Marshall +17.5 2.2% play
I get why this spread is so high. The oddsmakers are questioning how many points Marshall can score here, and I could see why, but I think Marshall’s defense will keep them in the game, and UCF has been known this season to give up some points after they get big leads. Marshall does have the ingredients to give UCF some issues, as they have a top defensive unit. They are strong vs. the run ranking 35th, and they also have the 18th ranked pass rush, which could allow them to force UCF’s QB into some mistakes in this game. UCF only played two top 30 run defenses and lost both against Pitt, and Cincinnati. In their wins UCF rushes for 5.69 ypc, and their losses they average just 3.10. Again that’s not a huge reason why I’m backing Marshall.
I’m backing Marshall, because Doc Holliday cares. He’s 6-0 SU & ATS in bowl games. Marshall also recruits the state of Florida heavily, making this a monster game going against a Florida team in Florida. In fact Marshall has 31 players who are from the state of Florida, and they beat both Florida teams this year. Since 2013 they are 14-3 SU against Florida teams or in games played in the state of Florida including 3-0 in bowl games.
UCF’s offense also relies heavily on explosive plays. They are not overly efficient in the red zone, and Marshall is top 40 in explosive plays allowed.
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