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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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Marshall at West Virginia Start Time, Odds and Free Pick

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The West Virginia Mountaineers and Marshall Thundering Herd continue their rivalry series today with a showdown at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown (12:00pm ET start time). Marshall at West Virginia Odds have the 11th ranked Mountaineers listed as a -25.5 against the spread home favorite while the Thundering Herd are getting +1400 moneyline odds to win outright. Today’s game total is set at 68.5 points.

Marshall would love nothing more than to score a win in this rivalry series as victory has eluded the school in its previous 11 meetings with in-state rival West Virginia. Adding insult to injury is the fact that few of the games have been close with the Mountaineers taking the last five by an average of 18 points per game, a total which includes a 24-21 overtime affair.

Marshall is a respectable mid-level program, and it should perform well enough against its Conference USA cohorts; however, the Thundering Herd is up against it today. Of course, anything can happen in college football, but this afternoon’s skirmish is a mismatch both on paper and on the field.

The Thundering Herd surrendered an average of 28.8 points per game last season and they held the Mountaineers to 34 points in a 21 point loss, but Head Coach Doc Holliday lost six starters on defense in the off-season, including his top four tacklers and CUSA Defensive Player of the Year in defensive end Vince Curry (77 tackles, 11 sacks, 11 tackles for loss).

Conversely, West Virginia returns eight starters from its high powered 2011 offense; including a Heisman Trophy candidate in quarterback Geno Smith (4385 pass yard, 31 touchdowns in 2011). The last time this group took the field they rung up 70 points on ACC Champion Clemson in the Orange Bowl. It would not be shocking to see Smith (threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns in last season’s win over the Herd) and company hang 50 or more on Marshall today.

Free Pick: There have been four straight Unders in this series, but today’s contest features the most glaring mismatch between Marshall’s defense and West Virginia’s offense in quite some time. Take the Over 68.5.

Marshall at West Virginia Odds:

Marshall Thundering Herd +25.5 (-105), Over 68.5 (-110), +1400 (Moneyline)

West Virginia Mountaineers -25.5 (-115), Under 68.5 (-110), -2300 (Moneyline)

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