Maryland 2018 Betting Preview: Terps Are Explosive, But Not Much Else
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: DJ Durkin
Maryland 2018 Betting Odds
- To win the National Title: +150000
- To win the Big Ten: +7000
- To win the Big Ten East: +3900
- Win Total: 5 (over -150, under +120)
Always shop for the best line.
Maryland 2018 Schedule, Betting Odds
The Action Network Projected Wins: 3.9
Bet To Watch
Maryland Under 5 Wins +120
When you think of Maryland Terrapins football, three things should immediately come to mind:
- Quarterbacks Kasim Hill and Tyrell Pigrome are highlight reels under center who define explosiveness (see 2017 at Texas) — when healthy.
- Matt Canada (offensive coordinator at LSU last season) will now call plays in College Park.
- Head coach DJ Durkin has been routed the past two years by the best teams in the Big Ten East.
I have a soft spot when capping Maryland because I’m a fan of explosive offenses (Maryland ranked 38th in 2017) and defenses that limit explosiveness (Terps’ defense ranked 14th). Holding a ticket on last year’s upset over Texas was the highlight of the first week for me.
While I generally like to get money down on teams that succeed on both sides of the ball in the explosiveness category, Maryland’s other metrics make me cautious. Canada should help improve an offense that finished 115th in efficiency last year, but he won’t help a defense that ranked 120th in finishing drives.
The schedule is also unkind, which is standard in the brutal Big Ten East. Maryland should be a double-digit underdog in six games this season — five in conference (Michigan, Iowa, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State) and against a Texas team out for revenge. The Terps will also play two coin-flip conference games against Minnesota and Indiana.
Maryland will be favored at Bowling Green in Week 2, but not by more than a touchdown. The Terps could easily drop that game, which has high letdown potential the week following their highly touted rematch with UT.
After starting off the season against Texas (at a semi-neutral venue in FedEx Field) and at Bowling Green, the Terps will play their home opener and final non-conference game against Temple. They could potentially overlook Temple the week before Big Ten play, which would certainly go a long way toward getting this plus-money Under 5 prop to the window.
And even with wins over Temple, Bowling Green and in both coin-flip conference games — Maryland would still need to pull off a major upset to get to six wins.
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What else you need to know about Maryland
The Terps’ special teams have ranked 102nd and 130th in Durkin’s first two years in College Park. Yes, Maryland ranked dead last in special teams last season. The Terps especially struggled on kickoffs and punts, which put them at a severe field-position disadvantage. Those splits make it impossible to trust putting money down on the Terrapins.
While I may look to hit Maryland in its opener if the Texas love gets out of hand, I don’t anticipate betting on the Terps much — until I see improved special teams execution.