Louisiana vs. Marshall Betting Odds, Picks: Expect Defenses to Shine

Louisiana vs. Marshall Betting Odds, Picks: Expect Defenses to Shine article feature image

Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Marshall running back Khalan Laborn.

Louisiana vs. Marshall Odds

Wednesday, Oct. 12
7:30 p.m. ET
Louisiana Odds
-105o / -115u
Marshall Odds
-105o / -115u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Week 7 kicks off Wednesday night with a Sun Belt battle between the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns and the Marshall Thundering Herd in a rematch of last year's New Orleans Bowl.

The Herd come into this game with 10 days of rest after beating FCS Gardner Webb, 28-7, to get back into the win column.

Louisiana is also coming off of a 10-day break between games. However, the Ragin' Cajuns will head to Huntington looking for their first win in over a month. Their last win came on Sept. 10 when they took down Eastern Michigan, 49-21. They have since suffered losses to Rice, Louisiana Monroe, and most recently, South Alabama.

Losses aren't the only issue for the Ragin' Cajuns either; starting quarterback Chandler Fields and lead running back Chris Smith are dealing with Injuries. Head coach Michael Desormeaux said in a press conference Saturday that Fields would not play against Marshall, while Smith's status is unknown.

Last year's New Orleans Bowl was the first-ever meeting between these two teams, and Louisiana came away with a 36-21 win over Marshall. The Herd will look to not only settle the series but also win their first conference game as a member of the Sun Belt.

Head coach Charles Huff called on fans to show up and show out in their first home matchup against an FBS opponent this season. The team will pull out all of the stops, including new uniforms to go with the planned "Black Out."


The dawn of a new era in the Sun Belt. But when the sun sets in Huntington … #WeAreMarshall // #BlackOut // @ESPNCFBpic.twitter.com/kLrMURbuY3

— Marshall Football (@HerdFB) October 8, 2022

Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns

With Fields out for the Ragin' Cajuns, Ben Wooldridge will get the start at quarterback. Wooldridge was solid when he came in against South Alabama, going 18-of-29 for 90 yards while throwing one touchdown and one interception. He also added 37 yards on the ground.

But ultimately, the three turnovers were too much for Louisiana to overcome, losing to the Jags, 20-17.

Turnovers have been an issue for the Ragin' Cajuns, but they've been a manageable problem because their defense has brought in more than double the number of turnovers they've given up.

The real issue for this Louisiana team has been penalties. It ranks second-to-last among Sun Belt teams in that area, racking up 41 penalties for a total of 366 yards on the season.

Louisiana hasn't been exceptional on either side of the ball, but it's been exceptionally bad in one area: the red zone.

The Ragin' Cajuns rank 111th nationally in red-zone defense, allowing opponents to score on 93.3% of attempts inside the 20-yard line. On offense, Louisiana scored on just 75% of trips to the red zone, ranking 94th among all FBS teams.

Marshall Thundering Herd

The Thundering Herd have used their 10 days off for some much-needed rest after quarterback Henry Colombi and wide receiver Caleb McMillan suffered injuries against Gardner Webb. Luckily for them, Huff expects both to play this week.

Marshall has had some severe ups and downs so far this season, with the high point being its upset over Notre Dame in South Bend. However, the Herd followed that up by losing their next two games to Bowling Green and Troy.

Colombi has been solid, completing 73.7% of his passes for 875 yards on the season. But the Thundering Herd offense begins and ends with the rush.

Running back Khalan Laborn leads the Sun Belt with 731 yards rushing, averaging 146.2 per game. He also ties Georgia Southern's Jalen White for the conference lead with eight rushing touchdowns on the year, while he's ninth in yards per carry at 5.5 per rush.

Laborn has run for over 100 yards and recorded at least one touchdown in every game this season while logging 30 attempts or more in three of his five games. Expect him to be a vital piece of the offense once again this week.

Defensively, Marshall has been one of the best units in the Sun Belt. The Herd rank second in the conference in terms of defensive scoring, holding opponents to just 16.2 points per contest. They also rank third in the conference with eight interceptions this season.

Marshall ranks second nationally in Defensive Finishing Drives and fourth in Defensive Success Rate — two areas in which the Ragin' Cajuns rank outside the top 75.

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Louisiana vs. Marshall Matchup Analysis

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

Louisiana Offense vs. Marshall Defense
Rush Success11018
Line Yards658
Pass Success894
Pass Blocking**9711
Finishing Drives852
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Marshall Offense vs. Louisiana Defense
Rush Success11844
Line Yards5262
Pass Success12948
Pass Blocking**2187
Finishing Drives10314
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling5218
PFF Coverage1027
SP+ Special Teams10379
Seconds per Play26.0 (57)25.8 (53)
Rush Rate48.0% (98)62.6% (13)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Louisiana vs. Marshall Betting Pick

Both of these teams have found a way to force turnovers on defense but have struggled to limit them on offense. Louisiana ranks second nationally in turnover margin, while Marshall comes in at 13th.

Both teams also rank inside the top five among Sun Belt teams in defensive scoring, while Marshall ranks fourth in defensive third-down conversion percentage at 22.6%.

Louisiana sits at 46th in rush defense, giving up just 128.2 yards per game, and should be able to slow down the Herd's dynamic ground game.

However, I'm not confident in a backup quarterback going up against a Marshall defense that ranks 13th in total defense and allows just 281 yards per game.

I'm taking the under in this midweek matchup. I locked in the under at 49.5, but I feel confident at any number 47 or better.

Pick: Under 47.5 (Play to 47)

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