Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#779 ODU 132.5 vs.
#780 Marshall -4.5
Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Chris Kubala

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#779 Old Dominion University
#780 Marshall University
6-11
8-10
8-8-1
9-8
6-10-1
10-7
61
75
63
71

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It’s a Conference USA battle on the hardwood in the Mountaineer State. The Old Dominion Monarchs are on the road as they travel to face the Marshall Thundering Herd Saturday night. Old Dominion was edged 71-69 on the road by Western Kentucky in their last game Thursday night. Marshall was nipped 77-75 at home by Charlotte in their previous contest Thursday night. The Monarchs own a 9-6 advantage in the all-time series between the teams but it was Marshall winning in the most recent matchup, 70-67, on January 3, 2019.

Old Dominion Monarchs Looking to Bounce Back

Old Dominion has had their struggles for coach Jeff Jones this season as they enter 6-11 overall and 2-2 in Conference USA action. The Monarchs have been a streaky team this season as they won three straight after losing their opener. That was immediately followed by an eight-game skid, including road losses to VCU and Illinois along with a home defeat to Richmond. Old Dominion bounced back with three straight wins, including home wins over Middle Tennessee and UAB to open conference play. Before losing to Western Kentucky, the Monarchs suffered a six-point defeat to Charlotte on the road, giving them back to back defeats entering this one.

The Monarchs are struggling offensively as they put up an average of 61.9 points per game this season, which is 291st in the nation. Old Dominion grabs 38.5 boards a night and dish out 9.1 assists per game. The Monarchs are solid defensively, ranking 58th by holding opponents to 63.2 points per contest. Xavier Green leads the team with 12.9 points plus 5.6 rebounds per game. Jason Wade puts up 10.5 points plus 5.6 boards a contest while Malik Curry chips in 9.9 points plus 3.4 assists a night. A.J. Oliver (10.6 points), Marquis Godwin, Kalu Ezikpe and Aaron Carver are other key pieces for the Monarchs. Old Dominion is shooting only 39.7 percent from the field as a team this season. The Monarchs knock down 4.7 triples per night while hitting 26.1 percent from beyond the arc. Old Dominion is struggling at the free throw line as they convert only 67.4 percent of their attempts on the year.

According to KenPom, the Monarchs are very good defensively (93rd in defensively efficiency) and, as one would expect, a train wreck on offense. The Monarchs are 315th in offensive efficiency on the year. Old Dominion is 349th in three-point percentage and 338th in effective field goal percentage (43.7 percent) this season. The Monarchs get 60.5 percent of their points on two-point buckets this season, putting them sixth in the nation in that category. Old Dominion plays at a slower than average pace, ranking 255th in the nation in tempo with 67.1 possessions per game.

Marshall Thundering Herd Trying to Regroup

Marshall has been consistently inconsistent this season to the point where, to quote the late Roddy Piper, “Just when you thought you had all the answers, I change the questions.” The Thundering Herd looked dead in the water after a 2-6 start to the season before turning things around. Marshall won five of their next six, including drubbing Duquesne by 22 on a neutral floor, to get to 7-7 on the year. Their lone loss in that stretch was an eight-point defeat to Northern Iowa on the road. Since that stretch, capped by a 20-point romp over Rice on January 2, the Thundering Herd has dropped three of four to fall to 2-3 in conference play.

The Thundering Herd is 101st in scoring offense as they average 75.3 points per game. Marshall is 101st in rebounding by pulling down 38.4 boards per contest and dishes out 13.6 assists per contest on the season. The Thundering Herd is 243rd in scoring defense by allowing 71.7 points per game on the year. Jarrod West is second on Marshall with 14.6 points plus 2.5 steals per contest on the year. Taevion Kinsey averages 15.7 points plus 5.1 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. Andrew Taylor (9.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists) and Iran Bennett (9.9 points, 5.7 boards) are solid scoring options as well. Mikel Beyers, Jannson Williams, Darius George and Cam Brooks-Harris are guys that need to step up and contribute offensively. Marshall is shooting 45.2 percent from the field as a team on the year. The Thundering Herd splashes 6.7 triples per game while shooting a dismal 29.2 percent from beyond the arc. Marshall is struggling at the free throw line, converting only 64.3 percent of their attempts this season.

The Thundering Herd plays at a quick pace according to KenPom as they are 10th in the nation in tempo with 75 possessions a game. Marshall is decent on the defensive end of the floor, ranking 125th in defensive efficiency on the season. The Thundering Herd is 98th in effective field goal percentage defense (47 percent) and 76th by forcing turnovers on 21.3 percent of their opponent’s possessions this season. Marshall is 20th in block percentage (14.5 percent) and 21st in steal percentage (14.3 percent) on the year.

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The Thundering Herd is going to try and feed off the home crowd in this one. That will allow Marshall to quicken the pace and try to make Old Dominion play out of their comfort zone. The Thundering Herd doesn’t want to let the Monarchs control the tempo of the game here and take the crowd out of it. Old Dominion is miserable on the offensive end of the floor and they can’t match offensive numbers with Marshall. Look for the Thundering Herd to take advantage of being at home to come up with the victory here to even their conference record.

Prediction: Marshall Thundering Herd -4

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Old Dominion's offensive numbers are awful when you get right down to it. The Monarchs don't score much and their shooting is terrible. Old Dominion is 336th in field goal percentage and they face a Marshall team that is 90th in field goal percentage defense at 40.6 percent on the year. The Monarchs have scored more than 70 points just three times while they've been held to 59 points or less nine times this season. You can't expect a ton from Old Dominion, which puts pressure on Marshall to put up a hefty total to get this near the mark. Look for this one to be short of the number as the Thundering Herd has their problems offensively.

Prediction: Under 134.5
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.