Maryland vs. Ohio State Odds, Preview, Picks: The First-Half Bet to Make for Saturday’s Game (October 9)
Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: C.J. Stroud.
Maryland vs. Ohio State Odds
|Ohio State Odds||-21|
|Moneyline||+800 / -1375|
|Time||12 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.|
These two teams couldn’t be entering this game with different narratives.
The Maryland Terrapins come to Columbus after being decimated by Iowa despite being a trendy upset pick. The Ohio State Buckeyes, meanwhile, returns home following a dominating win over Rutgers that has seemed to reinvigorate the fanbase’s hopes for the season.
Maryland is 3-2 against the spread (ATS) this so far in 2021, and its games have gone under the total three times.
Ohio State is 2-2-1 ATS and has gone over three times.
Maryland vs. Ohio State Betting Preview
Last week’s game against Iowa may have some bettors feeling uneasy about the Maryland offense, but it has nonetheless been strong this season.
The Terps have averaged 32.6 points per game and 6.6 yards per play, including that blowout loss. They’ve averaged 4.17 points per opportunity and have limited Havoc to just 15.1%.
Prior to his disastrous performance again Iowa, Taulia Tagovailoa had been one of the most productive quarterbacks in the country, committing very few mistakes.
He’s completed 72.2% of his passes for an average of 8.5 yards per attempt. Over the course of the season, though, Maryland has a 51.5% Passing Success Rate and has completed 26 passes over 20 yards.
Against Iowa, though, Tagovailoa threw five interceptions and completed just 55.2% of his passes. In addition to the bad performance against Iowa, leading receiver Dontay Demus was also lost for the season.
As a team, Maryland is averaging 33 carries per game for an average of 4.6 yards per carry with a Rushing Success Rate of 51%.
Tayon Fleet-Davis has been the most efficient option out of the backfield with 47 carries for 331 yards and four TDs. The offensive line has generated 3.37 yards per attempt, but has also allowed a 16.8% stuff rate.
Maryland’s defense was forced to play against short fields throughout the game against Iowa, which helped the Hawkeyes rack up 51 points.
Prior to that outing, this Terps defense hadn’t allowed more than 24 points in a game this season. Maryland has allowed a 37.5% overall Success Rate and have generated Havoc on 20.2% of plays.
The pass defense has allowed 226 passing yards per game and just one touchdown per game. Opposing quarterbacks have completed 52.4% of their passes for an average of 6.7 yards per attempt.
The secondary has created plenty of Havoc with 14 passes defended and four interceptions.
Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud has thrown quite a few questionable passes this season, which could open up opportunities for this unit to swarm.
The Terps’ defensive line has been a strength that has helped hold opposing offenses to just 112 rushing yards per game on 3.2 yards per carry. Maryland has allowed just 2.85 Line Yards per attempt and stuffed 20.1% of attempts.
As a whole, the Terrapins’ defense has allowed a Rushing Success Rate of 40.3%. Whether they’ll be able to contain the Ohio State stable of backs is likely a going to play a large part in their ability to keep this game close.
Ohio State Offense
Whether it was just because it was Akron and Rutgers is a valid question, but the Ohio State offense seemed to find its rhythm over the past couple of weeks.
The Buckeyes scored 45 first-half points before taking their foot off of the gas early in the third quarter last week against the Scarlet Knights.
For the year, Ohio State is averaging 45 points per game and 8.6 yards per play while averaging just 24.8 seconds per play. The Buckeyes have a Success Rate of 54.5% and have scored 3.81 points per opportunity.
Whether it was injury or just mental, Stroud’s week off seemed to help him regain the accuracy that head coach Ryan Day lauded as the reason he was selected to lead this Buckeyes’ offense.
He completed 73.9% of his passes for 330 yards and five touchdowns against a Rutgers defense that ranks 31st in SP+.
For the year, the Buckeyes have a 54% Passing Success Rate and are averaging 5.6 passes of 20 or more yards per game.
TreVeyon Henderson has been a significant addition to the Ohio State offense. He’s averaging 9.4 yards per carry but is only averaging 11.4 touches per game.
According to Day, his usage is expected to remain conservative.
Regardless, Henderson has helped lead the Buckeyes’ running game to a Rushing Success Rate of 54.9%,while the team runs the ball just over 50% of the time.
Ohio State Defense
After three straight games against offenses that rank in the bottom 50 of offensive SP+, Ohio State’s “revamped” defense welcomes a top-20 offense in this game.
Since the Oregon loss, the Buckeyes have allowed just 13.3 points per game. For the year, they are allowing 21.2 points per game and 5.3 yards per play. They are allowing a 39.8% Success Rate and have generated Havoc on just 16.1% of plays.
The pass defense has allowed 251.4 passing yards per game and has allowed opponents to complete 57.4% of their passes. Ohio State has allowed an average of 2.8 passes of 20 or more yards per game.
The Buckeyes’ defense has allowed a Passing Success Rate of 43.4% and had only generated Havoc on 16.1%. Rakim Jarrett may present some troubles for a young secondary, but starting corners Denzel Burke and Cam Brown have combined for 11 passes defended.
The Buckeyes’ run defense that appeared to be quite porous against Oregon and Minnesota has only allowed 86.6 yards per game in the three games since. Ohio State has allowed a Rushing Success Rate of 35.6% with a stuff rate of 18.4%, holding opponents to 3.58 Line Yards per attempt.
With the injury to Demus, Maryland may lean more heavily on its run game more, which could make this game a litmus test for whether OSU’s defense is actually improving or if it was just playing lesser opposition.
Maryland vs. Ohio State Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Maryland and Ohio State match up statistically:
Maryland Offense vs. Ohio State Defense
Ohio State Offense vs. Maryland Defense
Pace of Play / Other
Maryland’s offense has questions to answer after their struggles against Iowa but it appears to have an advantage in the matchup of passing games. If Tagovailoa returns to his level of play prior to the Iowa game, he’ll likely challenge Ohio State’s inexperienced back seven.
Ohio State’s offense as a whole holds a clear advantage in this game. The biggest area of advantage is with the Buckeyes’ playmakers, who could produce a series of explosive plays and make this a high-scoring game.
Maryland vs. Ohio State Betting Pick
Sharp money has come in heavily on the Terrapins to cover a three-touchdown spread, but Ohio State’s explosive offense steers me away from backing Maryland on the road.
I’m also concerned that a big lead could once again lead to Buckeyes’ starters sitting out large portions of the second half, which could allow a backdoor cover.
With this being the first game without Tagovailoa’s primary receiving option, I’m expecting the Terrapins to start slow and fall behind in the first half against the best offense they’ll see this season.
That’s why my play on this matchup is to lay the points up to 13.5 on the Buckeyes in the first half.
I also have a lean play on the under if the total stays above 70. Sharp money immediately pushed the total up to 71 after opening at 68.5.
While the offenses will both have an edge, I think this number has gone too far. Keep plays on the total small though, as both offenses are capable of explosive drives.