The Marshall Thundering Herd (8-3) travel to Blacksburg this weekend to battle the Virginia Tech Hokies (5-6). Kickoff is set for 12:00 PM EST on December 1st at Lane Stadium and the game will be broadcast on the ACC Network.
Taking a look at the Week 14 college football odds, Virginia Tech opened as a 4.5-point home favorite earlier this week. That line has remained the same after early betting, as the Hokies are currently listed at -4.5. The total for the game is sitting at 53 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Virginia Tech vs Marshall
Marshall won their third consecutive game last weekend after a solid 28-25 road victory over Florida International. The Thundering Herd managed to escape with a win despite missing the services of their leading rusher Tyler King, who missed his fourth straight game due to an undisclosed injury. Brendan Knox has been seeing more playing time in his absence, rushing for 281 yards in three games. QB Isaiah Green looked solid in Week 13, throwing for 176 yards and two touchdowns. Green has now found the end zone four times in his last two starts, so he certainly has a ton of momentum heading into Marshall’s final game of the regular season. Overall, the offense is currently averaging 28.1 points per game (74th overall) on 378.0 total yards.
The Thundering Herd have looked fantastic on the defensive side of the ball all year long, holding opponents to an average of just 20.3 points per game (22nd overall). They have been especially solid against the run, surrendering only 100.5 yards per game on the ground (6th overall).
Virginia Tech managed to slip past Virginia 34-31 in overtime last weekend, improving to 5-6 overall on the season. They had lost four games in a row prior to their win over the Cavaliers, so it was certainly a huge relief to move back within one game of the .500 mark. The Hokies now have a chance at becoming bowl-eligible here in Week 14, as they need just one more victory to hit six total wins this year. QB Ryan Willis will need to be better than he was last weekend, as he threw for just 199 yards and a touchdown while getting picked off twice. He has now thrown four interceptions in his last two starts, so avoiding any costly turnovers on Saturday will be critical to Virginia Tech’s success. RB Steven Peoples leads the way on the ground, rushing for 682 yards and 5 touchdowns in eleven games. As a whole, the offense is currently averaging 28.7 points per game (68th overall).
On the other side of the ball, the Hokies are currently giving up 31.6 points per game, which is just 93rd overall. They have really struggled to defend against the run, as they have allowed opponents to rush for an average of 204.2 yards per game on the ground (103rd overall).
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Virginia Tech -4.5
Despite being very impressed with how Marshall has played so far this season, I have to take the Hokies in this particular matchup. The Thundering Herd has already secured a spot in a bowl game, while this is a literal “must-win” spot for Virginia Tech if they want to keep their season alive. They have also had a much tougher schedule this year, as the ACC is certainly much stiffer competition than the Conference USA is. The Hokies strength on offense is their passing attack, as they are currently averaging more than 250 yards per game though the air. While Marshall has been quite solid defensively, they have been somewhat susceptible to the pass, ranking just 60th overall.
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Virginia Tech is a perfect 5-0 overall in their last five games against the Thundering Herd. They are also 6-2 ATS over their last eight games at home against teams with a winning road record. Marshall is just 3-7 ATS in their last ten games overall. They are also only 1-4 ATS over their last five road games against opponents with a losing home record.
While the Hokies have certainly not played well defensively, they should be able to come up with a halfway-decent performance at home on Saturday – especially considering that Marshall has only manged to score 27.8 points per game against several horrible defensive teams in Conference USA action. There is no doubt which team has more to play for, so I’m going to take a highly motivated Virginia Tech team to cover this spread at home in a must-win game.