Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:30 AM EST.
Marshall +5½ over Buffalo
Camellia Bowl - Cramton Bowl – Montgomery, AL
2:30 PM EST. In a game dubbed “The Hangover Bowl”, the focus is on two favorites that failed to deliver the goods in their last outing. Buffalo’s loss against Ball State was the Bulls’ first loss this season but it was Buffalo’s first loss of the season and the market appears to be very forgiving to “one bad game”. Prior, the Bulls had virtually steamrolled everything it came across only to stub its toe in Detroit against a Ball State team that came into the MAC Championship hot in its own right. The Cardinals had won five straight heading into the Motor City and though they obtained a sixth win at the expense of Buffalo in a 38-28 victory, the Bulls led in the contest and could have perhaps came back in the fourth quarter had they not failed to convert two easy fourth down plays. In summation, UB is still garnering respect since their first defeat of the year came in a competitive conference championship game, at a neutral site, against a good team.
By contrast, Marshall’s loss in the Conference USA Championship Game came on its own soil against a UAB team that dropped two of its last three games en route to the Conference USA Championship. What sticks out here is that Marshall scored a measly 13 points against the Blazers. The game prior, as a 24½-point choice, The Herd lost 20-0 to Rice. Combined, Marshall has scored 13 points in its last two games and if there is one thing that this market cannot tolerate above more than anything, it’s a lack of offense.
Marshall’s stock is way down after back-to-back weak performances. Buffalo’s stock is way higher, as the Bulls are a scoring machine. Additionally, Bulls RB Jaret Patterson leads the FBS with 178.7 yards per game, while running for 1,072 yards with 19 touchdowns in six games. Patterson tied the FBS record for rushing touchdowns in a game and had the second highest single-game rushing total with 409 yards and eight scores in a 70-41 victory over Kent State on Nov. 28. The Bulls have offense, they have star power and they have the influential media behind them in a big way while Marshall hasn’t been able to move five yards for two weeks straight. In an isolated game on Christmas Day, we understand how difficult it is to play the Thundering Herd today but we have to go with the best of it and take the inflated points. The oddsmakers are not Santa Claus.
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Marshall +5½ +100 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.00)