Penn State vs. Maryland Betting Odds, Prediction, Preview: Take Total, Underdog on Saturday

Penn State vs. Maryland Betting Odds, Prediction, Preview: Take Total, Underdog on Saturday article feature image

Emilee Chinn/Getty Images. Pictured: Taulia Tagovailoa.

  • Updated odds for Penn State vs. Maryland list the Nittany Lions as a 10-point favorite, with the total at 56.5, up two points from the opener.
  • The Nittany Lions are looking to avoid four straight losses and avenge a blowout loss to Maryland last year.
  • Kody Malstrom breaks down Maryland vs. Penn State below.

Penn State vs. Maryland Odds

Penn State Odds-10 (-110)
Maryland Odds+10 (-110)
Moneyline-380 / +290
Over/Under56.5 (-105 / -115)
TimeSaturday, 3:30 p.m. ET
Odds as of Friday and via Bet Rivers

As a sports bettor, it's very easy to make me like your team. Win me money, then I'm instantly a fan. It's a never-ending changing of status as the season goes on — unless you're Duke, Michigan, Michigan State, or Villanova. Then, I'll always hate you.

Maryland is one of those teams that are in my good graces. Not only were the Terrapins one of my first Action Network guides that won, but they also covered last week in a tight one against Indiana. They're now one win away from hitting their season win total over.

Penn State, meanwhile, is a mystery to me. One week, it's losing in a nine-overtime fight to lowly Illinois, and the next, it's giving potential playoff team Ohio State a scare.

The Nittany Lions started out hot with wins over Wisconsin and Auburn but have stumbled of late, losing hope for a Big Ten Championship game appearance.

With a resurging Maryland looking for a bowl berth and a Penn State squad trying to finish the season strong, this is looking to be an interesting matchup.

Penn State Nittany Lions

Penn State Offense

We were so close to seeing some chaos if Penn State could have pulled it off last week against Ohio State. If only it could have kept up with the high-powered Ohio State offense.

Sean Clifford came out slinging it all game, a smart strategy to avoid the OSU defensive line. He ended the game with 361 yards, one touchdown and one interception on 35-of-52 passing.

Penn State will continue to sling it, as it ranks 41st in Pass Success and 48th in pass blocking, both better passing metrics than the Maryland defensive passing metrics.

While the passing game has been consistent, the run game has been nearly nonexistent. Ranking 122nd in Rush Success and 119th in Line Yards, the Penn State running back corps have found trouble hitting pay dirt.

Another area of concern is carelessness. PSU has been constantly shooting itself in the foot with costly turnovers and disruptions. It ranks 94th in Havoc Allowed.

Penn State Defense

Penn State's pass defense will be in the spotlight for this matchup. Maryland boasts a great pass attack, one that will come to test the PSU defense.

While near even, Penn State has a Defensive Pass Success ranking of 19th. The secondary has been rock-solid and will need to continue to be, as the Nittany Lion pass rush has faltered.

They may continue to struggle to get to the quarterback, as they rank 52nd and are going against a near top-10 offensive line in pass blocking. Luckily for PSU, it limits the big play at a top-five rate even if it gives opposing quarterbacks extra time in the pocket.

If Penn State still can't get to the quarterback, then it will need to rely on its ability to limit points past the 40. Shoring up as their backs near the wall, the Nittany Lions have been top-five at limiting scoring when opponents near the end zone.

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Maryland Terrapins

Maryland Offense

Maryland has been experiencing a resurgence this season, crawling out of the bottom of the Big Ten. It now sits one away from hitting its season win total of 5.5.

This is in part due to a revamped air attack. Last season, Taulia Tagovailoa struggled mightily, constantly throwing Maryland out of games. This season? He's now throwing his way to victories.

Tagovailoa went nearly half the season without a turnover-worthy throw, leading Maryland to a rank of 16th in Pass Success. So far this season, he has thrown for 2,384 yards, 17 touchdowns, and eight interceptions at a 70.2% completion percentage.

He will be tested, as Penn State ranks 19th in Def. Pass Success. Luckily for him, he will face minimal pressure in the pocket as he is behind a near top-10 offensive line, a metric that PSU struggles in.

Maryland Defense

While the offense has looked solid, Maryland's defense still has some work to do if it wants to be a threat in the Big Ten. It may get an opportunity to improve, as Penn State isn't the biggest threat on offense.

Maryland will come in focused on stopping the Penn State pass attack, as the Nittany Lions are little to no threat running the ball. The Terps rank 55th in Def. Pass Success and 88th in Def. Pass Rush.

The Penn State offense comes flawed, as it continually turns the ball over — an area Maryland will look to exploit if it want to stay within the number, let alone pick up the upset win.

The Terrapins may struggle to limit opposing drives, but luckily for them, those drives may result in no points on the board. Penn State is below average at Finishing Drives, a metric that Maryland ranks comfortably ahead of it in.

Penn State vs. Maryland Matchup Analysis

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

Penn State Offense vs. Maryland Defense
Rush Success12276
Line Yards11983
Pass Success4155
Pass Blocking**4888
Big Play6384
Finishing Drives7857
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Maryland Offense vs. Penn State Defense
Rush Success10171
Line Yards9366
Pass Success1619
Pass Blocking**1152
Big Play595
Finishing Drives674
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling5165
Middle 846100
SP+ Special Teams3584
Plays per Minute1946
Rush Rate47.5% (111)47.8% (110)

Penn State vs. Maryland Betting Pick

Expect plenty of passing, as both teams rank near the same exact percentage at rush rate, near the bottom of the nation. With pass-heavy attacks, the over sticks out right away.

Penn State has little to no run game, and Clifford looked sharp in his last outing. Expect more of the same, as Maryland has an average pass defense.

If Penn State can limit the turnovers, it should have little trouble moving the ball down the field.

Maryland, meanwhile, is what may decide the total. It owns one of the best passing attacks and is going against an equally great pass defense.

I expect Maryland to find success against Penn State, as Tagovailoa will have plenty of time to make the right read in the pocket while behind a solid offensive line going against a weak pass rush.

I grabbed the opening number of over 54 and would play this no higher than 55.5. I will also sprinkle some change on Maryland +10.5, as I believe it can do just enough on offense to keep this close.

Pick: Over 54 · Maryland +10.5

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