Betting Breakdown: JMU an 18-Point Favorite Against Rival Old Dominion

Image courtesy of JMU Athletics Communications

By Blake Pace

James Madison is humming better than the state bird of Rhode Island right now.

The Dukes find themselves ranked No. 25 in both the coaches and AP polls for the first time this season following their 20-9 victory over the Marshall Thundering Herd. JMU was able to separate itself in the closing 30 minutes after a clunky first half that ended with a narrow 3-0 lead, with another dominant showing from its defensive front and a complimentary game on all three phases paving the road to victory.

Meanwhile, I was enjoying a family vacation in the Smoky Mountains of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and completely forgot to break down the game. While I did bet JMU -5 and regretfully took the o49.0 (shocker), we won’t count these toward our record on the year because I didn’t put my fingers to the keyboard.

The Week 6 Recap: JMU 1H -2.5 (W), JMU -3.5 (W) & o58.5 (L)

(Overall Record: 5-6)

We’ll do a quick recap on Week 6 just so I can acknowledge a winning week. Doubling up on the JMU 1H and FG spreads paid off immensely, but yet again I can’t seem to figure out the totals for the Dukes and now sit at a miserable 0-5 on the season! Fade me at all costs.

Editor’s note: Thanks to Christopher William Jewelers for their advertising support this season.

The Lines: ODU at JMU (-18.0), o/u 48.5

This spread shot up immediately from an opening line of JMU -16.5 and is currently sitting at -18, a number I expect to grow closer to -19.5 or even -20.0 by the end of the week. The total has danced as high as 49.5 but slowly settled down to 48.5 as of Monday afternoon.

JMU has now covered five straight games after starting 0-2 ATS to start the season, covering by an average of 8.2 points over that span. The Dukes have been hard to predict with totals so far this season with the under plays sitting with a 4-3 advantage thus far. 

The Monarchs have been a frisky underdog this season, covering the spread five out of six times including four straight underdog covers. The under has hit in four of their seven games this season, and totals sitting at 48.5 points or higher have all gone under thus far.

When these two took the field in 2022, JMU was a 7.5-point favorite with the total sitting at 48.0. The Dukes covered easily, winning 37-3 while cashing the under.

The Picks: JMU -18.0 & o48.5

The Dukes will roll this weekend at Bridgeforth.

James Madison has done a fantastic job minimizing the weak points of its game the past month and has molded itself into a well-balanced offense that compliments a dominant front seven on defense. Its passing attack has slowly crept up to rank in the top half of FBS programs, their turnovers have been minimal and they’ve done a great job protecting Jordan McCloud. Meanwhile, the Old Dominion defense is among the worst in college football at sacking the quarterback, passing yards allowed and turnovers forced. Advantage, JMU.

On the flip side, the Monarch offense has struggled tremendously this season at avoiding three-and-outs, keeping the quarterback upright and protecting the football. Their 38 sacks allowed rank last in all of college football and their 113 first downs on the season are sixth-worst amongst FBS programs. One could say their rush attack is the strength of their offense, but even then it ranks as a middle-of-the-pack unit across the college landscape. Conversely, and despite the official NCAA website not wanting you to know, JMU’s 34 team sacks and 203 rushing yards allowed are both best in all of college football by a significant margin.

I really, really want to take another under here after being miserable at picking totals this season. Again, you’d be wise to fade me, but I think JMU scores enough to get this over to hit.

James Madison 42, Old Dominion 10

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe To The Podcast
Subscribe to the JMU Sports News Podcast Network wherever you find your podcasts. Fresh episodes hitting your feed every few days during the JMU Sports Season.

Part of the BLEAV Podcast Network.



* indicates required

Intuit Mailchimp


YouTube player