Myrtle Beach Bowl Marshall Vs. UConn Odds, Picks, Predictions (12/19/22)

In what was one of the better stories of the season, the Connecticut Huskies shocked the nation by securing a bowl berth behind a six-win season. Only one challenge remains in their quest for success, a showdown against the Marshall Thundering Herd in the Myrtle Beach Bowl. Can UConn cap off their magical year with one more upset win?

Marshall Vs. UConn Odds

Oddsmakers don’t believe so as they opened the Huskies as a two score underdog by opening them at +9.5. Bettors are in line with the oddsmakers, taking Marshall up to as high as -11 in some shops. Marshall is one of the worst draws UConn could have paired with as the Thundering Herd possess one of the most vaunted defenses in football.

With an elite defensive unit comes with a potential for a lack of points being put on the board. That is exactly what oddsmakers think as they opened the total at 40.5. Bettors have been split on the total, keeping it at the opening number with a few dips to as low as 40. This is a stylistic battle as a productive offense with a weak defense goes against an elite defense with an anemic offense.

Marshall Vs. UConn Prediction & Pick

The Pick: Marshall ML parlay piece

It absolutely pains me to say it, but UConn’s magical season will be coming to an end with a loss. It’s not their fault that they got matched up against one of the hardest opponents they could ask for, but you got to play who is in front of you and the best they can do is give it a valiant effort.

The issue that comes with backing Marshall is that is a brutally large spread to cover for a unit that fields one of the most anemic offenses in football. While having an elite defense is nice and all, you still need to put up points on the board to cover the number. That is exactly why I think they make for a great parlay piece, pairing them with a slight favorite of your choosing.

Their offense is truly awful enough to give me pause on backing them to cover the spread as they are a unit that ranks near dead last in the nation in Off Success Rate, Havoc, Finishing Drives, and Explosiveness. For reference, UConn’s porous defense ranks better than Marshall’s offense in nearly every category other than Success Rate.

But still, Marshall’s defense is more than capable of completely shutting down UConn’s offense and flip the field for their benefit. While horrible at limiting Explosiveness, Marshall ranks top-5 in the nation in Def Success Rate, Finishing Drives, and Havoc. They will live in the backfield all game, constantly putting pressure on UConn’s offense and potentially forcing them into mistakes that would be massive swings to this outcome.

Marshall Vs. UConn Key Matchups

Building their season’s success off the ground game, can UConn run it successfully against Marshall’s defense? How will Marshall generate offense?

UConn ground game vs Marshall rush defense

It blows my mind how this team won six games with this offense out on the field. UConn’s pass attack is nearly non-existent while the run game has been lackluster. Still, the ground game ranks around average in the nation in Rush Success Rate and is more than capable of busting out for the big play.

They throw a run heavy approach at you with a rush play rate of 63% and can do it by committee with four productive running backs. With Marshall ranking top-5 in Def Rush Success, their best bet is to take advantage of their below average Def Explosiveness. A game script that will be tough to maintain success in.

Marshall scoring production vs UConn defense

For Marshall, offense will be tough to come by as this is one of the worst units in football and a major reason I can not back them on the spread. Their only bright spot has been running back Khalan Laborn as he carried the team behind a stat line of 1,423 yards and 16 touchdowns. With UConn being near dead last in Def Rush metrics, it will be up to Laborn to carry Marshall to victory once again.

Verdict

With the spread too high for my liking, I will back Marshall on the moneyline as a parlay piece as their defense should have little to no issue shutting down UConn’s offense.

Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

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