Western Kentucky vs. Marshall Odds & Prediction: Herd Offense Better Than You Think

Western Kentucky vs. Marshall

  • Spread: Marshall -4.5
  • Over/Under: 45
  • Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: Facebook Live

Odds as of Friday night and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).

Resurgent Western Kentucky is off to a hot start at 5-2 and in first in Conference USA East by 1.5 games. But these aren’t the high-flying, offensive Hilltoppers you remember from a few years ago. This team can play some defense.

Marshall is its steady, usually self at 4-3, with an excellent defense and an offense that’s more efficient than you’d think.

Let’s dive into this matchup.

Model Projection for WKU-Marshall

Using our betting power ratings, we can project every spread and total. EDGE members can access our full power ratings here.

  • Spread: Pick’em
  • Total: 55.5

How We’re Betting Marshall-WKU

Homecoming is an emotional weekend at Marshall, as alumni and former players come to Huntington to celebrate. ‘Marshall and Beyond’ is the theme to this year’s homecoming, as the school promises a ‘momentous‘ announcement on the field after the first quarter.

Momentous is the perfect adjective to describe the Marshall offense and the Western Kentucky defense. The Hilltoppers have been led by a ferocious defensive trench play and some offensive playmakers like Arkansas transfer quarterback Ty Storey.

Lucky Jackson caught a TD pass from Ty Storey earlier, now he's returning the favor!

A perfectly executed trick play from @WKUFootball! pic.twitter.com/3BpBG3iFbm

— Conference USA (@ConferenceUSA) October 19, 2019

But I highlighted the trick play because of Western Kentucky’s lack of traditional scoring offense. The Hilltoppers average just 22.3 points per game, relying on a defense that has allowed just 38 points in the last four games.

The Marshall defense is ferocious on its own, with a sack rate of 7th and 10th in opponent rush explosiveness. This should be another low scoring spot for the Western Kentucky.

Marshall does have a conservative offense, running in standard downs and passing in passing downs. The Herd have attempted just 211 passes this season, but a pass explosiveness rank of 14th suggests they should try and throw more.

Western Kentucky has been stellar against the run, which may get Marshall passing more often. Herd coach Doc Holliday has installed new schemes featuring three tight ends due to depth on the outside.

Armani Levias breaks tackles and sheds defenders on his 59-yd route to the endzone!

TOUCHDOWN @HerdFB! pic.twitter.com/ww2nZKV5J6

— Conference USA (@ConferenceUSA) October 18, 2019

These formations have allowed the Herd to rush with plenty of success or create an explosive passing game.

The Hilltoppers are 128th in the nation in defending pass explosives and if Western Kentucky gets behind, it will not have enough offensive firepower to get back into the game. I’m taking Marshall despite my ratings indicating the spread is a little too high.

Pick: Marshall -4.5 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]

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