Maryland vs Michigan Odds, Picks & Predictions: Bet the Terrapins to Cover the Spread on Saturday
Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Taulia Tagovailoa (Maryland)
Maryland vs Michigan Odds
Michigan has won and covered six straight meetings against Maryland. The Terrapins hosted the Wolverines in College Park last season and were promptly blown out, 59-18.
What's different this season?
The Maryland offense looks good. The Terps enter this matchup 3-0 and have dropped a combined 121 points in wins over Buffalo, Charlotte and SMU. There's a lot to love about this unit.
Meanwhile, Michigan has lost a ton of talent on defense and is facing its first test of the season.
Moreover, our Action PRO projections make this line Michigan -13.2. There could be some value on the Terrapins.
But can we bet on Maryland against Michigan considering the recent history between these two clubs?
Let's investigate the matchup further.
This Maryland offense has the potential to be historically good.
In his preseason magazine, Phil Steele projected Maryland to have the highest-scoring offense in the Big Ten (32.3 PPG). Nine starters returned from last year's squad — including four offensive line starters (94 career starts) — the top two wide receivers and two of the top three running backs.
The most important piece returned, as well. Taulia Tagovailoa burst onto the scene in 2021, completing almost 70% of his passes for nearly 3,900 yards. He's PFF's third-highest-graded quarterback through three games, completing a whopping 77.3% of his passes for over 10 yards per attempt.
In addition to returning Tagovailoa's top two weapons from last season, Maryland also added Florida's former No. 1 wideout, Jacob Copeland, who averaged over 15 yards per reception in 2021.
This offense should be explosive. Tagovailoa has completed eight of his 12 attempts of over 20+ yards downfield for 270 yards and three scores.
— 𝗙𝗢𝗟𝗟𝗢𝗪 @𝗙𝗧𝗕𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗱𝟳 (@FTBeard7) September 18, 2022
However, Tagovalioa is still turnover prone. He made 17 Turnover Worthy Plays last season — including 11 interceptions — and has already made three through three games. Two interceptions came on passes 20+ yards downfield.
Maryland has been a force in Standard Downs and that might take some of the pressure off Tagovailoa. The Terps rank top-15 in both Standard Downs EPA/Play and Success Rate, and they spend 74% of the time in Standard Downs. This offense is moving the chains.
The defense is more mysterious. The Terps' statistical profile is elite, but they allowed SMU eight drives beyond the opposing 40-yard line and SMU came away with just 13 points.
Maryland also didn't cause much Havoc or post a high Stuff Rate.
We'll see if Maryland's 14th-ranked Rush Success Rate allowed holds up against Michigan.
The Terps also rank outside the top 100 in PFF's Pass Rush grades and Havoc.
The Michigan offensive line could have a field day.
This is the nation's top-ranked offensive line. The Wolverines have one of the top five centers (Olusegun Oluwatimi) and one of the top five tackles (Ryan Hayes). The Wolverines are 11th nationally in Offensive Line Yards and fifth in Rush Success Rate.
However, it's tough to judge just how good Michigan is. The Wolverines have played three of the worst FBS teams so far. They dominated all three, but it's hard to ascertain what any of the numbers mean.
The big story is at quarterback. The Wolverines have officially made the move to start J.J. McCarthy, and he's looked spectacular in early-season action. He's completed 30 of his 34 attempts for almost 14 YPA and three touchdowns.
And his legs add a whole new dimension to Jim Harbaugh's rush-heavy offense. McCarthy can run the read-option, scramble, run by guys or run through them. He's that dynamic and that athletic.
J.J. McCarthy takes it in! 37-0 Michigan. pic.twitter.com/IvUGKCdvlY
— Mr Matthew CFB (@MrMatthewCFB) September 3, 2022
McCarthy has made no Turnover Worthy Plays in the process.
Who knows if McCarthy's historical play will continue against better competition, but it's been an excellent start.
I don't expect Michigan to be PFF's top-rated Tackling and Coverage team as it enters Big Ten play, but this unit should be pretty good. Again, there's nothing to glean from shutout performances against Connecticut, Hawaii and Colorado State.
Maryland vs Michigan Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Maryland and Michigan match up statistically:
Maryland Offense vs. Michigan Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Michigan Offense vs. Maryland Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||3||6|
|Seconds per Play||27.6 (87)||28.7 (108)|
|Rush Rate||50.0% (88)||60.4% (28)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Maryland vs Michigan Betting Pick
I think Michigan might stutter a bit against a big step-up in talent. While McCarthy carved up low-end FBS teams, this will be his first start against a Power Five team. And Maryland's defense looked fine against low-end FBS talent, too.
The absence of Aidan Hutchinson and other lost talents from the offseason should show up in this game. Maryland's offense is legit. If this turns into a shootout, the Terrapins can keep up with anyone.
It's finally time for the Terps to cover against the Wolverines. Again, our PRO systems make this line just 13.2, so there's value in taking the Terrapins to cover a moderately large spread.
Hold your noses because Maryland is the play Saturday.