The week 9 NCAAF Minnesota at Maryland betting matchup is ideal for those who love home underdogs. The Terrapins are +18.5 from College Park, a number that has actually dropped a bit from the +20 open. That’s a hefty number for a Golden Gophers team that was bowled over 49-24 by Michigan in their opener last week.
Make no mistake, Maryland is no Michigan. In fact, the Terrapins looked even worse than Minnesota did last week, falling 43-3 as 2 TD underdogs to Northwestern. The Terrapins dropped their final 7 games of last season, and were just 1-8 in Big Ten play a year ago. There’s not much to be optimistic of for this Terps team.
Golden Gophers Set to Get Season on Track
The 49-24 loss to Michigan last week wasn’t a complete shocker, as Minnesota was a +3 point underdog in the Twin Cities despite being ranked #21 in the country at the time. P.J. Fleck’s team jumped off to a 7-0 lead against the Wolverines, but were completely outmatched facing a 35-17 deficit at the half.
One of the bright things to take out of last week’s loss was that Minnesota was able to get their running game going against a stout Michigan front 7. Maryland native Mo Ibrahim had 140 yards and 2TD vs. a Wolverines team that ranked 6th in the country last season in yards/game allowed. Ibrahim should be in line for another big night vs. a Terrapins team that allowed 325 yards rushing to Northwestern last week.
With the running game going, Minnesota should be able to find more success in their passing game. Tanner Morgan threw 28TD to just 6 INT a year ago, but was just 18/31 vs. the Wolverines – who had the #5 ranked pass defense in 2019.
Any Hope for Maryland?
The easy play for NCAAF Minnesota at Maryland betting would be to assume Minnesota gets the blowout and lay the -18.5 points. The Golden Gophers dominated in this meeting a season ago, winning 52-10 in Minneapolis as -14 favorites. Maryland gave up 321 yards on the ground in that contest, and the Golden Gophers dominated despite Rashod Bateman having just 3 catches for 39 yards.
Maryland was as bad as their 1-8 conference record appeared last year. Their last 7 games of the Big Ten schedule included a 59-point loss to Penn State, falling by 42 to the Gophers, 31 to Michigan, 59 to Ohio State, and 47 to Nebraska.
Maryland coach Mike Locksley has the most inexperienced team in the Big Ten, so it’s hard to expect them getting much better this season. The Terrapins played approximately 20 first year players in their opener, but they could be better Friday night at home and with that first game out of the way.
Locksley is sticking with Tualia Tagovailoa, who had 3 INTs and just 94 yards passing in his first career start. The run game could be there in game two, as Minnesota gave up 253 yards on the ground to Michigan.
NCAAF Minnesota at Maryland Betting Free Pick
Only 57% of the public bettors like Minnesota tonight and the line has dropped a couple points from the open making this a game to stay away from. One thing for certain is that Maryland is going to struggle in stopping Minnesota’s run game. A strong running presence doesn’t churn the clock as much as you’d think when a team is ripping off 11-12 yards a chunk.
At the same time, the Minnesota defense has concerns in their first road game and after nearly allowing a 50-burger to Michigan last week. Tagovailoa should be better in his 2nd start, and if not Lance LeGendre may get a shot after going 4/4 for 49 yards in relief last week. All of this equates to a high scoring affair.
Minnesota 45 – Maryland 31
Free Pick: Over 61