College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for UAB vs. Marshall (Saturday, January 29)

College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for UAB vs. Marshall (Saturday, January 29) article feature image

Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured (left to right): Andrew Taylor, Jeremy Dillon, Taevion Kinsey, and Chase McKey.

  • UAB takes on Marshall is Conference USA basketball action on Saturday.
  • The Blazers enter as big favorites, but our betting expert thinks the Herd can keep it close.
  • Check out our full betting guide and pick below.

UAB vs. Marshall Odds

Saturday, Jan. 29
7 p.m. ET
UAB Odds
-110o / -110u
Marshall Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The UAB Blazers will travel to Huntington, West Virginia, to take on the Marshall Thundering Herd in a matchup of First vs. Worst in Conference USA.

UAB sits in a three-way tie atop C-USA, while Marshall is last in the conference and still looking for its first league win of the year.

Marshall's season has been an upsetting one, to say the least. Projected to the leaders in the East during the preseason, it now sits at 7-13 overall and 0-7 in the conference. Marshall is also on a 10-game losing streak and has not posted a win since Dec. 11.

The struggles have been all over for Marshall. And it's hard to see them right the ship against one of the best teams in the CUSA. But can they cover the spread?

UAB, meanwhile, seems to be doing everything right. The Blazers rank inside the top 60 in both scoring offense and defense as well as adjusted efficiency. Sure, it's had missteps, most recently against Rice, falling 85-80 on the road, but what team hasn't?

It's on its last leg of a three-game road swing, which is the first time the Blazers will play three road games in a row. Will that provide an opportunity for Marshall to make it closer than the spread implies?

The Blazers did look somewhat out of sorts in their last game against Western Kentucky. Down by one with 44 seconds to play, the Blazers needed two 3s to rally and win on the road.

UAB Blazers

In the last game, Jordan Walker hit the game-winning 3 to propel the Blazers past Western Kentucky. Walker leads UAB with 18.1 points per game and has won back-to-back Conference USA Player of the Week awards.

Quan Jackson has been another pivotal piece for UAB as he leads the conference in steals.

On offense, UAB is averaging 78.4 points per game and posting the 16th-best scoring margin in the country at +13.5. The Blazers have been especially deadly from 3-point range, hitting at 38.7% and ranking 10th best in the nation.

UAB also moves at the 75th-fastest pace of play in the country, which is a big reason why it takes the 17th-most field goal attempts per contest.

But it's not all perfect for the Blazers; they have had issues in the paint. UAB is getting blocked on 9.8% of shot attempts, ranking 231st nationally. And while it hasn't been awful from the charity stripe, it hasn't excelled, hitting at just 71.4% as a team.

On defense, the Blazers have essentially been as good as they are on offense. They are limiting opposing teams to just 64.9 points per game and holding them to a shooting percentage of just 40.7% from the floor.

Along with that, the Blazers' best defense has come against 2-point shots, holding teams to 44.8%. In contrast, Marshall's best offensive area has been in 2-point shots, hitting 52.8%.

Stopping Marshall around the basket when it already struggles on offense could be the first nail in the coffin for the Herd.

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Marshall Thundering Herd

Marshall has 31 games on the schedule this season. The first season it played 31 games came in 1983-84. Since then, it has won seven games or fewer just twice and has never won less than three conference games.

KenPom projects the Herd to finish the season at 11-20 overall and 4-14 in the conference. However, they were also projected to go 15-7 in the preseason.

Essentially, if Marshall doesn't turn things around soon, it's on track for one of its worst seasons in program history. Head coach Dan D'Antoni's worst season was his first, but even then, he went 11-21 overall and 7-11 in C-USA.

So, what happened to the Thundering Herd? Some players have missed time, but D'Antoni believes the team is overthinking it and letting the losing streak get in its head.

Marshall has the talent. Taevion Kinsey leads C-USA with 20,8 points per game and also ranks fifth in assists at 4.2 per contest. Obinna Anochili-Killen is second in the league in blocks per game at 3.7, and Andrew Taylor ranks third in C-USA with 2.2 steals per contest.

On offense, Marshall averages 73.3 points per game, which is a respectable 102nd nationally. It also isn't far off UAB in rebounding, pulling down 36.7 per game compared to the Blazers' 38.

And the Herd even take a lot of shots, ranking 14th in field goal attempts per game. But Marshall is not making those shots. It ranks 244th in effective field goal percentage and is one of the worst in college basketball at 3-point shooting, ranked 349th.

But the bigger problem for Marshall has been its defense. The Herd rank 333rd, allowing opponents to score 78.3 points per contest. They also allow opposing teams to pull down 38.4 rebounds per game to rank 321st.

Marshall is outside the top 300 in 3-point defense, 2-point defense, field goal attempts, and made field goals.

But it's not all bad, as the Herd are 47th in block percentage, an area UAB has explicitly struggled with.

UAB vs. Marshall Betting Pick

UAB is a top-50 team in the country. Marshall is (respectfully) a dumpster fire.

However, UAB already showed some issues in this road swing against WKU. And as I mentioned earlier, this is the first time UAB will play a third game in a row away from home this year.

I think Marshall has the talent to be a decent team. Do I think it will rattle off 11 wins in a row to end the season? No. But I do believe the market is overreacting to its stretch of losses.

Marshall nearly pulled off a win in its last game, and I think it has improved and grown more confident over its last few games.

The Herd might not win, but 9.5 feels like too many for a UAB team in unproven waters against one of the hungriest teams for a win in the country,

Pick: Marshall +7.5 or better

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Nick Sterling
Jun 16, 2024 UTC