CFB Betting – Marshall Thundering Herd at Appalachian State Mountaineers

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

It’s a Group of Five showdown on Thursday when the Marshall Thundering Herd takes on the Appalachian State Mountaineers. Both teams are 2-1 on the season and should be in the hunt for their respective conference title. Marshall has one of the top offenses in college football averaging over 600 yards per game and will give C-USA teams fits when the league slate opens. The Herd is anxious to get going after losing outright to East Carolina 42-38 as an 11.5-point favorite. App State has been a threat in the Sun Belt Conference since joining in 2015 posting seven consecutive winning seasons at the FBS level. Winners in 19 of their previous 20 home games, the Mountaineers are laying 7.5-points on the opening college football line.

Marshall Thundering Herd at Appalachian State Mountaineers
Date and Time: Thursday, September 23, 2021, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Kidd Brewer Stadium, Boone, NC
CFB Odds: Appalachian State -7.5, O/U 54.5
Marshall at Appalachian State TV Coverage: ESPN

Odds Analysis

For the first time this season Marshall is catching points hitting the board as a 7.5-point dog. The Herd opened the campaign in style trashing Navy 49-7 as 3.5-point road chalk. They dismantled FCS North Carolina Central the next time out 44-10 but failed to cover the massive 43.5-point spread. Last week was a complete failure losing outright as an 11.5-point favorite. The Herd is 2-1 SU and 1-2 ATS, but they’ve been a gold mine for over bettors. They easily went over the total in all three games and the OVER is 10-4 in their last 14 games. Oddsmakers set the total at 54.5 for Thursday’s matchup.

Playing as a 7.5-point dog App State had ranked Miami on the ropes until a late field goal led to their 25-23 setback. That’s all that’s keeping the Mountaineers from having a perfect record after three games. They bounced back with a 44-10 win over FCS Elon last week, but failed to cover the 35.5-point closing line. App State handled ECU 33-19 in Week 1 covering the 9-point line. That’s the same squad that came back to upend Marshall last week. Of course that has no bearing on what happens Thursday, but it is fun to note.

Marshall Thundering Herd

If you like offense the Herd is a team to watch. They average 603.7 yards and 43.7 points to rank among the top-10 nationally in both categories. And while the competition has been iffy, the three-pronged attack led by quarterback Grant Wells is legit. Wells threw for 433 yards last week and has over 1,100 yards in three games. Corey Gammage is the favorite target with 22 receptions for 344 yards. And the run game produces 184 yards per game with Rasheen Ali averaging nearly 100 yards per game. The Herd has gone over the closing total in all three games.

Offense isn’t an issue, but when the club has spurts of ineffectiveness it’s damaging. Marshall appeared on its way to a win last week leading ECU 38-21 in the fourth quarter then all hell broke loose. The Herd went scoreless in the fourth quarter, the first time all season they failed to put up points in any 15-minute segment, and the defense allowed three touchdowns in the final eight minutes for the upset loss. The Herd yielded 210 yards in the fourth quarter.

Appalachian State Mountaineers

Marshall may have a more explosive offense, but the Mountaineers aren’t too far behind. They racked up 528 yards last week against Elon and averaged 405.5 yards in games against FBS competition. They blasted ECU 33-19 in the opener covering the 9-point spread. App State has an experienced quarterback in Chase Brice and all he does is win games. Brice had a big outing against Elon completing 19 of 25 for 293 yards with a touchdown. He also added a rushing score as the Mountaineers won for the 23rd time in their last 24 home games. They are 12-10-2 ATS over that stretch.

This game will come down to what defense makes a stop or two. And the Mountaineers might be better suited for that endeavor. They’ve given up more than 21 points just twice in their last 10 home games and are allowing an average of 18.0 points this season. They held a potent Miami attack to 375 total yards while containing D’Eriq King for the most part. They got greased up for this matchup by holding Elon to 291 total yards and 2.4 yards per rush attempt.

Bet Marshall at Appalachian State at BookMaker.eu

The teams have played just once since 2001 with that game taking place last season. It turned out to be a defensive battle with Marshall posting the 17-7 home win. I do expect things to be different this week and points should be scored giving value to the OVER. And with Marshall’s D a little suspect, I like the home team for the cover.

CFB Score Prediction: Appalachian State 41, Marshall 30

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- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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