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MARYLAND vs. MARSHALL
Friday, Dec. 27, 2:30 pm
ESPN Friday, December 27th's afternoon bowl game is going to feature two teams who we've seen put points up early and often at times this year in the Marshall Thundering Herd and the Maryland Terrapins. The Thundering Herd finished at 9-4 and are coming off of a Conference USA Championship game loss to the Rice Owls, while the Maryland Terrapins ended the year at 7-5, and actually had only a 3-5 ACC record at the end of the year.
Have to think that Marshall is a big favorite here right? Not so fast. The Thundering Herd are currently favored by -2.5 on most online sports betting sites, and I wouldn't be surprised if it floats around that for a bit. The Thundering Herd had a tough loss, and we've seen Maryland play some strong games this year. Unfortunately though, it seemed like every time that the Terrapins had a tough game, they fell short of getting the win, and I could see that happening here as well.
The Terrapins had exactly one win over a team who had a better than .500 record (they did beat Old Dominion who is an FBS Independent as well). That doesn't make up a very impressive resume overall, and I think the Terrapins could be in trouble against a high powered Thundering Herd offense led by Rakeem Cato.
The Thundering Herd were a force offensively this year. They ranked 7th in points per game at 43, ranked 21st in passing yards per game at 291.2, and ranked 22nd in rushing yards per game at 211.2. Their offense is very, very good, and they get to go against a Maryland defense that ranks 48th in points against, but most importantly has had issues scoring at times this year. I could fully see Cato and the Thundering Herd offense having a very big day.
All four of Marshall's losses came to bowl teams this year, and while they don't have a ton of wins over big time opponents, and lost a tight one to Virginia Tech, they had a nice win against an ECU team who I think is very underrated. Marshall is a small favorite here, and I'm going to be on this one before the line moves up much more. In my opinion, Marshall's offense will be far too much for Maryland, and just because you play in the ACC doesn't mean that you are going to be able to keep up with opponents. Marshall's defense is solid as well, as they allow only 23.2 points per game, which is going to be a problem for Maryland. Marshall should win this game by 3 touchdowns and really dont see this game being close. A very unique bowl season that there seem to be quite a lot of games that may not be close. Quite often you may want to know if I feel a game will win by 3 touchdowns why would I bother playing a moneyline and laying a few more odds. Well its gambling. Anything can happen including a back door cover. Even though a team may have a strong power rating doesnt necessarily mean the team needs to win and cover by a lot. The objective is to cash a ticket and hopefully we are on the right side more often than not. I am also playing the Over in the game since I see this being a high scoring game.
MARSHALL PK (moneyline) MARSHALL / MARYLAND OVER 60 POINTS
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