New Orleans Bowl opponents Marshall and Colorado State have matching 7-5 W/L records in 2017. But as far as point-spread bettors are concerned, the Thundering Herd has ran the Rams right off a cliff this season.
Marshall is 8-4 against the point spread. CSU is 4-8 by the same measure. We’re skeptical of betting-outcome trends at BetFirm, because many are based on results from 5-10 years ago. But the ATS won-loss trend is based on 24 football games played fair and square from August to November of 2017. Put simply, the Herd has consistently out-played expectations while the Rams have underachieved.
But thanks to Colorado State hailing from an arguably-stronger conference (the Mountain West carries nearly a .600 W/L record over C-USA), the point spread is still set in the Rams’ favor. Strangely, the action doesn’t seem to be taking heed of the ATS trend at all.
Who: Marshall Thundering Herd vs Colorado State Rams
When: Saturday, December 16th, 4:30 PM EST
Where: University Stadium, New Orleans, LA
Lines: Marshall (+5.5) vs CSU (-5.5) / O/U Total: (58)
What do the bettors see in Colorado State? The team has not beaten a challenging opponent since besting Nevada 44-42 back in October. Since then they’ve squeaked by New Mexico, lost to Air Force, Wyoming and Boise State, and avoided a .500 season by means of playing San Jose State in the final week.
It’s probably the battle with Boise which has bettors sticking with CSU. The Rams forced 2 turnovers, ran up a big 1st-half lead, and eventually lost 59-52 in overtime. Truth be told, the squad’s offensive numbers weren’t overly impressive – Nick Stevens finished with less than 300 yards passing, and WR Michael Gallop stood out with 100 receiving yards and a TD catch. But it was the type of knock-down, drag-out result vs an elite conference champion that the Herd has nothing on its resume to match.
Or does it? Marshall recently visited FAU and lost 30-25, bottling-up everyone on the 10-3 Owls’ offense not named Devin Singletary. Chase Litton was intercepted 4 times by an athletic defensive backfield, but also carried the team against a tough run defense. Talented junior WR Marcel Williams shined.
The Herd went into a swoon of its own to finish the season, losing to Texas-San Antonio and Southern Miss in tight, frustrating games.
The 2 teams will be rested and more able to play to their ceiling on Saturday, though Marshall is a little more banged-up in the injury department.
Money line bettors should stay away from this one entirely, but we’re liking the Herd plus (5.5) points ATS. They’re not losing by much, and they won’t lose big this weekend.