West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Maryland Terrapins Preview and Pick

West Virginia Mountaineers (2-0) -16, o/u 64 at Maryland Terrapins (2-0), 7:45 pm Eastern Thursday, ESPN
by Zman of Predictem.com

Inter-conference border rivals meet for the 27th consecutive season when the West Virginia Mountaineers of the Big East Conference take on the Maryland Terrapins of the ACC Thursday night in College Park on ESPN.

West Virginia is coming off a 48-23 win at Marshall last week as 26-point road favorites. But that game was much closer than the final score indicated. The Mountaineers trailed at the half 13-6 and led just 27-23 early in the fourth quarter. But then the yardage WV ended up with 362 yards on the ground started adding up and the final tally grew to a near-cover. The game also went over its total of 63 , which is just about what the total is on Thursday night’s game.

Maryland won at Florida International last week 26-10 as 23-point road chalk. The Terrapins led 16-0 in the first quarter, but only 16-10 early in the fourth. The game also stayed under its total of 46.

The Mountaineers return 15 starters, seven on offense and eight on defense, from a team that went 11-2 last season and beat Georgia Tech in the Gator Bowl.

The Terps return 14 starters, eight on offense and six on defense, from a team that went 9-4 last season and beat Purdue in a minor bowl game.

West Virginia went just 5-6-1 against the spread last season, 4-1 straight up and 3-2 ATS on the road. The Mountaineers were double-digit favorites on the road four times last year; they went 4-0 straight up in those games and covered the spread in three of them.

Maryland only went 5-7 against the spread last season, 6-1 straight up but only 2-4 at home. The Terrapins were dogged at home just once last year, and they beat Florida State outright 27-24 getting four points. The Terps were also double-digit dogs three times last year, going 1-2 straight up and 2-1 against the spread.

West Virginia has won the last three meetings in this series, including a 45-27 decision last season as 17-point home chalk. The Mountaineers led 28-0 in the first quarter, forced five Maryland turnovers and outrushed the Terrapins 340-122.

WV junior QB Patrick White, known more for his running than his throwing, has started 19 games in his collegiate career for the Mountaineers. On the other side, Maryland junior QB Jordan Steffy has started two games in his career for the Terps since taking over for the graduated Sam Hollenbach.

In the Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings at USAToday.com, West Virginia is ranked 14th at 86.2, while Maryland comes in at #70 at 69.2.

In Phil Steele’s pre-season Power Poll, the Mountaineers are ranked fifth, the Terps 48th.

West Virginia opened up as 16-point road favorites for Thursday’s game, with a total of 65. The Mountaineers have since been bet up about half a point at most sportsbooks, while the total has dropped as much as three points at many places.

The Predictem Pick: Despite the total dropping we like the over 63. This is an anti-public play as well which is always a good thing.