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Marshall vs South Alabama Odds & Prediction: Bet the Jaguars?

Marshall vs South Alabama Odds & Prediction: Bet the Jaguars? article feature image

Pictured: Carter Bradley. (Photo by Bobby McDuffie/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Marshall vs South Alabama Odds

Saturday, Nov. 18
5 p.m. ET
Marshall Odds
-105o / -115u
South Alabama Odds
-105o / -115u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

The Herd thunder into Mobile fresh off of snapping a five-game losing streak. A season that started so promising for Marshall has turned nightmarish, as its offense has collapsed and the defense has regressed.

But, Marshall earned a win last week and scored 38 points against Georgia Southern by turning to backup Cole Pennington. Does Marshall have what it takes to pull off the upset this week?

Let's look into the Marshall vs South Alabama odds.

Check out our NCAAF Betting Hub for more college football previews, predictions, news and analysis.

Marshall Thundering Herd

October was cruel to Marshall and the culprit was a listless offense. Charles Huff’s outfit failed to score double digits in three straight contests and Cam Fancher, an inconsistent dink-and-dunk quarterback who did add mobility to the offense, was benched last week in favor of Pennington.

With Pennington at the helm, Marshall exploded for 38 points, but what was under the hood of that offensive performance?

Of their five touchdowns, one came on a nine-yard drive after a turnover on downs. One was a kickoff return. One was a one-play touchdown, a long run by Rasheen Ali. (Explosives rushes are the only thing is offense does well).

Despite a little better output in the passing game, Marshall still only achieved three sustained drives against a miserable Georgia Southern defense (121st in SP+).

The only thing keeping this offense afloat is Ali’s explosive runs. Marshall is 21st in explosive rushing thanks to Ali’s game-breaking heroics. Unfortunately, South Alabama is 15th in the nation in defending rush explosives.

Marshall’s defense has also cratered. What was a top-10 unit in SP+ last season is now 82nd. The pass defense is still solid, although it's not quite the excellent unit it was last year.

The Herd really struggle to prevent big running plays and rank last in FBS (133rd) in that metric. That's a bad sign against South Alabama’s big play rush attack, which is third in the country.

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South Alabama Jaguars

The Jaguars won’t be reaching their loftiest goals under Kane Wommack as many thought this team might win the Sun Belt West.

Regardless, this veteran squad is still finishing the season strong. South Alabama is a win away from bowl eligibility and would love to clinch a postseason berth on senior night.

South Alabama relies on an explosive big three to power its offense. This is a good offense as it ranks 36th in success rate and is top 20 in both explosive plays and finishing drives.

Running back La’Damian Webb is the man behind those big plays on the ground. Webb has 890 yards on the season and averages 5.5 yards per carry. He's also found the end zone an astonishing 15 times.

Carter Bradley has completed 66.7% of his passes for 15 touchdowns and seven scores. Caullin Lacy is a target hog and one of the best receivers in the country.He's already gone over 1,000 yards on the season.

The defense is solid too, led by star nose guard Wy’Kevious Thomas. The Jaguards are stout against the run, ranking among the top 25 in both explosive rushes allowed and success rate allowed on the ground. They are weaker in the secondary, but Marshall hasn't shown enough of a passing attach to exploit that weakness.

Marshall vs South Alabama

Matchup Analysis

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

Marshall Offense vs. South Alabama Defense
Rush Success12427
Line Yards12548
Pass Success6490
Finishing Drives13017
Quality Drives12437
South Alabama Offense vs. Marshall Defense
Rush Success5916
Line Yards3127
Pass Success4031
Finishing Drives1415
Quality Drives5279
Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling56123
PFF Coverage2971
Special Teams SP+10863
Middle 89857
Seconds per Play25.8 (43)26.6 (60)
Rush Rate50.8% (96)52.3% (72)

Marshall vs South Alabama

Betting Pick & Prediction

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The line opened with the Jaguars favored by a touchdown, but has moved to double digits at most shops.

That said, I still like South Alabama to cover. The Jaguars are a better team and have plenty to play for at home. Marshall is coming off an emotionally taxing game, an upset over Georgia Southern in “The 75 Game,” which honors the victims of the fatal plane crash.

The Jaguars have the advantage when it comes to both creating and defending big plays on the ground.

I like the Jaguars to cover 10.5 at home and would play it to 13.

Pick: South Alabama -10.5 (Play to -13)

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