marshall defense has their own work to do as well this season.
Over 47 is the play on the total.
Prediction: Over 47