College Football Week 7 Odds: Louisiana At Marshall Preview

Written By Brett Gibbons on October 11, 2022 - Last Updated on October 12, 2022
Louisiana Marshall odds

Midweek Sun Belt action kicks off Wednesday night as the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (2-3, 0-2) visit the Marshall Thundering Herd (3-2, 0-1). Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. and will be broadcast from Joan C. Edwards Stadium on ESPN2. Below, we’ll look at Louisiana at Marshall odds and a betting preview for the game.

Is there a play to be had in this one? Follow along all season long for college football odds and betting previews.

College Football Week 7: Louisiana at Marshall Odds

Louisiana at Marshall Odds Movement

This number initially opened at Marshall -9, but in just a few hours that was bet down to 7.5 points. As the early week progressed, that number skyrocketed to where it stands now, topping out at 10.5 points. Could the spread have been artificially bet down earlier in the week under lower limits? Perhaps. Anyway, it was deemed that 7.5 points was far too low.

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Assessing The Mean

A common flaw when betting football, particularly college football, is assessing teams based on their best outing. For Marshall, that’s on the prospect of their upset win over Notre Dame earlier this season, therefore this team is capable of beating teams like Notre Dame, right?

Using quick back-of-the-napkin math, we can see why this is a flawed approach. Every team plays one best game per year out of 12 played games, or a frequency of 8.3%; the same applies for a team’s absolute worst game. Everything in between– the other 83.3%– is what we should be judging teams on. It’s a fair assumption that Marshall already played their best game (Notre Dame) and worst game of the season (Bowling Green).

For Marshall, the mean represents the 115th-ranked points per drive offense in the country. Star running back Rasheen Ali hasn’t played this season after stepping away from the team. In his place, Khalan Laborn is performing admirably behind 730 yards, 5.5 yards per carry, and eight rushing TDs. The passing offense is nearly nonexistent behind two-time transfer Henry Colombi (Utah State, Texas Tech) and drags in a 125th in dropback EPA.

The defense hasn’t been much of a saving grace, allowing 5.4 yards per play against FBS competition (60th). Their 3-2 overall record is inflated by two wins over FCS competition.

A Situational Nightmare?

In years past, Louisiana would be far from a team to overlook. However, at 0-2 in the Sun Belt and starting slowly under a new coaching staff, the Ragin’ Cajuns just don’t draw the same respect as they’ve done of late.

On tap for Marshall after this game: A date at unbeaten and ranked James Madison and a home date with Coastal Carolina. At 2-3, looking ahead is far from what this team should be going– especially coming off a bye and with 10 days to prep for JMU– but it can’t be counted out. Get in, get a win, move on, right?

Catching Up With The Cajuns

Life after Billy Napier has taken some adjusting for Louisiana. After a 2-0 start against FCS Southeastern Louisiana and Eastern Michigan, Louisiana has lost three straight to– *checks notes*– Louisiana-Monroe, Rice, and South Alabama. Per ESPN’s FPI, their schedule is the second-easiest in the country and yet the Cajuns are looking at a three-game skid.

On the surface, 1.94 points allowed per drive (43rd) isn’t so bad. But two metrics stand out against a flawed defense: Points allowed on drives starting inside their opponents’ own 20 yard line and red zone scoring defense. They’re allowing 2.8 points per drive on those long drives (113th) and scores on a putrid 93.3% of opposing red zone drives (111th). Louisiana is also can’t get off the field on third down, allowing conversions 50% of the time (122nd).

So to summarize, opponents routinely march the length of the field, convert third downs, and score regularly in the red zone against Louisiana.

Offensively, they aren’t much better. They run a two-QB system between Chandler Fields and Ben Woolridge. The former is completing under 55% of his passes while both are combining for 6.2 yards per attempt. That’s led the Cajuns to a 109th ranking in offensive success rate, akin to teams like Northwestern, Hawaii, and Bowling Green.

Weather Update

Updated Wednesday, Oct. 12: Strong to severe storms are forecast to pass through Huntington during the game, particularly in the second half. Deteriorating field conditions and possible delays may chance the calculus of the game. Keep an eye on the forecast before betting this one.

Louisiana at Marshall Forecast

The truly underwhelming offensive numbers at first seem like a good trend toward the under. With Louisiana’s flawed defense– particularly where it counts (red zone, third down)– there’s a route for Marshall to score points. But is there a route for Louisiana to score? When looking for juicy unders, attacking one team has been a profitable strategy this season.

If there’s a play here, it’s under the point total, currently set at ()

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Brett Gibbons Avatar
Written by
Brett Gibbons

Brett is an avid sports traveler and former Division-I football recruiter for Bowling Green and Texas State. He’s a graduate of BGSU and works as an auditor for Google content curation products. He’s also contributed to Sports Illustrated and Fansided during his young writing career.

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