Marshall Thundering Herd vs. South Florida Bulls – College Football Free Betting Pick

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Marshall Thundering Herd (-2.5) are coming into the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl as favorites against the South Florida Bulls. ESPN has the TV rights and this Thursday game is scheduled to kick off at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Betting Preview: South Florida Bulls vs. Marshall Thundering Herd

South Florida is playing the role of underdog and is currently getting 2.5 points in this Thursday game. The Thundering Herd are also receiving -140 moneyline odds while the Bulls are +120. Multiple good in-game betting opportunities might be unveiled during the match, and oddsmakers have set the over/under (O/U) at 54.5 points.

This game’s opening line was 2, while the O/U hasn’t moved since it opened at 54.5.

The Thundering Herd are 4-8 against the spread (ATS) and have gained 1.1 units so far. The team has posted an O/U record of 8-4.

The Bulls have lost 0.8 units this season. The team is 4-8 ATS and has an O/U record of 5-6.

The Thundering Herd have gone 8-4 straight up (SU) in 2018 while the Bulls are 7-5 SU.

The Thundering Herd look to get back in stride after a 41-20 defeat to Virginia Tech on December 1. Isaiah Green completed only 19 passes on 34 attempts for 220 yards, along with a score and a pick. Brenden Knox (204 yards on 27 rush attempts, two TDs) led the ground attack in the loss. Armani Levias (five receptions, 69 yards) and Obi Obialo (four catches, 37 yards) shared the receiving duties.

South Florida just lost convincingly 38-10 to UCF. The defense allowed the Knights to rush for 391 yards on 58 attempts, including four rush TDs. Greg McCrae was on a different level for UCF, recording 181 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 16 attempts. As a group, the Bulls collectively completed 15-of-29 passes for 113 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Brett Kean went eight-for-17 for 36 yards while Chris Oladokun was seven-of-12 for 77 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Johnny Ford (120 yards on 16 rush attempts) and Jordan Cronkrite (30 yards on 10 carries) spearheaded the ground game in the defeat as Mitchell Wilcox (five receptions, 38 yards) and Stanley Clerveaux (three catches, 10 yards) led the receiving attack.

Marshall has run the ball on 51.4 percent of its offensive possessions this year while South Florida has a rush percentage of 54.5 percent. The Thundering Herd have produced 155.8 rush yards per game and have 17 touchdowns via handoffs this year. The Bulls are averaging 202.1 rush yards per game and have 26 total rushing TDs.

If 2018 numbers are any indication, then it appears the Thundering Herd may be the more disruptive team in the trenches. Their offensive line has given up only 11 sacks while their D-line registered 32 sacks. The Bulls, on the other hand, have given up 18 sacks and their defense has recorded only 36 sacks.

The Thundering Herd offense has tallied 228.7 yards/contest through the air overall and has 20 passing TDs so far. The Bulls have produced 242.1 pass yards per contest and have 15 total pass scores.

Defensively, Marshall has allowed 103.9 rush yards and 231.7 pass yards per game. The South Florida defense has allowed 197.3 yards per game to opposing passers and 244.7 yards per game on the ground. The Thundering Herd are allowing an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of only 4.93 to opponents, while the Bulls have given up a 5.47 ANY/A.

Passing-wise, Green has amassed 2,062 yards this season. He’s completed 55 percent of his 278 attempts with 13 scores through the air and eight interceptions. Green has a 6.67 adjusted net yards per pass attempt overall, although that number sits at 5.05 over the past two games.

The Thundering Herd will likely try to control the clock by feeding their running backs early and often. Along with Armani Levias (289 yards, three TDs), Brenden Knox (376 rush yards, three rush TDs) and Anthony Anderson (231 rush yards, eight rush TDs, 14 receiving yards) have been focal points in the offensive scheme for Marshall.

For the home team, Blake Barnett has managed to complete 203-of-327 passes for 2,498 yards, 11 TDs and 11 INTs. Barnett’s ANY/A sits at 5.97 for the season and -0.80 over his past two games.

The Bulls also like to keep their backfield featured. Johnny Ford (679 rush yards, eight rush TDs, 78 receiving yards, one receiving TD), Jordan Cronkrite (1,012 rush yards, seven rush TDs) and Duran Bell Jr. (115 rush yards, one rush TD) have seen plenty of action recently.

Marshall Thundering Herd at South Florida Bulls Free NCAA Betting Tip

SU Winner: Marshall, ATS Winner: Marshall, O/U: Over

Betting Trends

  • As a team, Marshall has produced 4.8 yards per carry over its last three outings and 5.8 over its last two.
  • South Florida has averaged 3.7 yards per carry over its last three contests and 4.0 over its last two.
  • South Florida has lost nine fumbles this season while Marshall has lost 11.
  • The Thundering Herd offense has created eight pass plays of 40 or more yards, while the Bulls have put up 11 such plays.
  • The Marshall defense has allowed eight pass plays of 40 yards or more, while South Florida has given up seven such plays.
  • The Marshall offense has created 14 rushing plays of 20 yards or more, while South Florida has created 22 such runs.
  • The Thundering Herd defense has allowed five rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while the Bulls have given up 32 such runs.
  • The Marshall D has 39 sacks on the year while South Florida has just 29.