SMU vs. Maryland Odds, Picks: Back This Trend in College Park

SMU vs. Maryland Odds, Picks: Back This Trend in College Park article feature image

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

  • Maryland is hosting SMU in what is expected to be a high-scoring affair during college football's Week 3.
  • Maryland head coach Mike Locksley is 4-0 at home against non-conference opponents.
  • Will that trend continue Saturday? Thomas Schlarp breaks it down.

SMU vs. Maryland Odds

Saturday, Sept. 17
7:30 p.m. ET
SMU Odds
-110o / -110u
Maryland Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

If you're a fan of defense or enjoy watching offense run by Brian Ferentz, you've come to the wrong place. SMU vs. Maryland promises to be one of the higher-scoring games of the week, with the total soaring past the 70-point threshold.

Taulia Tagovailoa and Tanner Mordecai are both veteran quarterbacks leading two of the top-20 total offenses through two weeks of the college football season. Neither, however, has yet to face a Power Five opponent this year.

Will both offenses continue to tear through opposing defenses, or does one side hold an advantage over the other worth backing? Let's find out.

Southern Methodist Mustangs

SMU travels to College Park with a 2-0 record in tow, scoring at least 45 points in both games while averaging 514.5 yards of offense against North Texas and Lamar.

Mordecai, now in his second year as the Mustangs starter, has passed for 644 yards with a 7:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

The passing attack of Rhett Lashlee's Mustangs has been one of the most explosive in the nation, with SMU already recording 14 passing plays of at least 20 yards, tied for the second-most among teams with two games played. The Mustangs are also tied for the national lead with three passing plays of at least 50 yards.

Rashee Rice leads SMU receivers with 298 yards and 17 receptions.

While SMU has put up eye-popping numbers, it's worth noting these came against a North Texas defense ranked 123rd in the country through three games and a Lamar team that most recently surrendered 444 yards to Abilene Christian.

Defensively, the Mustangs have allowed just 26 total points to these inferior opponents but also 337.0 yards per game (59th in FBS), which isn't great given the competition.

This SMU defense struggled down the stretch last season against AAC opponents, allowing 36 points and 445 passing yards per game in the final five contests of the season.

Maryland, which boasts one of the best passing offenses in the country, poses a serious problem if there isn't improvement in this defense from 2021.

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Maryland Terrapins

Despite a busy offseason of transfers, Mike Locksley's third full season at Maryland has gone off without a hitch, with a pair of blowout victories over Buffalo and Charlotte.

Much like SMU, Maryland has gotten off to such a successful start on the back of its passing offense.

The Terrapins rank 10th in the nation with 360.5 yards passing per game, thanks to one of college football's stronger returning receiving corps.

Rakim Jarrett was top-10 in the Big Ten last season in all receiving categories. Jeshaun Jones already has 140 yards receiving, including a 70-yard touchdown. And then there's 2021 Biletnikoff candidate Dontay Demus Jr. and Jacob Copeland, fresh off a 110-yard, two-touchdown performance against Charlotte.

Maryland returned its entire starting offensive line, which has given Tagovailoa plenty of time, surrendering just one sack. Tagovailoa has completed over 78% of his passes so far.

Maryland's defense has also been off to a hot start, ranking 13th and fifth in Rushing and Passing Success Rate, respectively.

One of the most compelling individual matchups of this game will be cornerback Jakorian Bennett against the Mustang wideouts. Bennett led the Power Five last season with 16 pass breakups, and he's already begun an encore performance with five more PBUs against Buffalo.

SMU vs. Maryland Matchup Analysis

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

SMU Offense vs. Maryland Defense
Rush Success2713
Line Yards754
Pass Success105
Pass Blocking**5664
Finishing Drives1235
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Maryland Offense vs. SMU Defense
Rush Success10715
Line Yards12848
Pass Success7426
Pass Blocking**1588
Finishing Drives3529
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling8011
PFF Coverage2633
SP+ Special Teams918
Seconds per Play19.8 (4)27.3 (85)
Rush Rate47.0% (93)43.9% (105)
Data via (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

SMU vs. Maryland Betting Pick

There's no question this game will see plenty of scoring, and the line reflects that. The total opened at 70 before getting bet up all the way up to 74.

But even though this game will likely be a track meet, the over/under is too high for me to confidently make a play.

I think the Terrapins' secondary is a little underrated in this matchup. The drop-off in talent behind Rice at the receiver position is pretty precipitous. If Bennett can minimize Rice's impact and Maryland slows it down just a tad offensively, the Terrapins should be able to win this at home by closer to a touchdown.

It also wouldn't hurt for Marylandto give the ball to Roman Hemby, who's averaging 8.9 yards per carry.

Locksley is 4-0 at home against non-conference opponents, with the closest margin of victory being six points. Let's back that trend to continue.

Pick: Maryland -2.5 (Play to -3)

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