College Football Odds, Pick for Maryland vs Rutgers: Defenses to Step Up
Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images. Pictured: Billy Edwards and Taulia Tagovailoa.
Maryland vs Rutgers Odds
Read on for college football odds for Maryland vs. Rutgers, including our pick in this college football betting preview for Saturday, Nov. 25.
It doesn’t get much more important than the battle for the best of the rest in the Big Ten East.
Rutgers and Maryland enter this game with 3-5 conference records and 6-5 overall marks and have a chance to secure fourth place in the division behind the Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State behemoths.
The Terrapins hold a 6-3 advantage in this matchup since the programs joined the Big Ten, and they walloped the Scarlet Knights, 37-0, in 2022. Are we in for another similar dominating performance?
Credit where credit’s due: Maryland certainly made a game of the Michigan Wolverines last week.
The Terrapins held Michigan to fewer than 300 yards for just the second time this season, and Maryland’s 24 points were the most a team has scored on the Wolverines this year.
But, alas, a loss is still a loss.
For Maryland to end its regular season on a positive note, Taulia Tagovailoa needs to recapture his early-season success that has eluded him as conference play has progressed.
Since the veteran quarterback threw for 352 yards in Week 5 against Indiana, he’s seen his average yards per game drop by more than 30 yards, as his propensity to turn the ball over has increased.
In the last six games, Tagovailoa has thrown seven interceptions, including at least one in each of Maryland’s last four games.
A big issue for Tagovailoa and the Terrapins offense has been the state of the offensive line. Maryland has allowed the fourth-most sacks in the Big Ten (24) and ranks just 86th nationally in Line Yards.
Rutgers has a pretty sound secondary, so Maryland will need its run game to step up for the Terrapins to find sustained offensive success.
Maryland’s run defense will be key against the run-happy Scarlet Knights offense. While the Terrapins are just 89th in Run Success Rate Allowed, they generally make you earn it.
Maryland’s 3.41 yards allowed per carry are in the top half of the Big Ten, and only Iowa has allowed fewer runs of 20-plus yards than Maryland.
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Much like Maryland did with Michigan, Rutgers has found a way to hang tight with better teams this season, at least for two quarters.
With the exception of the Wisconsin game, Rutgers has never trailed by more than one score at the half against teams with a winning record.
Running back Kyle Monangai is the clear leader of the offense, and as he goes so do the Scarlet Knights. Unfortunately, he’s been banged up since the Ohio State game, and as a result Rutgers has scored just six total points in its last two games – albeit against two of the best defenses in the country (Iowa and Penn State).
Without a playmaker to turn to at the running back position for a team that runs it at the eighth-highest rate in the country, this offense flounders. Gavin Wimsatt hasn’t thrown for more than 130 yards in each of Rutgers’ last four games, and his rushing success has also trailed off. In the last two games, Wimsatt has averaged just 1.45 yards per carry on 20 attempts.
The Rutgers defense has been what’s kept it in games. The Scarlet Knights are fifth in the Big Ten in total defense and are one of the best passing defenses in the country.
Rutgers’ 159.1 yards passing allowed per game are the fifth-fewest in the country, with the Scarlet Knights ranking 26th in Pass Success Rate Allowed.
Rutgers, however, has struggled to consistently stop the run. The Scarlet Knights are 125th in Rush Success Rate Allowed and have allowed four of their last six opponents to rush for more than 150 yards.
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Maryland Offense vs. Rutgers Defense
Rutgers Offense vs. Maryland Defense
Pace of Play / Other
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This is a good strength-on-strength matchup. Maryland relies on its passing game for success, but it won’t be in for an easy day against one of the better secondaries in the country.
Rutgers struggles to stop the run, but the Terrapins have 67 total rushing yards in their last three games.
Rutgers is also just really good at mucking it up. It runs the seventh slowest offense in the nation and does a great job at keeping the ball out of its opponents hands, even if Rutgers isn’t all that effective at turning that time of possession into points.
The Terrapins will be hard pressed to find many easy and quick points, while the Scarlet Knights offense has been rendered unproductive without a healthy Monangai. This is going to be an ugly Big Ten matchup, and points will be few and far between.
Pick: Under 44.5
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