Marshall vs. FAU Odds & Picks: Each Team Due to Regress in Different Way
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Chris Robson
- The betting odds for Friday night's game between Marshall and FAU opened with Florida Atlantic as a 5.5-point favorite and the over/under at 65.
- We've seen a ton of odds movement since then. Here's how our experts are betting tonight's game, with picks on the spread and total.
Marshall vs. Florida Atlantic Odds & Picks
- Odds: FAU -5.5
- Over/Under: 58.5
- Moneyline: FAU -220, Marshall +180
- Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
- TV: CBS Sports Network
Odds as of Friday at 9 a.m. ET and via PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
There are bad beats, then there is Florida Atlantic hosting Marshall in 2017.
With the exact same point spread as Friday’s game — FAU -5.5 — Florida Atlantic seemed to have this game all but wrapped up with 14 seconds left in the game.
What happened was astounding — an intentional safety with a 7-point lead and less than 15 seconds left to let Marshall cover +5.5 — and the acknowledgement from Florida Atlantic head coach Lane Kiffin that he knew the point spread is enough get a gambler in a rocket and aim at the sun.
Alas, here we are in the same venue with the same teams and the same line.
Wilson: 3 Key Factors for Marshall-FAU
This game is about three things for me:
- Marshall’s strong running game
- Marshall’s inability to convert drives to points
- And if both teams running ’12’ personnel so often favors the defenses
The biggest issue to plague Doc Holliday’s team is red zone efficiency, with a rank of 102nd in points per red zone trip. That isn’t great news against an Owls team that is 12th in opponent red zone scoring percentage.
When we mention 12 personnel, we refer to both teams lining up two tight end sets. Marshall frequently lines up Armani Levias and Xavier Gaines in 12 personnel, as both are excellent run blockers and rank first and third in team receptions.
The top two receivers for Florida Atlantic are both tight ends in Harrison Bryant and John Raine. Both defenses rank mid-pack in opponent pass completions, while Florida Atlantic is 98th in opponent passes of 10-plus yards.
While I won’t attempt to touch this point spread at 5.5 thanks to Lane Kiffin, the Action Network power ratings make this game as a pick ‘em.
I will be looking for Marshall live at +7.
Our totals projections call for the game to land at 52. And considering Marshall’s primary goal is to run the ball and throw to the tight ends, that could make for long scoring drives.
Once the steam on the total settles above 60, I will look to play an Under pregame or live. — Collin Wilson
Collin’s Pick: Marshall +5.5 and Under 59, looking to get better numbers live
Stuckey: Why O-Line Play Could Decide This Game
As Collin alluded to, these teams profile very similarly. Both have sophomore quarterbacks that run a ton of two (and sometimes three) tight ends sets, which also means each defense gets to practice against that type of scheme on the regular.
That does make me lean to the under here, although an under is always tough with FAU, which plays very fast (Marshall plays at about an average pace for what it’s worth.)
Marshall’s offense has sputtered at times as a result of losing two of its top receivers to injury, which caused the Thundering Herd to rely on a lot of youth on the outside.
The same can be said for Florida Atlantic and injuries in its backfield as it tried to replace star RB Devin Singletary, but Malcolm Davidson has appeared to emerge as a legit No. 1 back based on his past two outings (34 carries, 232 yards, 3 TD), albeit against poor defenses.
In a game of two fairly similar teams, I think it may come down to which offensive line plays better. And if that’s the case, you have to like Marshall’s chances.
Florida Atlantic has really struggled up front. Per Football Outsiders, the Owls rank 125th in Line Yards (a run blocking measure) and 117th in Passing Down Sack Rate. As a result, Lane Kiffin has had to shuffle his starters on that line, so it’s a unit that doesn’t have the results or continuity as Marshall, which ranks No. 9 and 36th in those two aforementioned stats, respectively.
Ultimately, I have Marshall rated slightly better overall, so will gladly take anything over a field goal. — Stuckey
Stuckey’s Pick: Marshall +5.5
Miller: Common Result Not Telling
Both teams have faced a common opponent within the last few weeks and it’s skewing the line in this game. Two weeks ago, Marshall lost to Middle Tennessee 24-13. Last week, FAU beat MTSU 28-13.
On the surface it looks like FAU is the much better team but that’s not the case upon further review. Marshall’s loss to the Blue Raiders was on the road and they out gained them 578-404 before turnovers did them in. FAU took care of business at home but Middle Tennessee out gained them 459-364.
These two games were a microcosm of both team’s seasons thus far. Marshall has gotten unlucky from a yards-per-play to points-per-play perspective while FAU has been very fortunate. In fact, FAU ranks 96th in the country in YPP on offense and defense while Marshall is 44th and 68th respectively.
The way that FAU’s defense can get stops is when their defensive line that ranks 20th in line score dominates the line of scrimmage. Marshall will be able to combat that a big, experienced offensive line that ranks 19th in offensive line score.
My power numbers on this game make FAU just under a one-point favorite so I’ll be the Thundering Heard in this one. The number is currently sitting at 5.5 right where it opened so I’m holding out hope for a six or 6.5.
I’ll back the Herd all the way down to 3.5.
Miller’s Pick: Marshall +5.5 or better