Southern Miss -3.5
Anytime I see an 0-6 team favored over a team with a better record I immediately look to wager on the favorite. In my experience, this is the type of game where the bookmaker has done your work for you. A good example of this was last week when a 1-5 Rice was a 2.5 point favorite over a 5-0 UTSA. Rice won easily, 35-14.
Usually in these situations the team with the better record is a fraud and/or the team with the worse record has played a difficult schedule and is “dropping down in class.” That is the case we have for Southern Miss this week. The Golden Eagles have played a brutal schedule thus far this season including games against Nebraska, Western Kentucky, Louisville, Boise State and UCF (24-6 combined). According to Sagarin’s ratings, Southern Miss has played the 13th toughest schedule in the country whereas Marshall’s schedule is rated 83rd.
However, there are a few other reasons to like Southern Miss this week. Generally for a team to be successful on the road they need to be able to run the football and play good defense (see Alabama, Florida, Oregon , etc.). Well Marshall can do neither. The Thundering Herd are ranked No. 120 in scoring defense, No. 111 in rushing defense and No. 107 in total defense.
Southern Miss on the other hand is rushing for 173 ypg this season vs teams that allow 150.13 ypg (Marshall is allowing 246 ypg rushing vs teams that avg 197.67 ypg). In addition, Marshall has struggled to defend dual-threat quarterbacks all season. The Herd is going to face another in Southern Miss' true freshman Anthony Alford, who last week vs a stout UCF defense rushed for 71 yards and 2 TDs on 12 carries.
Southern Miss 38 Marshall 31
PS I personally got this game at Southern Miss -3 (-120)
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