Penn State vs. Maryland Betting Picks & Odds: Will Terps Pull the Upset?

Penn State vs. Maryland Betting Picks & Odds: Will Terps Pull the Upset? article feature image

Matthew O’Haren, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Micah Parsons

Penn State at Maryland Picks & Odds

  • Spread: Penn State -6.5
  • Over/Under: 61.5
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • TV: FS1
  • Location: College Park, Maryland

All odds above via PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).

Penn State at Maryland Line Movement

The line for this game opened at Penn State -6, shot up to -7 early in the week but was quickly knocked back down to -6.5, where it has stayed for the most of the week. At the time of writing, we’ve tracked 4,000 bets on this game and 52% of the tickets are on Penn State.

The total has seen much more lopsided action. The Over/Under opened at 60 and has been on the rise thanks to 75% of the bets hitting the Over.

The public support for the Over is not surprising. Maryland averages 53 points per game and Penn State is scoring 47 points per contest.

The Nittany Lions are undefeated and are ranked No. 12 in the nation, but are they as good as the market is giving them credit for?

Let’s dive into the numbers:

Stuckey: This Price is Flattering Penn State

Penn State is undefeated, ranked No. 12 in the nation and has owned Maryland in this series. The Nittany Lions are 39-2-1 against the Terrapins all-time and have won their two most recent meetings by a combined score of 104-6.

But what have the Nittany Lions really done in 2019?

They’ve played three home games.

  • A blowout over Idaho. Meaningless.
  • A 32-point win over Buffalo looks impressive but they trailed at the half, were out-gained 429-357 and lost the time of possession 42:32-17:28.
  • And then last week in their only real test of the season, they held on to beat Pitt 17-10 in another game they were out-gained in.

Color me unimpressed.

The offense isn’t in rhythm with new quarterback Sean Clifford. He hasn’t been accurate, but even when he’s been hitting receivers, they have had issues holding onto the ball. The timing of the entire passing offense seems off, which is something that the Nittany Lions had to overcome last season, as well.

I think it’s a product of offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne, as this offense just hasn’t looked as potent since Joe Moorhead left Happy Valley to take over at Mississippi State.

This is a tough spot for a young offense to get the passing game right as Maryland’s defense has been terrific against the run. Both the Nittany Lions and Terps feature top-10 defenses against the run, but Maryland’s got a star running back in Anthony McFarland.

No primary back has stepped up as the next “guy” at Penn State, while McFarland is the clear star of the show at Maryland. In a game where I expect two stout run defenses to dare the offenses to throw downfield, I’ll give Josh Jackson the edge over Clifford. More importantly, I trust McFarland to break a few more runs.

The Terps just aren’t that far off behind Penn State from a power ratings perspective and I’d take Maryland at +6 or better and I’m also considering the Under.

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