Marshall vs. Appalachian State Betting Odds, Predictions: Our Top Pick for This Group of Five Matchup (Thursday, September 23)

Marshall vs. Appalachian State Betting Odds, Predictions: Our Top Pick for This Group of Five Matchup (Thursday, September 23) article feature image
Credit:

Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Chase Brice.

Marshall vs. Appalachian State Odds

Marshall Odds +7
Appalachian State Odds -7
Moneyline +245 / -300
Over/Under 58.5
Time 7:30 p.m. ET
TV ESPN
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The average person would tell you that the worst day of the week is Monday. Coming off a football-filled relaxing weekend, only to have the harsh reality of work and responsibilities hit them for the next five days.

For me? I can’t stand Thursdays. They’re such a tease leading up to the weekend. You can’t completely blow it off or afford to be lazy during it while your eyes are set on any weekend plans you may have. The worst.

That is, until this Thursday, when we have an intriguing lone college football game on deck.

Thursday’s matchup features the Marshall Thundering Herd traveling to Boone to take on the Appalachian State Mountaineers. Marshall comes off a 42-38 loss to East Carolina, while App State dominated Elon, 44-10.

Marshall looks to build on its lead in the C-USA, and App State looks to avoid losing any more ground to Coastal Carolina in the Sun Belt.

Both sitting at 2-1, this one sets up to be a fun one for our Thursday viewing pleasure.


Marshall vs. Appalachian State Betting Preview

Thursday, Sept. 23
7:30 p.m. ET
ESPN

Marshall Thundering Herd

Marshall Offense

This will be the real first test for Marshall this season.

With wins over Navy and NC Central, and a previously mentioned loss to ECU, Marshall will need to find continued offensive success against the App State defense.

This starts at the quarterback position.

While quarterback Grant Wells has been putting up eye-popping numbers, he has also been taking his team out of games. So far in the 2021 season, Wells has racked 1,110 passing yards, four touchdowns, and five interceptions at a completion percentage of 66.7%.

While Wells has been shaky under center, the same cannot be said at the running back position.

Running back Rasheen Ali has been a man possessed. Rushing for 293 yards, seven touchdowns, and an average of 6.4 yards per carry, the Herd will need to see more of him if they want to pull off the upset.


Marshall Defense

When you hear the word “herd,” you would think of a unison tight formation (don’t quote me on that). So far this season, that hasn’t been the case as the Marshall run defense has been shredded.

Ranking 95th in Def. Rush Success and 114th in Def. Line Yards, the Herd are having trouble stopping the run. This doesn’t bode well against App State, which owns a respectable ranking of 31st in Rush Success.

Marshall will heavily rely on its ability to get to the quarterback. The Herd rank fourth in Def. Pass Rush, terrorizing the backfield. This has resulted in 17 sacks for 93 sack yards.

The defensive line will need to do the secondary a favor and keep this up and disrupt App State’s pass attack. Marshall is pedestrian in Def. Pass Success, ranking 53rd.

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App State Mountaineers

App State Offense

I briefly mentioned Marshall’s poor rush defense. Well, now it’s time to talk about the other side of the coin.

App State likes to run, and it runs well. Ranking 31st in Rush Success, this is attributed to two running backs both having over 200 rushing yards in three games.

So far this season, running back Camerun Peoples has run for 275 yards and five touchdowns at an average of 6.5 yards per carry. Fellow back Nate Noel has contributed with 250 yards with an average of 5.2 yards per rush.

The Mountaineers will look to exploit the Herd’s rush defense by running it down their throats until they prove they can stop it.

It’s not enough that App State can run it on them at will, but the Mountaineers also have a great air attack. Quarterback Chase Brice has been torching secondaries to the tune of 751 yards and four touchdowns at a completion rate of 69.8%.

Run or pass, App State will have plenty of ways to burn the Herd defense.


App State Defense

This matchup could very well come down to what breaks first — Marshall’s rushing attack or App State’s rush defense.

The Mountaineers will get theirs, but if they want to cover the number, they will need to bottle up the Herd’s running game.

App State heads into Thursday ranking 26th in Def. Rush Success and ninth in Def. Line Yards. It’s simply not allowing offensive lines to push it back or let opponents run on it.

This is great, as App State currently has one glaring weakness it will need to focus on this week leading up to the game. The Mountaineers do not get to the quarterback.

Ranking 103rd in Def. Pass Rush, they will find it troubling to get to the quarterback again, as the Herd boast a successful pass-blocking unit that ranks 16th nationally.


Marshall vs. Appalachian State Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Marshall and Appalachian State match up statistically:

Marshall Offense vs. Appalachian State Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success 10 26
Line Yards 96 9
Pass Success 21 57
Pass Blocking** 16 103
Big Play 57 81
Havoc 26 53
Finishing Drives 42 34
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Appalachian State Offense vs. Marshall Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success 31 95
Line Yards 76 114
Pass Success 17 53
Pass Blocking** 42 4
Big Play 11 81
Havoc 76 60
Finishing Drives 37 45
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 58 32
PFF Coverage 61 97
Middle 8 68 88
SP+ Special Teams 73 54
Plays per Minute 2 82
Rush Rate 45.2% (114) 55.7% (62)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.


As previously mentioned, the matchup to look for will be Marshall’s run game against the App State rush defense. Both ranking very well in their own right, the number could very well come down to which unit breaks first.

They both also rank very similar in Finishing Drives, an interesting metric to monitor. This could lead to a potential live play on the total depending on what we see when either team gets past the 40.


Marshall vs. Appalachian State Betting Pick

If you have a great feel for the game and know the number may get away from you, then always be on alert for the opener. I grabbed App State -5.5 as soon as it was released knowing that money would shoot it up.

As of writing, the number currently sits at -7, and I would still play it. Marshall is currently a product of its schedule — a cupcake schedule so far. App State will be a step up in competition, one that I think the Herd are not ready for.

App State will run it down the Marshall’s throat. Boasting great Rush Success numbers against the poor Marshall numbers, the difference in the two may be glaring as App State moves the ball at will.

The Mountaineers may pump the brakes on their own passing game, as Marshall has found success getting to the quarterback but cannot stop the run.

If Marshall can’t get to Brice like it normally would, then it will be in for a long night trying to stop the Mountaineers’ versatile attack.

I would play this up to -7 small and look to add additional live pieces on the total depending on what happens when both teams get past the 40.

Pick: Appalachian State -5.5 (Play to -7)

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