Indiana vs. Maryland College Football Odds, Predictions, Picks: The Merits to Betting Either Side
Mark Goldman & James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured from left: Maryland Terrapins quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa (3) and Indiana Hoosiers quarterback Jack Tuttle (14).
- Indiana battles Maryland in Big Ten action in Saturday's early slate.
- Our bettors — Tanner McGrath and Mike Ianniello — have taken up either side and debate which bet to make.
- Check out both sides, along with odds for the game below.
Indiana vs. Maryland Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Why You Should Bet Indiana
The Maryland offense is electric. Taulia Tagovailoa is one of the best quarterbacks in the FBS this season.
Or is he?
After coming out of the gate firing and dominating a bunch of soft defenses, Taulia has slowed down considerably.
Here’s the quarterback’s stat lines over the past three games:
- Week 5 vs. Iowa: 16-for-29 (55.2%), 157 passing yards (5.4 YPA), 2 TDs, 5 INTs, 3 Big-Time Throws, 4 Turnover-Worthy Plays
- Week 6 @ Ohio State: 28-for-38 (71.8%), 279 passing yards (7.1 YPA), 2 TDs, 2 INTs, 0 Big Time-Throws, 2 Turnover-Worthy Plays
- Week 8 @ Minnesota: 17-for-27 (63%), 189 passing yards (7.0 YPA), 1 TD, 0 INT, 1 Big-Time Throw, 1 Turnover-Worthy Play
Outside of Tagovailoa’s arm, this team doesn’t have a lot of upside.
The Terps are averaging just 4.0 yards per carry behind an offensive line that ranks 60th in Line Yards, and Maryland ranks 107th in offensive explosiveness.
Tagovailoa looked like a Heisman candidate early in the season, but he’s been exposed in recent weeks. Maryland lost and failed to cover in all three of those games, and I’m not expecting him or the Terps to figure it out this week.
Why You Should Bet Maryland
Many smart people (like myself) felt that Indiana’s 6-2 record last year was a lot of smoke and mirrors and not sustainable, so they hammered its preseason win total at under 7.5.
The Hoosiers lived off of turnover luck on defense and explosive plays on offense — plus Michael Penix was clearly out of bounds against Penn State, but I digress.
Defensive Coordinator Kane Wommack left for the head coaching gig at South Alabama, and the defense took a big step back and has not been able to create the turnovers it was last year.
Indiana is just 2-5 this season with one victory coming over Idaho and the other being a two-point win over Western Kentucky.
Stopping the pass has been the Hoosiers’ biggest weakness this year. They rank 90th in the country in Passing Success Rate on defense. Their 14 passing touchdowns allowed this season is the most in the Big Ten.
This is a great matchup for Taulia Tagovailoa and the Maryland passing attack.
Tagovailoa ranks second in the Big Ten with 15 touchdowns and 280.7 passing yards per game. He has the ninth-highest quarterback grade in the country, per Pro Football Focus.
The Terps are 34th in Passing Success Rate and have done a great job keeping Tagovailoa clean, which is when he’s at his best. He is completing 75.2% of his passes when not under pressure.
Maryland ranks 13th in pass blocking and should have no problem with the Hoosiers’ 109th-ranked pass rush.
Indiana’s offense has not been able to replicate its big-play ability from last year, ranking just 113th in the country. It’s also been the single worst offense in the Big Ten, averaging just 309.7 yards per game and 4.31 yards per play. It can’t run, can’t pass and can’t score.
McGrath: It’s true, the Indiana secondary hasn’t played well. But as I mentioned, I don’t believe in the Terps’ passing attack.
If Taulia performs like he has recently, the Terps are going to fall back on their ground game.
That’s where the Indiana defense has the advantage, ranking 45th in Defensive Line Yards to Maryland’s 60th in Offensive Line Yards, and 79th in Defensive Rush Success Rate to Maryland’s 83rd in Offensive Rush Success Rate.
So, when the Indiana defense gets stops, the Indiana offense just has to put up enough points to cover.
The Hoosiers’ advanced stats don’t look great, but they’re coming off a murderer’s row of defenses. Indiana played Penn State, Michigan State, and Ohio State over the past three weeks.
The Maryland defense is a step down from those teams, and we should see the offense find more success this week.
Ianniello: I will admit that Tagovailoa has not looked as sharp in the past three games against good defenses (which Indiana is not). But what about the Hoosiers’ quarterback situation?
Penix is completing just 53.7% of his passes with four touchdowns and seven interceptions, and he’s once again sidelined with an injury. Backup Jack Tuttle has completed just 51.9% of his passes for two touchdowns and three interceptions, and he’s also dealing with an injury.
That leaves true freshman Donaven McCulley and walk-on Grant Gremel as the options at quarterback, and Tom Allen said they are splitting reps at practice. The two are a combined 4-for-10 for 39 yards this season.
We have already seen that Tagovailoa is capable of torching weak pass defenses like the one Indiana has. I would much rather have him than whatever future car salesman the Hoosiers are starting on Saturday.
McGrath: If Penix is so bad, then what’s there to lose with starting a backup? Car salesmen are sleazy, but the good ones are reliable, and I trust the guys in that quarterback room.
Besides, it’s not like the Terps’ defense is the most reliable bunch. Maryland’s allowing almost six yards per play and almost 30 points per game.
The Hoosiers don’t have to win, they just have to muck this game up enough to make it a messy, close affair.
And Indiana is primed to do that because Tagovailoa hasn’t been capable of anything since Dontay Demus went down. This Terps team is entirely dependent on Tagovailoa to carry it to shootout victories.
This game will not play out that way.
Ianniello: That’s who you want to trust to control this game? The Hoosiers’ 79th-ranked rush defense?
Indiana has allowed 4.2 yards per game on the ground this year. Northwestern is the only Big Ten team that’s been worse.
Indiana’s run defense allowed 209 rushing yards to a Penn State team that couldn’t even run for three yards last week. I don’t think Maryland will rely on the running game because it hasn’t all season, ranking 114th in the country in rush rate.
When the Terps do run the ball, Tayon Fleet-Davis has averaged 5.7 yards per carry with five touchdowns. Indiana is a decent favorite here and expected to be playing with the lead for much of the game.
In its three losses, Maryland has averaged just 77.3 yards per game and 3.1 yards per carry. But in the four wins, the Terps have rushed for 166.0 yards per game and 4.5 yards per carry.
If the game script plays out the way this line indicates, moving the ball on the ground shouldn’t be an issue.
McGrath: Bet Indiana +5.5
Look, the only reason you’re thinking about taking Maryland right now is you want to blindly bet the better quarterback.
This is the Big Ten — the most disgusting form of football imaginable — and 5.5 points is way too many in this conference.
As mentioned, Tagovailoa hasn’t looked better than anybody recently, and he doesn’t have his full arsenal of weapons at his disposal.
If the Terps win this game, they’ll have to go to the ground and win by a field goal. That’s not really their identity, either.
Ianniello: Bet Maryland -5.5
This line opened Maryland -2.5 and has been bet up to -5 with 90% of the money in on the Terps.
Indiana has yet to beat or cover the spread against a Power Five team this year, and we have no idea who its quarterback will be. Back the turtles.