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Marshall vs UConn Odds, Picks: The Myrtle Beach Bowl Bet to Make

Marshall vs UConn Odds, Picks: The Myrtle Beach Bowl Bet to Make article feature image
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Michael Reaves/Getty Images and Williams Paul/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured from left: Caleb McMillan (5) of the Marshall Thundering Herd and Devontae Houston (25) of the UConn Huskies.

Marshall vs UConn Odds

Monday, Dec. 19
2:30 p.m. ET
ESPN
Marshall Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-12
-115
41
-115o / -105u
-475
UConn Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+12
-105
41
-115o / -105u
+380
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The Myrtle Beach Bowl rolls into its third season hailing from the “Surf Turf” of Brooks Stadium. This season will see a fantastic matchup between the newest Sun Belt member and an FBS Independent making a post season return.

Marshall — along with Old Dominion and Southern Miss — had a messy divorce from Conference USA to join the Sun Belt. A late October loss to Coastal Carolina kept the Herd from competing for the conference championship, but second-year head coach Charles Huff has made a second consecutive bowl game.

The Thundering Herd are 12-6 all-time in bowls, previously winning six straight under Doc Holliday.

The UConn Huskies are the talk of bowl season after the program played in just one bowl since 2010. Head coach Jim Mora Jr. returned to the college ranks after previous head coaching jobs with UCLA and two stops in the NFL.

The turnaround has been remarkable considering UConn elected not to play in 2020 due to COVID-19. Before Mora took the job this past offseason, UConn had posted a record of 4-32 since the 2018 season.

There will be no lack of motivation or fight from the Huskies on the Surf Turf.


Marshall Thundering Herd

Charles Huff worked as a running backs coach at Alabama and Mississippi State before taking his first head coaching position in Huntington.

His background has carried over to the Herd, who run the ball at a 61% clip behind Khalan Laborn. The former Florida State Seminole posted more than 1,400 yards this season, averaging 2.8 yards after contact.

WHOA KHALAN LABORN WITH THE MOVES MMMMM 🥶🥶🥶 pic.twitter.com/9aSBoHn5WK

— The Transfer Portal CFB (@TPortalCFB) September 10, 2022

Laborn finished the season with 282 carries, as no other running back on the roster finished with more than 45.

Joining the senior on the ground is quarterback Cam Fancher, who averages more than five carries a game and has put up a healthy 223 rushing yards on scramble attempts.

Despite the one-two punch on the ground, Marshall has severe issues in scoring opportunities with a rank of 127th. The Herd average just 2.7 points per trip inside the 40-yard line, ranking near dead last in red-zone efficiency.

In contrast to the offense, Marshall has one of the most fierce defenses of all Group of Five teams. The Herd finished top-five overall in Success Rate, Finishing Drives and tackling for the season.

Defensive coordinator Lance Guidry employs a complicated scheme for opposing offenses, frequently showing two down linemen and a host of players standing up in the tackle box.

Linebacker Eli Neal and Charlie Gray are the lead tacklers of the unorthodox scheme. Edge Owen Porter has been a one-man Havoc machine with 51 pressures on the season.

A high number in Defensive Success Rate has made for very few first downs for opponents. Marshall has allowed the third-best rate in first downs allowed against the rush by any defense in college football.

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Connecticut Huskies

The Huskies needed the improbable to happen to make the postseason, winning as more than a touchdown underdog against Boston College and Liberty down the stretch.

UConn covered seven of its final eight games on the schedule. The overall statistics aren’t pretty for this bowl season darling, but the meat and potatoes of the offense runs through the ground game.

The Huskies have rebounded since the loss of running back Nathan Carter to injury after Week 3 against Michigan. Victor Rosa anchors a trio of running backs who average more than three yards after contact.

Devontae Houston is the most explosive weapon in the backfield, generating 18 carries over 10 yards in just 76 attempts on the season. Throw in 33 scrambles from quarterback Zion Turner, and defenses have been keen to load the box.

Shoutout UConn LT Christopher Fortin springing Devontae Houston for this 75-yard TD! pic.twitter.com/zZ1vjzCQdo

— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) November 4, 2022

The Huskies’ defensive numbers don’t fly off the page, but a top-20 strength of schedule comes from facing a plethora of bowl teams, including Michigan and Fresno State.

The forte of the defense is limiting explosive plays, ranking second nationally in defensive pass expected points and 10th in limiting chunk plays in passing downs.

The two biggest notables are safety Malik Dixon-Williams and cornerback Tre Wortham, who have combines for 17 forced incompletions on the season.


Marshall vs UConn Matchup Analysis

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

Marshall Offense vs. UConn Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 88 118
Line Yards 90 97
Pass Success 110 112
Pass Blocking** 51 103
Havoc 95 99
Finishing Drives 127 53
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

UConn Offense vs. Marshall Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 76 3
Line Yards 105 14
Pass Success 126 2
Pass Blocking** 20 6
Havoc 118 12
Finishing Drives 73 2
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 5 67
PFF Coverage 10 47
SP+ Special Teams 116 98
Seconds per Play 25.8 (48) 29.7 (123)
Rush Rate 61.4% (16) 66.4% (5)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Marshall vs UConn Betting Pick

UConn is the feel-good story of 2022 but could not have drawn a worse matchup in Marshall.

The Huskies rely on the rushing attack to move the chains with the intention of taking a few deep shots after establishing the rush. Turner has twice as many turnover-worthy plays as big-time throws in the passing game, with an adjusted completion percentage that falls 30% when faced with pressure.

The Marshall defense is one of the best nationally in limiting first downs on the ground, making Turner’s arm the key to scoring opportunities for UConn. The Herd rank 13th in Defensive Havoc — an element that will be present on every snap, as the Huskies rank 118th in Havoc Allowed.

The Huskies struggled to stop the rushing attack against numerous opponents. A bottom-20 number in Stuff Rate indicates that opponents had control of the trench. The hope for UConn is limiting explosive plays and looking for Marshall to continue its struggle in the red zone.

The Action Network projection indicates the Herd should be favored by nearly two touchdowns with a total in the mid-40s.

The steam on the under is justified with Marshall struggling to convert scoring opportunities, along with a UConn offense that averages a slow pace of 29.7 seconds per play.

Because the Marshall defense should dominate every aspect of the UConn offense, this low-scoring game will be all about the Herd.

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