Maryland Terrapins vs. Penn State Nittany Lions Prediction
Maryland Terrapins (5-6 SU, 6-5 ATS) vs. Penn State Nittany Lions (8-3 SU, 6-5 ATS)
When: Saturday, November 24th, 2018 – 3:30 EST
Where: Beaver Stadium, State College, PA
Point Spread: MD +13.5 / PSU -13.5
Power Ratings: Penn State -19
Takeaways From Week 12
The Terrapins were a play away from creating chaos in the College Football Playoff picture when they fell short of an upset bid against No. 10 Ohio State last Saturday in College Park. Maryland elected to go for a two-point conversion in overtime but could not pull it off, falling 52-51 despite closing at the number they are offered at this week (+13.5). What impressed spectators, even more, was the fact that Maryland did this with their backup quarterback. Nevertheless, the Terrapins losing streak has now extended to three games.
The Nittany Lions cruised past Rutgers in a 20-7 win to gain their second straight victory after getting blown out by Michigan in The Big House, a few weeks ago by a score of 42-7. Penn State failed to cover a 28.5-point line against the Scarlet Knights.
How the Public is Betting the Maryland-Penn State Game
Presently, we have seen 56% of the consensus like the Terrapins. However, there have been no line movements as a result of the public lean on the underdog in this contest.
The Penn State-Maryland rivalry was a manufactured series that came as a result of B1G re-alignment when the Terps joined the party in 2014. Maryland won the inaugural clash between the two sides by a score of 20-19, but since then it’s been all Nittany Lions as they have won the last three. Last year, Penn State made an example of Maryland in Happy Valley when they crushed the Terps 66-3.
The most notable injury concern was Maryland losing their starting quarterback Kasim Hill for the season due to an ACL tear. However, backup Tyrrell Pigrome stepped in and played efficiently against Ohio State hurling a touchdown and going for 181 yards through the air.
When Maryland Has the Ball
The heartbeat of the Maryland offense is their stud running back Anthony McPharland. Against Ohio State, he went off as McPharland went for 298 yards on the ground and two scores while he did so. Overall, the Terrapins love to run the football as they are 17th in the country in rushing offense (244.5 yards per game).
When Penn State Has the Ball
The catalyst of the Penn State offense is Trace McSorley as he is known as a home-run threat with his deep passing ability. However, McSorley has slowed down drastically in recent games as he has only thrown for 2,055 yards through the air this year compared to last year’s production of 3,570 passing yards. McSorley is accompanied in the backfield by a 1,000-yard rusher in Miles Sanders who has emerged as the primary weapon of the Penn State offense.
There are no notable betting trends between the two teams.
The present forecast for this contest calls for a cold and overcast day in Happy Valley. Temperatures are expected to hover around the high 30’s to low 40’s with a 79% chance of precipitation.
Keith Pick to Cover the Spread: Penn State -13.5
What resonates here is the fact that Maryland is priced identically to where it was last week. This is no mistake or nor is it a Thanksgiving gift for takers. It is a very good sign that Maryland is set up here to not only cover but perhaps get its doors blown off. According to the metrics, the Nittany Lions are severely underpriced here, and thus the number dictates the play alone. However, it doesn’t just stop there. A popular angle implemented by many here is that Maryland “needs” to win this game to go to a bowl game while a victory for the Nittany Lions does not alter its post-season course drastically. This is indeed true, but such a rationale has also been the cause of many ripped up tickets in the past. This is still a rivalry game and one that Penn State does not want to lose at home. However, Maryland if anything is more prone to come in flat after last week. The Terrapins played their best game this season last week and threw the kitchen sink at the Buckeyes only to fall short in the most heartbreaking of fashions. We saw a similar situation unfold with Syracuse at Clemson earlier this season in Death Valley. Cuse came up two points short against the Tigers after leading for most of the game, and in their follow-up against Pittsburgh the following week they got buried from the let-down. A comparable situation will unfold in State College this weekend, and Penn State will look impressive to close out the regular season.