College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Old Dominion vs. Marshall: Why to Target Saturday’s Total (Oct. 9)
Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Grant Wells.
- Old Dominion and Marshall face each other in a Conference USA college football matchup on Saturday afternoon.
- The Thundering Herd enter as big favorites, but Alex Kolodziej sees betting value on the total.
- Check out Kolodziej's full betting preview, complete with odds, picks, and predictions, below.
Old Dominion vs. Marshall Odds
|Old Dominion Odds||+21.5 (-117)|
|Marshall Odds||-21.5 (-106)|
|Moneyline||+800 / -1430|
|Over/Under||64.5 (-112 / -109)|
|Time||2 p.m. ET|
|TV||CBS Sports Network|
|Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.|
Saturday’s clash between Old Dominion and Marshall will give one club a much-needed boost for the second-half stretch.
Both the Monarchs and Thundering Herd are reeling, each riding their respective three-game losing streaks.
Over that span, Old Dominion’s been outscored by 12 points per game. Marshall, meanwhile, has suffered two outright losses as a double-digit favorite.
The public took an early stance on the favorite, pushing the Herd from -19.5 to -21.
However, it’s the total that deserves a second look.
Old Dominion vs. Marshall Betting Preview
Old Dominion Offense
Former UCF quarterback Darriel Mack Jr. leads the show for the Monarchs.
He’s struggled as a passer in 2021 — his 28.7 QBR ranks 113th in the country — but has compensated with his legs, posting team-highs in both rushing attempts (60) and touchdowns (six).
The highlights are seemingly few and far between for a unit allergic to breaking off chunks. Old Dominion’s dead-last nationally in Big Play rate, hamstrung by a rushing offense picking up just 3.3 yards per play.
But if there’s any silver lining, Ricky Rahne’s club’s improving.
After totaling just 473 yards and 27 combined points in their first two games against FBS foes, the Monarchs registered 715 and 55 over the previous two, respectively.
Will the momentum carry over against a Herd defense allowing more than 35 points per game over the last three?
Old Dominion Defense
Old Dominion and its opponents have cashed three straight overs, but the defense has played better than the box scores indicate.
Although the Monarchs are bottom-15 nationally in points allowed against FBS competition (37.5), they’re only coughing up 351.5 yards per contest — better than programs such as Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, BYU and Notre Dame, among others.
The secondary in particular has held up despite the front seven’s inability to get after the quarterback.
Old Dominion’s 125th in pass rush and collecting only 1.5 sacks per contest, but is top 10 in Pass Success and limiting the big play.
The Herd needed the bare minimum last year offensively behind the nation’s top-ranked scoring defense. The 2021 unit is providing more, already averaging 5.9 more plays and 10.1 more points per game.
Quarterback Grant Wells is sixth in the country in passing yards (1,701) for a unit throwing the ball on more than 55% of snaps. The 6-foot-2 freshmen has bagged big play after big play, eating up close to 15 yards per completion this season.
The Herd ripped off four straight ‘overs’ out of the gates but fell under the closing total of 66 last weekend in a 34-28 loss to Middle Tennessee State.
The unit only had one way to go after giving up just 14.4 points per tilt, but the regression has hit Marshall quite hard.
There’s minimal resistance on the ground for a squad ranking 92nd in yards per carry allowed (4.6) and 100th in overall Rush Success Rate.
Marshall’s been sliced up for north of 480 yards over the last three, a span which includes a whopping 107 points allowed.
Old Dominion vs. Marshall Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Old Dominion and Marshall match up statistically:
Old Dominion Offense vs. Marshall Defense
Marshall Offense vs. Old Dominion Defense
Pace of Play / Other
How legit is Old Dominion’s defense?
Gaudy scores line the ledger, but not without a bit of noise.
The Monarchs gave up two non-offensive touchdowns to Buffalo a few weeks ago and despite allowing close to 40 points per game in FBS play, are a fringe top-40 unit in yards.
A Week 6 matchup with a pass-heavy Marshall team will give us our answer.
Old Dominion vs. Marshall Betting Pick
I agree with the market moving this total up from 63 to 66, which is my cut-off point to play the over.
Old Dominion totals gradually cratered throughout the year, starting at 62 in Week 1 and bottoming out at 48.5 last Saturday. The adjustment back up to 66 appears to be significant on the surface, but it makes sense.
The Monarchs are improving offensively. The icing on the cake will be the big play, which we’ve yet to see.
Explosiveness is a random metric with little predictive value.
But as Old Dominion — which didn’t participate last season –continues to get reps against sub-par defenses, it should start hitting a couple of home runs. And there isn’t a better week for positive regression than against a deflated Herd defense.
Marshall, meanwhile, is officially an ‘over’ team after consistently engaging in rock fights last fall.
Old Dominion’s secondary has held up, but this is where it collapses. The lack of pass rush is alarming and Wells is more than capable of operating in a clean pocket.
The Herd are putting the pedal to the metal, pacing the nation in plays per minute. Saturday’s pace won’t be a problem.
Pick: Over 66 (play to 66)