NCAA Football Free Pick: Maryland Terrapins at Michigan State Spartans

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Two teams that prefer to run the football, Head Coach Mark Dantonio and the Michigan State Spartans (-21) are gearing up to take the field against their in-conference counterpart No. 21 Maryland Terrapins at Spartan Stadium. Fans can catch the action live on FS1 and kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET.

Betting Preview: Michigan State Spartans vs. Maryland Terrapins

Michigan State is heavily favored in this one and is currently giving up 21 points to Maryland. Vegas has determined the over/under (O/U) to be 48.5 points, and this showdown will likely offer some live betting opportunities.

This game’s line opened at -21, while the over/under hasn’t moved since it opened at 48.5.

The Terrapins are 4-7 against the spread (ATS) and are down 6.3 units so far in 2019. The team’s posted an O/U record of 6-4-1.

The Spartans have been a disappointment to moneyline bettors this season, losing 20.4 units. The team is 3-8 ATS and has an O/U record of 5-6.

The Terrapins have gone 3-8 straight up (SU), including 1-7 SU against Big 10 opponents. The Spartans are 5-6 SU overall and 3-5 SU in conference play.

The Terps fell to Nebraska 54-7 in a blowout where their defense allowed the Cornhuskers to eat up the clock by rushing for 305 yards on 57 attempts, including four rush TDs. JD Spielman had a productive day for the Cornhuskers in that one with 104 yards and two touchdowns on seven catches. Offensively, the Terrapins completed 7-of-21 passes for 57 yards. Josh Jackson went four-for-12 for 33 yards while Tyrrell Pigrome completed three-of-seven for 24 yards. Anthony McFarland Jr. (35 rushing yards on 10 attempts) and Javon Leake (80 yards on eight carries, one TD) provided the running attack while Tyler Mabry (one receptions, six yards) and Brian Cobbs (one catch, 12 yards) handled the receiving duties in the defeat.

Michigan State just put together a 27-0 win over Rutgers. The team’s defensive unit did its part in the victory, holding the Scarlet Knights to just 57 passing yards and 83 rushing yards. Isaih Pacheco was a bright spot in the defeat, recording 25 yards on two catches for Rutgers. For Michigan State, Brian Lewerke completed 21-of-30 passes for 239 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Elijah Collins (109 yards on 31 rush attempts) led the running game while Cody White (11 receptions, 136 yards, three TDs) and Jalen Nailor (five catches, 27 yards) led the pass-catching corps in the win.

Maryland has run the ball on 55.8 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Michigan State has an overall rush percentage of 50.4 percent. The Terrapins have run for 169.9 yards per game (including 129.6 per game against Big Ten opponents) and have 22 touchdowns on the ground this year. The Spartans are putting up 126.2 rushing yards per game (114.5 in conference) and have 10 total rush TDs.

If 2019 results are any indication, then it seems like the Spartans could hold an edge when it comes to applying pressure, since their offensive line has yielded just 17 sacks while the D-line has logged 32 sacks. The Terrapins O-line has allowed 34 sacks and their defense has got to opposing signal-callerss on just 21 occasions.

The Terps offensive scheme has averaged 176 yards in the air overall (144.4 per game against conference opposition) and has 15 passing scores so far. The Spartans have produced 229.1 pass yards per game (213 in the Big 10) and have 16 total pass TDs.

Maryland has let opponents rush for an average of 186.1 yards and throw for 264.8 yards per game. The Michigan State defense has allowed 215.9 yards per game to opposing passers and 103.5 yards per game to opposing runners. The Spartans are giving up an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of only 5.62 to opposing QBs, while the Terrapins have allowed a 7.53 ANY/A.

Passing-wise, Jackson is up to 1,098 yards on the year. The signal-caller has connected on 49 percent of his 171 attempts with 10 scores through the air and five interceptions. Jackson’s got a 5.12 adjusted net yards per pass attempt overall, although that number is 2.19 over the last two games.

On the other sideline, Brian Lewerke has completed 187-of-328 passes for 2,251 yards, 15 TDs and eight INTs. Lewerke’s ANY/A sits at 6.16 for the season and 4.85 over his past two outings.

When these two teams faced one another last year, Michigan State won by three touchdowns 24-3.

Maryland Terrapins at Michigan State Spartans NCAA Tip

SU Winner: Michigan State, ATS Winner: Maryland, O/U: Over

Team Betting Notes

  • The Over/Under for Maryland’s last game was set at 63.5. The under cashed in the team’s 54-7 defeat to Nebraska.
  • Maryland has averaged 3.1 yards per rush attempt across its past three games and 3.3 over its last two.
  • Michigan State has averaged 3.8 yards per carry over its last three contests and only 2.7 over its past two.
  • Michigan State has lost eight fumbles this season while Maryland has lost seven.
  • Over its last three contests, Maryland is 0-3 ATS and the under cashed in two of those three.
  • Maryland has lost nine of its last 10 games SU, with a 41-point victory over Rutgers on October 5th accounting for the only win over that span.
  • The O/U for Michigan State’s last match was set at 43.5. The under cashed in the team’s 27-0 victory over Rutgers.
  • Over its last three contests, Michigan State is 1-2 ATS and the over cashed in two of those three.
  • The Terrapins offense has produced eight pass plays of 40 yards or more, while the Spartans have accounted for four such plays.
  • The Maryland defense has allowed eight pass plays of 40 or more yards, while Michigan State has given up six such plays.
  • The Maryland offense has created 24 rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while Michigan State has created 12 such runs.
  • The Terrapins defense has allowed 17 rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while the Spartans have given up nine such runs.
  • The Michigan State defensive unit has sacked opposing QBs 32 times this season. Maryland has recorded just 21 sacks.