Iowa vs. Maryland Odds, Picks: How to Bet Friday’s Marquee College Football Matchup (October 1)

Iowa vs. Maryland Odds, Picks: How to Bet Friday’s Marquee College Football Matchup (October 1) article feature image

Matthew Holst/Getty Images. Pictured: Tyler Goodson.

Iowa vs. Maryland Odds

Iowa Odds-3 (-115)
Maryland Odds+3 (-105)
Moneyline-155 / +135
Over/Under47.5 (-105 / -115)
Time8 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Undefeated Iowa travels on the road Friday night for a big test against fellow undefeated Big Ten foe Maryland.

Iowa has already notched wins over Indiana and Iowa State with unbelievable defensive performances, holding the Hoosiers and Cyclones to a total of 23 points and 4.26 yards per play.

While the defense has been one of the best in college football, the offense has been underperforming quite a bit with Spencer Petras under center.

Additionally, this is a huge lookahead spot with Penn State coming to Kinnick Stadium next week for a potential top-10 showdown.

The Terrapins have been really impressive through their first four games, beating West Virginia and Illinois. Taulia Tagovailoa has been maybe the best quarterback in the country early on this season and has led the Terrapin offense to gain 6.7 yards per play, which ranks 19th in the country.

However, he will now have a big test going up against one of the best defenses in the country.

Iowa vs. Maryland Betting Preview

Friday, Oct. 1
8 p.m. ET

Iowa Hawkeyes

Hawkeye Offense

Despite being undefeated, the Iowa offense has really struggled up to this point in the season, ranking outside the top 100 in both Rushing and Passing Success Rate.

On paper, Petras' numbers aren't up there with the top quarterbacks, but he's actually been really efficient. He has an 83.6 passing grade with eight big-time throws and only one turnover-worthy play in his first four games, per PFF, which is a massive improvement from last season when his passing grade was 56.9 with only six big-time throws total.

Oh wow, Spencer Petras with an absolute ZINGER to Charlie Jones for a 26-yard Iowa TD!!

— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 11, 2021

However, Petras is not the focus of the Iowa offense because the Hawks are running the ball 55.13% of the time this season.

The rushing offense in total hasn't really been up to par, gaining 3.3 yards per carry. But that doesn't tell the whole story.

Lead back Tyler Goodson has been incredible gaining 4.6 yards per carry behind one of the best run-blocking offensive lines in college football (12th this season, per PFF).

Iowa will have to establish the run against Maryland because the front seven for the Terrapins has been average at best this season, ranking 51st in Rushing Success Rate Allowed.

Hawkeye Defense

Iowa may have the best defense in college football through the first four games. Yes, it's had a lot of turnover luck with nine takeaways so far this season, but this Iowa defense is doing what it's known for — not giving up explosive plays.

The Hawks rank top-10 in the country in both rushing and passing explosive plays allowed, and opposing quarterbacks have not been able to throw on their secondary.

Iowa boasts two of the best cornerbacks in college football in Riley Moss and Matt Hankins, who both are graded as top-10 corners in terms of coverage, per PFF.

Oh, and they also already have combined for four interceptions on the season. So, Taulia Tagovailoa is in for a rude awakening on Friday night.

Riley Moss 14
Indiana 6@R_moss5 |

— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) September 5, 2021

The front seven has also been much better than it was projected to be coming into the season. Iowa has allowed only 2.3 yards per carry and ranks inside the top 25 in Rushing Success Rate Allowed and Defensive Line Yards.

So, for Maryland to beat Iowa, it's going to have sustain long drives against one of the best defenses in the country at preventing explosive plays and limiting offenses to low Success Rates. I don't like the Terps' chances.

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Maryland Terrapins

Terrapin Offense

If you haven't heard, Tagovailoa has been maybe the best quarterback in the country through the first four games. He's throwing for 9.1 yards per attempt and owns the second-best passing grade, per PFF.

Taulia Tagovailoa from a clean pocket this season:

♦️ 127 dropbacks (1st)
♦️ 0 turnover-worthy plays

— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 30, 2021

He's led the Terps to a rank inside the top 10 in Passing Success Rate, which is a testament to both him and their offensive line, which ranks eighth in terms of pass blocking, per PFF.

Here's the problem, though: He has not played an elite defense yet, and if we go back to last season, the best defense he faced was Indiana, which in 2020 was elite. Tagovailoa struggled, going 17-of-36 for 241 yards and three interceptions.

This season, he has 11 big-time throws and zero turnover-worthy plays, but last season he recorded only five big-time throws and nine turnover-worthy plays.

The rushing attack has been really effective for Maryland this season, ranking 32nd in Rushing Success Rate. Lead back Tayon Fleet-Davis is averaging a whopping 7.1 yards per carry.

However, this is the best rush defense the Terps have faced to date, so we will see if Fleet-Davis can have the same kind of impact he's already had this season.

Terrapin Defense

Coming into the season, Maryland was projected to be an average Big Ten defense, but it has outperformed those projections so far this season, allowing only 4.9 yards per play and ranking 29th in Success Rate Allowed.

However, there are some concerning aspects of this game for the Terrapins, especially up front.

Maryland ranks outside the top 50 in terms of run defense and pass rushing, per PFF, which is a problem because the way to stop Iowa's offense is to stop the run, put pressure on Petras, and force him to beat you.

Petras' passing grade is 90.7 when the pocket is clean but only 53.8 when he's under pressure, per PFF.

Basically, Maryland is going to have to stop Goodson and make him ineffective in both the rushing and passing game. Goodson is incredibly elusive, and that's a problem for Maryland because it ranks 78th in tackling, per PFF.

Iowa vs. Maryland Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Iowa and Maryland match up statistically:

Iowa Offense vs. Maryland Defense




Rush Success
Line Yards
Pass Success
Pass Blocking**
Big Play
Finishing Drives
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Maryland Offense vs. Iowa Defense




Rush Success
Line Yards
Pass Success
Pass Blocking**
Big Play
Finishing Drives
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling
PFF Coverage
Middle 8
SP+ Special Teams
Plays per Minute
Rush Rate
57.1% (54)
49.3% (98)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.

While the Iowa offense hasn't been that great through its first four games on paper, Petras and Goodson have been efficient.

If Iowa's offensive line — which is now finally fully healthy — can continue to establish the run, it's going to be tough for Tagovailoa to see much of the ball since Iowa is 113th in plays per minute.

This will be a very interesting game for Tagovailoa. He's been amazing through the first four games, but it's concerning that he hasn't faced a defense even close to Iowa's, and the game against Indiana last season is really telling of how he performs against elite defenses.

Also, the question is can Maryland sustain long drives without explosive plays? The Hawkeyes do not allow big plays, so it'll be important to see if Tagovailoa stays patient enough or if he starts forcing things like he did last season when he had nine turnover-worthy plays in only four games.

Iowa vs. Maryland Betting Pick

I have Iowa projected as a -8.20 favorite, so I think there's some value on the Hawkeyes to give the Terrapins their first loss of the season on Friday night .

This line has been moving up and down all week long, but the best line on Iowa as of writing is -3 (-114) at BetRivers.

Pick: Iowa -3

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