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Maryland vs. Penn State Betting Odds & Pick: Value on Over/Under in Game with Huge Spread (Saturday, Nov. 7)

Maryland vs. Penn State Betting Odds & Pick: Value on Over/Under in Game with Huge Spread (Saturday, Nov. 7) article feature image

G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images. Pictured: Taulia Tagovailoa.

  • The Penn State Nittany Lions will host the Maryland Terrapins in a Big Ten East matchup in State College on Saturday.
  • Penn State is a rare 0-2 to begin the 2020 season, while Maryland is coming off an impressive victory over Minnesota last week.
  • Matt Wispe explains whether or not the Nittany Lions can cover the spread to pick up their first victory of their new season.

Maryland vs. Penn State Odds

Maryland Odds +27 [BET NOW]
Penn State Odds -27 [BET NOW]
Moneyline +1100 / -3335 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 64.5 [BET NOW]
Time 3:30 p.m. ET
TV Big Ten Network
Odds updated Saturday afternoon and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today.

After an upset win over Minnesota, Mike Locksley and Maryland return to take on an 0-2 Penn State team that was among the preseason favorites in the conference.

Maryland has scored three and 45 points, respectively, in its first two games, so there’s still plenty of question marks around the potential of the Terps’ offense.

Penn State enters this game after a disappointing 13-point loss to Ohio State. Now unranked after starting the season inside the top 10, the Nittany Lions will look to pick up their first win of the year as a heavy favorite.

Through two games, each of these teams are rushing the ball more than 60% of the time. Between the play-calling and serious questions surrounding both teams, the value appears to be in the total.

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Maryland Terrapins

The Maryland offense has averaged 24 points per game in two contests, but it got to that mark with very different performances. Havoc was one of the biggest changes from Game 1 to Game 2. Against Northwestern the Terps allowed Havoc 29.5% of the time, but against Minnesota, they allowed Havoc on just 10.7% of plays.

After a rocky debut in which he threw three interceptions, Taulia Tagovailoa looked like the quarterback that Terrapin fans were hoping for when he announced his transfer. He averaged 11.3 yards per attempt and committed only one turnover.

After Maryland only produced a team Passing Success Rate of 26% in its season opener, its 66% Passing Success Rate against Minnesota is at least partially credited to a porous Minnesota defense. Its 51.5% average for the two games might still be a little bit high. Against a better defense, the Maryland passing attack will be a key component in whether or not the team can keep up.

Despite the heavy usage, the run game hasn’t been as efficient as the passing game. Maryland boasts a Rushing Success Rate of 44%, but the line has been a strength, as it has created 3.38 yards per attempt and is only allowing a Stuff Rate of 15.6%.

Defensively, Maryland looks very weak. The Terrapins are allowing a 50% Success Rate and allow teams to finish drives with an average of 5.46 points per opportunity. Until they improve upon their 9.7% Havoc rate, which ranks as the nation’s worst, this unit will be a glaring weakness for the team.

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Penn State Nittany Lions

Through two games, Penn State has been one of the most disappointing teams in the Big Ten. Considered by many to be the top contender to Ohio State, the team has suffered two losses — one of which was a fluke, but the other was deserved.

The Penn State offense holds an Overall Success Rate of 44.6% and has struggled to finish drives, averaging just 3.46 points per opportunity.

Due to the early injuries, the team’s offensive success now revolves around the play of QB Sean Clifford, who is averaging 8.0 yards per attempt and completing 64.6% of his passes but has thrown three interceptions. Clifford’s late success against Ohio State, however, can be attributed in part to a couple of highlight catches by Jahan Dotson.

The passing attack owns a Passing Success Rate of just 44.6% but has produced eight passes over 20 yards and three over 30 yards.

The losses of Journey Brown and Noah Cain have already made an impact to the running game, which is now relying on Devyn Ford, who is averaging just 3.8 yards per attempt despite relatively strong offensive line assistance. The Nittany Lions are averaging 3.1 Line Yards per play, have been stuffed on just 18.3% of attempts, and are allowing 3.5 non-sack tackles for loss per game.

The Nittany Lion defense should find some respite against Maryland compared to Ohio State. And while its two-game numbers raise some questions, the stark difference in performance should give Penn State fans optimism about the team’s probable success against a much weaker Maryland squad.

Penn State’s Defensive Success Rate of 42.6% isn’t what you’d hope for from this level of talent, but it’s fair to expect improvement as more games are added to the sample to balance out a poor performance against Ohio State.

And even with the rocky start, there are a few positives. Penn State is allowing just 2.54 Line Yards per attempt and has only allowed five passing plays to go for over 20 yards. Against an inexperienced QB and team that leans heavily on the run, that should limit the scoring chances.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

Despite its two losses, Penn State appears to be a significantly better team than Maryland, but the 24.5-point spread is a little too big to find value. And with all of the question marks about these two offenses, betting on this game to be low-scoring appears to be the best value.

Maryland’s offense feasted on a defense that appears to be one of the worst in the conference and struggled mightily against one of the better defenses. My expectation is that Penn State’s defense will give Maryland enough problems and create Havoc. And with Penn State’s offensive weapons lacking depth, it may fall short of the end zone enough times to keep the scoring down.

For those reasons, I’m playing under 63 and would play as low as 59.5

Pick: Under 63 (down to 59.5)

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