12-16 overall, 5-9 conference, 9th CUSA
Against the spread
9-13-1 (5-6 home, 4-6-1 away)
10-13 (6-5 home, 4-7 away)
2005 Season Summary
The Marshall Thundering Herd was coming off as bad a season as a team could have in college basketball as they finished 6-22 straight up and 12-15 against the college basketball betting lines in 2004-05, their final season in the Mid American Athletic Conference. It is interesting to note, however, in a great lesson about contrarian handicapping, that Marshall covered six of their final nine games that season including their final three, just when they couldn't have looked worse in the eyes of the college basketball gambling public.
It stood to figure that if Marshall couldn't cut it in the MAC, then what was in store for them in Conference USA would even be more brutal. Marshall joined the league for more football than basketball reasons but they were in it regardless and seemingly in over their heads to start 2005-06.
Gushing red ink
The Thundering Herd did little to inspire the love or loyalty of gamblers early on as the season began with an 81-91 loss at Evansville as 3.5-point dogs. That was followed by a 54-71 loss at Virginia Tech as 12.5-point dogs. In a revenge match with Evansville, this time in their home opener, the Herd prevailed 70-67 but failed to cover as a 5-point overlay for their third straight loss against the board.
Marshall next had back-to-back unlined games the first of which was a loss at East Tennessee State which was then followed by a home win over Maryland Eastern Shore.
Back on the board at home against Youngstown State the Herd scored a 73-70 straight up win but failed to cover the 8-point spread as a chalk. That was followed by a 65-73 loss at home to Appalachian State as a 1-point chalk as the Herd was gushing red ink with a 0-5 mark against the college basketball gambling lines.
The Herd finished December with three unlined games starting with a home win over Charleston Southern followed by a loss at South Carolina State and a win in overtime against Kennesaw State on a neutral court.
Back on the board to start the new year as an 8.5-point dog against Appalachian State the Herd scored a 64-60 win and cover. This was followed by a 73-79 overtime loss at home to George Washington as 11-point dogs. Marshall bagged their third straight payoff with a 73-69 win at Central Florida as a 5-point dog to suddenly appear to be a team that was transformed into bargain values.
Back and forth
Marshall next was home against Alabama Birmingham and lost 64-76 as 9-point dogs. That was followed by a 57-66 loss at Tulsa as 4.5-point dogs for their second straight failure against the spread.
Marshall would go up and down the rest of the season against the board, as evidenced by their next two games, which were both covers starting with a 51-53 loss to Texas El Paso as 5.5-point home dogs and then a 58-52 win at West Virginia as whopping 16-point pups.
Marshall suffered a letdown after beating their intra-state rivals as they lost at Houston 56-69 as 12-point dogs but recovered at home in their next game against East Carolina 72-66 as 4.5-point chalks.
The down and up pattern continued as gamblers had a hard time getting a feel on Marshall. The Herd failed to cover its next two games starting with an ugly 36-61 debacle at Tulane as 3-point dogs and then followed by a 75-78 loss to Rice as 4-point home chalks.
The Herd was back on track with an 81-91 home win over Memphis as 15.5-point dogs which was followed by a 75-72 OT win over SMU as 6.5-point road dogs. Marshall limped home with just one cover in their final four regular season games that followed and also failed to cover their CUSA tournament game, which was a 58-64 loss to Tulane as 2-point chalks as they ended the season in the red.