Minnesota vs. Maryland Odds & Predictions 10/30/20
Minnesota Golden Gophers (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. Maryland Terrapins (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS)
When: Friday, October 30, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Capital One Field, College Park, Md.
Point Spread: MINN -19.5/MD +19.5 (BetNow - Weekend Special! Deposit $100 to $1000 and they’ll match your deposit dollar for dollar with a real cash bonus!)
Total: O/U 61
Two teams who started the year about as poor as it gets try to redeem themselves in a meeting near our nation’s capital. For Minnesota, this is exactly the kind of game that it has won and won easily under coach P.J. Fleck, as the Golden Gophers have spent most of his 3+ years at the helm beating the teams they should beat and losing to the teams they shouldn’t beat. The loss to Michigan was an example of the latter, as Minnesota really couldn’t compete with the Wolverines, who are expected to challenge Ohio State for the Big Ten title.
On the other hand, Maryland has been stuck in quicksand ever since the last time they faced Minnesota, which came at the end of October of 2019. The Terrapins lost that game 52-10 to the Golden Gophers, and since then, Maryland hasn’t broken 16 points in a game. The Terrapins didn’t come close in their opener, losing by 40 points to a Northwestern team that finished dead last in the Big Ten West last season. Other than a close loss to a collapsing Michigan State at the end of last year, Maryland hasn’t come within 30 points of any of its past six opponents, which is why this line is as high as it is. Can the Terrapins finally get off the canvas, or will this be another example of the Gophers getting healthy off a weak opponent?
How the Public is Betting the Minnesota/Maryland Game
The public has shown a tiny bit of faith in Maryland, bringing the line down from 20 points to the current 19.5. The total has ticked up from 60.5 to 61.
Defensive back Phillip Howard, linebacker Braelen Oliver, offensive lineman Curtis Dunlap Jr., offensive lineman Daniel Faalele, kicker Michael Lantz and punter Mark Crawford are all questionable with undisclosed issues.
Running back, Tayon Fleet-Davis is questionable with an undisclosed issue. Linebacker T.J. Kautai, defensive back Vincent Flythe, defensive lineman Jalen Alexander, offensive lineman Austin Fontaine, quarterback Josh Jackson and tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo opted out, and defensive lineman Joseph Boletepeli is ineligible.
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When Minnesota Has the Ball
This needs to be Mohamed Ibrahim’s game. It’s tempting to try to attack with wide receiver Rashod Bateman as the Gophers’ primary weapon, but when you look at last week, Maryland’s run defense got absolutely shredded by Northwestern. The Wildcats rolled up 325 rushing yards against the Terrapins, which should mean a big day for Ibrahim on the ground. Ibrahim was strong against Michigan and certainly did his part to keep the game close by gaining 140 yards and scoring two touchdowns.
But that won’t matter if Tanner Morgan can’t avoid turning the ball over. Minnesota shot itself in the foot twice against Michigan with a fumble and an interception from Morgan, and that simply cannot repeat if the Gophers are going to have success. The good news for Minnesota is that Maryland’s offense is nowhere near as talented as Michigan, so the Gophers don’t have to get seven points every time they step on the field. Just getting a few touchdowns paired with long drives that pin Maryland deep and use up clock will pay dividends for Minnesota.
Beyond that, in the passing game, Morgan needs to find other targets besides Bateman. Bateman had half of his team’s completions, and that is just not sustainable if the Gophers hope to move the ball through the air. This could be an excellent time for the Golden Gophers to find a few weapons who can help them later in the year.
When Maryland Has the Ball
There’s a wide gap between Alabama and Maryland, and that’s very true between the teams’ quarterback positions. The disparity was on full display last week. Maryland started Taulia Tagoailoa (younger brother of former Alabama quarterback Tua) and watched him turn in an ugly three-interception performance that ended with just 94 passing yards. Maryland would likely have been routed even if Tagovailoa had taken care of the ball, but when you turn it over three times like that, you take any hope out of the equation.
Northwestern really shut down the Maryland attack so well that it’s difficult to figure out what, if anything, the Terrapins really do successfully. Jake Funk and Peny Boone ran the ball decently, but the yards were all well before the Terrapins could come close to moving the ball with some regularity. There is some daylight against Minnesota’s pass defense, but it’s unlikely to expect Nick DeGennaro and Dontay Demus Jr. to get on the same page as Tagovailoa with less than a week to go between games.
P. J. Fleck knows how to do one thing very well: avoid taking multiple losses from one game. Too often, a team that’s supposed to be strong will turn in a flat performance in one game and then play poorly in the match after because they’re still feeling sorry for themselves. Not the case with Fleck’s teams, as the Gophers have covered in each of their past five games following a defeat. The Gophers have also proven themselves a great traveling *team, covering in six of their past eight road games and earning a push.
Conversely, making money often means betting against Maryland. The Terrapins have been a raging disaster as of late, failing to cover in five of their past six contests in the Big Ten. When it comes to the total, something has to give between the two squads: Maryland has seen the under cash in four of its past five games, while the over has hit for Minnesota’s in six of its past seven in the Big Ten.
Rain and 53-degree weather in the D.C. area only further confirm that running the ball will likely be the way to go in this game.
Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread
This is a lot of points, but I have to say I think Minnesota covers this number. Maryland is just a disaster at every level right now, and there’s not one thing where you can point to some part of the Terrapins and say they’re strong in that department. Conversely, Minnesota looks like a good, not great team that had the misfortune of running into a really strong opponent in Week 1.
I think the Gophers bounce back well here and feast on a weak Maryland team. Give me Minnesota to cover the number. Did you know… that you could be wagering on games at -105 odds instead of the -110 that your book is giving you? Dump your overpriced bookie TODAY and start enjoying the benefits of betting at reduced vig -105 at BetAnySports!