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Coastal Carolina vs Marshall Odds, Picks & Predictions: Value on Herd?

Coastal Carolina vs Marshall Odds, Picks & Predictions: Value on Herd? article feature image
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Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Khalan Laborn & Henry Colombi (Marshall)

  • The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers face a major challenge on Saturday when they take on the Marshall Thundering Herd in Huntington, West Virginia.
  • The Herd defense has been stout all season, which could cause problems for Grayson McCall and the Chants.
  • Read on for Dan Keegan's Coastal Carolina vs Marshall betting guide and pick.

Coastal Carolina vs Marshall Odds

Saturday, Oct. 29
7 p.m. ET
NFL Network
Coastal Carolina Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+2.5
-105
54
-110o / -110u
+115
Marshall Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-2.5
-115
54
-110o / -110u
-135
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Coastal Carolina is 6-1 on the season, having suffered its first loss two weeks ago to Old Dominion.

Fresh off of their bye week, the Chanticleers head to Huntington to take on a Marshall team that just earned the school’s first-ever league win as a Sun Belt conference member.

This game is an exercise in contrasts. Coastal Carolina has excellent quarterback play — NFL prospect Grayson McCall — but little else. Its offense is solid, but the defense is quite leaky.

Marshall has gotten little from its quarterbacks, but a strong running game and sturdy defense have carried the day for the Herd.

When Coastal Carolina has the ball against Marshall’s outstanding defense, you will be in for a treat. When the field is flipped? You might want to check in on some other games.

Marshall is a small favorite at home. Do we think it’s on the right side, or can Coastal find some matchups to exploit and snag a win on the road in conference play? Let’s take a look.


The Chanticleers have been one of the darlings of Group of Five football over the past few years.

This year’s outfit has regressed strongly on defense — its 102nd returning production number has taken its toll. With such a diminished roster, the Coastal defense has fallen to 95th in SP+.

The Chants are equally forgiving to big plays and efficient drives — ranking 116th in Explosiveness Allowed and 107th in Success Rate Allowed. They are poor against the rush — ranking 99th in EPA allowed — and downright dreadful against the pass — 130th in EPA allowed.

The Coastal defense has surrendered 29.2 points per game, and the best offense it has faced is perhaps Georgia Southern’s one-sided Air Raid attack? Or Army’s triple option? This is not a murderer’s row of college football offenses.

The good news is Marshall’s offense is not a particularly frightening one either. One matchup that could turn the tide in the game is Havoc: Coastal’s defense is 21st in the country in creating negative plays, and Marshall is susceptible, ranking 117th in Havoc allowed.

This Coastal pass rush, featuring Josaiah Stewart, could have a nice day, regardless of who plays quarterback for the Herd.

The same applies for the Chants’ offense. While their performance on that side of the ball is impressive, the best defense they have played is Old Dominion’s 79th-ranked (in SP+) stop unit.

The rest of their opponents have defenses that hang out in the 100-ish vicinity of FBS. Facing this excellent Marshall defense might induce whiplash.

McCall is having another nice year at quarterback for the Chants. He does it all, McCalling the McShots for head coach Jamey Chadwell’s unique triple-option scheme. He has thrown for 1,940 yards on the season, alongside 18 touchdowns and only one pick.

So far on the season, the Coastal recipe has been McCall single-handedly powering the team to a close win in a shootout. He’ll need another huge game against this tough Marshall defense to continue that recipe.


The Herd play host after scoring a huge win in Harrisonburg, VA over James Madison in a matchup of two Sun Belt newcomers.

The game was a slog. JMU’s star quarterback Todd Centeio was a surprising late scratch, and his replacement, Billy Atkins, struggled all game.

Head coach Charles Huff has rotated two quarterbacks all season, alternating between veteran Henry Colombi and freshman Cam Fancher.

Colombi brings better passing ability and a veteran presence, while Fancher brings mobility. Neither has been particularly impressive, and the Marshall offense ranks 80th in SP+ and 130th in EPA/pass.

It’s unclear yet which quarterback will see the majority of snaps on Saturday. It had been Colombi, until he failed to finish consecutive games due to injury. He warmed up, but sat out of the James Madison game.

I’m not sure it matters who gets the majority of snaps. Coastal’s defense will be accommodating to either passer — as it has been all season — and Marshall prefers to lean on the capable legs of running back Khalan Laborn, anyways.

Marshall’s defense is truly excellent, as the unit is one of the best in the Group of Five. It is 20th overall in defensive SP+, featuring a stout front that is fifth in EPA/rush and a secondary anchored by two NFL-caliber cornerbacks, Micah Abraham and Steven Gilmore.

They will challenge this Chanticleers offense all day, as Coastal has not yet faced a defense remotely of this caliber all season.


Coastal Carolina vs Marshall Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Coastal Carolina and Marshall match up statistically:

Coastal Carolina Offense vs. Marshall Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 30 4
Line Yards 42 8
Pass Success 10 1
Pass Blocking** 98 7
Havoc 43 11
Finishing Drives 81 11
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Marshall Offense vs. Coastal Carolina Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 83 82
Line Yards 47 41
Pass Success 126 123
Pass Blocking** 81 17
Havoc 117 21
Finishing Drives 116 70
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 91 16
PFF Coverage 91 21
SP+ Special Teams 98 79
Seconds per Play 28.5 (107) 26.1 (60)
Rush Rate 57.4% (39) 62.5% (13)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Coastal Carolina vs Marshall Betting Pick

I went into this thinking I would lean Coastal. The Chants have a far better quarterback and Marshall’s win against JMU should have a Centeio-sized asterisk next to it for the data generated. 

But I look at how poorly Coastal’s defense has performed all season, and I factor in the preposterously soft slate of defenses its offense has faced. I believe Marshall is the best play with its excellent defense and perhaps a season-saving win last week. 

I’ll take the Herd at a field goal or less, as they are the team that has seen far more difficult tests on the season, and their defense is the best unit in this game.

Pick: Marshall -2.5 (Play to -3)

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