Marshall Thundering Herd vs. North Texas Mean Green Picks and Game Preview - 10/15/2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 7 p.m. ET, October 15, 2021
Venue: Apogee Stadium, Denton, TX
Where to watch: CBS Sports Network

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings: Marshall -11
BetMGM: Marshall -10.5
Caesars: Marshall -11

Season record
Marshall: 3-3 (1-1 Conference USA)
North Texas: 1-4 (0-2 C-USA)

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Marshall - North Texas preview and analysis

Recent form
Marshall: won 20-13 vs. Old Dominion (OT) on Oct. 9
North Texas: lost 48-35 at Missouri on Oct. 9

It wasn’t easy for the Marshall Thundering Herd to get off the three-game slide. Really, it wasn’t.

For an offense that averages over 500 yards a game, Marshall found itself in a rough go with the Old Dominion Monarchs only to pull away in overtime.

Marshall, which has played to one-score games in four straight weeks, will hit the road for the third time in four weeks for a Friday matchup against the North Texas Mean Green in Denton.

The Monarchs were three minutes away from a shocking road victory, and had held Marshall’s high-scoring offense to just six points for 59 minutes. In one play, Willie Johnson caught a 52-yard touchdown pass from Grant Wells with 33 seconds left to send the game to overtime.

Shadeed Ahmed put the game away with a 22-yard touchdown catch in overtime to put Marshall back to .500. Wells threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns, but the two interceptions were what defined his afternoon for a good 59 minutes. Old Dominion had the ball for only eight seconds less for the game.

But this is the week Marshall gets on track offensively and gets a comfortable conference win against North Texas. The Mean Green lost their fourth straight game, giving up at least 35 for the third time during that streak and at least 40 for the second time.

North Texas’ defense was gashed for 217 yards and two touchdowns from Missouri Tigers running back Tyler Badie in the 13-point loss for UNT. But all wasn’t totally lost. A late 77-yard touchdown from Austin Aune pulled off the backdoor cover at 18.5.

Had North Texas not committed four turnovers, it might have been a different game.


Seeing how UNT’s defense looked last week, I like Marshall to run away with this. The offense has been hit-or-miss the last few weeks, but I like the Herd to bounce back by a few scores. Marshall by 20

Betting trends

When it fails to cover the spread in four or five out of its last six games, Marshall is 32-16 in its last 48 against the spread.

Marshall is 0-9 ATS when allowing 125 passing yards or less in two straight games.

North Texas is 4-12 in its last 16 in games after 60 or more total points were scored in the previous game.

Statistical leaders

Passing: Grant Wells -- 2,000 yards, 8 TD, 9 INT
Rushing: Rasheen Ali -- 566 yards, 11 TD
Receiving: Corey Gammage -- 515 yards

North Texas:
Passing: Jace Ruder -- 544 yards, 3 TD, 5 INT
Rushing: DeAndre Torrey -- 601 yards, 4 TD
Receiving: Roderic Burns -- 363 yards, 2 TD

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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