Through four weeks, these two teams have been predictable in terms of betting. Let’s walk through it. Both faced a cupcake school in their first game which was an easy cover. The following week, Maryland played Syracuse at home after the Orange struggled against Liberty. They put up 60 in the win. Penn State covered against Buffalo thanks to a monstrous second half.
Neither team covered in their third game but it could have been seen a mile away. Maryland went on the road against a stingy Temple team and their offense slowed down significantly. They scored just 17 points in a loss. Penn State hosted Pitt on a rainy, wet Saturday afternoon. this was a defensive struggle and the Nittany Lions won 17-10. So what does this all mean heading into this matchup?
Penn State vs. Maryland Preview
Despite their close win over Pitt, Penn State has not faced a real tough opponent yet. This will be their toughest game they have played so far. This is the first time that the Nittany Lions will be playing away from home.
Sean Clifford was not good against the Panthers. He finished 14-30 for 222 yards and no touchdowns. He will be big in this one because Maryland can score. This will be a tough matchup for the defense so the Penn State offense will have to step up.
“I’m more concerned about what we’ve seen on tape and what we know about this team now,” Penn State had coach James Franklin said on previous matchups with Maryland. “They have always been very talented. I think we all saw how they played Ohio State last year. They have always had speed, even from when I was there, we always had a lot of speed on the roster from the area.”
Maryland lit up the scoreboard through their first two games. They were the country;s highest scoring team through two games with 142 points. This slowed down significantly against Maryland and it is unlikely that they will score 70 against Penn State. The Terrapins could not get their passing attack going against the Owls. Josh Jackson finished 15-38 for 183 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Passing will be key against Penn State who focuses on stopping the run and does it well.
“When you look at those guys on defense, I think up front their front-four are very concerning to us, along with the two inside ‘backers,” Maryland head coach Mike Locksley said. “Their front-seven is very stout, very athletic. And they’ve got a lot of experience when you look back on the back-end with the secondary as well.”
Penn State vs. Maryland Pick & Prediction
Educated guesses can be made when picking a side to wager on, but Penn State and Maryland have been simple thus far. This will not be the same. Penn State will enter this game as 6.5-point favorites on the road, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
The Nittany Lions are not the same team. They have a new quarterback and a new running back on offense. No. 12 is a very generous ranking for Penn State early in the season. Despite covering against Buffalo, they trailed 10-7 at half in that game. Maryland can compete in this one.
This is an upset special this week in college football. Maryland looked bad last time out against Temple so they are due for a bounce back game in front of their home crowd.
PICK: Maryland +6.5
SCORE PREDICTION: Maryland 35, Penn State 31