The Louisiana Rajun Cajuns seemed poised to continue their run of dominance after Billy Napier left for Florida. The Cajuns were 2-0 with two blowout wins.
Louisiana has lost three straight games since, including two as double-digit favorites.
Meanwhile, Marshall has been making noise this season with their outright upset of Notre Dame. They also have outright losses to Bowling Green and Troy, but the Thundering Herd are in a good spot.
Marshall is in a good enough spot to lay double-digits against the Cajuns. But is that line too high?
Let’s break it down. Read on for our Louisiana-Lafayette Rajun Cajuns vs Marshall Thundering Herd Broncos odds, picks, and predictions.
Louisiana-Lafayette Rajun Cajuns vs Marshall Thundering Herd Odds
This line actually opened around a touchdown but has steamed up over three points. This is despite taking a minority of the money, meaning there’s been some reverse line movement on this number.
The under is taking all the sharp/smart movement, with the total dropping two points despite a relatively even split on the ticket numbers.
Does that mean Marshall and the under are the best bets in this matchup?
Louisiana-Lafayette Rajun Cajuns vs Marshall Thundering Herd Prediction & Pick
The line movement is actually coming from the news that Louisiana starting quarterback Chandler Fields is out. Second-stringer Ben Woolridge will get the start in this one.
Woolridge hasn’t been half-bad. He’s completed about 65% of his passes so far and has managed to throw just one interception. He’s only averaging about six yards per attempt, but he’s avoiding mistakes.
Woolridge isn’t getting any help, however, ranking outside the top 100 in PFF’s Pass Blocking grades and Offensive Rush Success Rate. It’s really hard for a backup quarterback to succeed when he has no support system around him.
Unfortunately, Woolridge is running into a brick wall. Marshall’s defense ranks among the top 20 FBS teams in almost every major statistical category. They are allowing just 2.5 yards per rush and less than five yards per play.
Meanwhile, Marshall sustained injuries at quarterback and wide receiver in its last game. Both Henry Colombi and Caleb McMillan are expected to be fully healthy on the field this Wednesday.
I’m not that confident. And even if they are both healthy, this offense hasn’t been good. Marshall rushes at a top-15 rate nationally but is bottom-15 in Rush Success Rate. The Herd have a top-20 offensive line in PFF’s Pass Blocking grade but are 129th in Pass Success Rate.
Both defenses are top-50 in both PFF’s Tackling grades and top-25 in PFF’s Coverage grades. Considering the injuries and offensive contexts on both sides, the under is my favorite play for this Wednesday’s matchup.
Louisiana-Lafayette Rajun Cajuns vs Marshall Thundering Herd Key Matchups
Key Matchup: Red-Zone Offenses vs Red-Zone Defenses
These are two poor offenses, specifically at making the most of opportunities. The Cajuns are 85th in Points Per Opportunity while the Herd are 103rd.
Meanwhile, both defenses are great when their backs are against the wall. The Herd are second in Points Per Opportunity allowed while the Cajuns are 14th.
That means that both offenses are poor when they cross the opponent’s 40-yard line and both defenses are great when the opposing offenses cross their own 40-yard line.
Something is going to break. For the sake of my under, I hope that both defenses stay strong, but this matchup likely decides the spread, too.