Over/Under 4.5 Wins () vs Maryland Terrapins ()Date : 09/01/2018
Time : First Game: Texas Longhorns vs. Maryland Terrapins 12:00 PM
Location : Maryland Stadium
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Over/Under 4.5 Wins vs Maryland Terrapins
Maryland has never been amongst the top teams in the Big Ten East but D.J. Durkin has given this program a little bit of hope as he has gotten the necessary facilities to compete with the best as well as had 2 successful recruiting classes. Maryland was well on their way to making another bowl appearance last year after a 3-1 start but the injury bug destroyed the Terps as they lost 7 of their last 8 games. Maryland could be a team that turns some heads this year as they return all 5 offensive linemen as well as a deadly ground attack but like years past there is uncertainty at the quarterback position. Maryland’s offense will operate under a new offensive coordinator after Walt Bell left for Florida State this past offseason. Matt Canada will be the man replacing Bell which could concern fans considering he has been at 7 schools in the last 11 years but Canada brings a different offensive approach to the table which should benefit the Terps. Residing in the Big Ten East results in some tough yearly matchups against Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State but Durkin has made it apparent that he is here to compete after his latest recruiting class ranked inside the top 30 for the second consecutive year. Durkin was able to get four 4-star recruits to come to Maryland over more established programs with his biggest signing being the #5 player out of the state of Virginia in WR Darryl Jones.
Over/Under 4.5 Wins's Latest Performance :
Maryland looked like they were going to win 7 or more games last season after they started the year 3-1 but the Terps experienced some injuries at some important positions which prompted them to lose 7 of their last 8 matchups. Maryland returns some key pieces on both sides of the ball and they should have more consistency at the QB position but oddsmakers realize they reside in the Big Ten East which contributed to the over/under being set at 4.5 wins.
The Maryland Terrapins are trying to return to the postseason under Durkin for the 2nd time in as many as 3 years but they will face a typical Big Ten East schedule which could leave them looking in from the outside. Maryland will kick off their season with a neutral site matchup against a really solid Texas team which could spell trouble for Durkin and company. Maryland should pick up a win in a road matchup against Bowling Green as they are coming off a 2 win 2017 season. Maryland will split their matchups against the top 4 teams in the Big Ten as they will travel to Michigan and Penn State and then host Michigan State and Ohio State. The rest of Maryland’s home Big Ten schedule should benefit the win total as they will welcome in Minnesota, Rutgers, and Illinois. Maryland will have to pick up wins against beatable teams if they want any hope of residing above the 4.5 win total.
Maryland Terrapins's Latest Performance :
Maryland failed to have any chemistry from the quarterback position last season after 4 different guys took snaps for the Terp last season mainly due to injury. The Maryland quarterbacks will not be asked to do as much as years past due to the shift to the pro-style offense but Canada will have some healthy QBs to choose from. Kasim Hall fits in the pro-style offense best out of any of the quarterbacks as he has a prolific arm and that was seen in his appearances last year as he went 18 for 21 with 2 TDs. The rushing attack should benefit the most out of any position in the pro-style offense and luckily for Canada, he has one of the best 1-2 punches in the Big Ten. Ty Johnson and Lorenzo Harrison will return for another year together after the duo combined for 1497 rushing yards and 8 TDs last season. The pass catchers will have to reload after D.J. Moore (1033 yards & 8 TDs) went in the first round of the 2017 draft but they have an abundance of young talent including Taivon Jacobs who compiled 533 yards in his junior season. The offensive line will be in good shape for the Terps as they will return all 5 starters including All-Big Ten selection, Derwin Gray. Defensively there were some key pieces that ran out of eligibility but Durkin was able to make some splashes on the transfer market which should fill the void. Antoine Brooks was one of the more important pieces for the defense last year as he was a force from the strong safety spot and the Terps should benefit with another year of him after he led the team with 9.5 TFL and 2 interceptions last season. Another guy the Terps are looking forward to returning is DE Jesse Aniebonam after he missed ’17 with a fractured foot but the senior was the sack leader in 2016 as he compiled 9 sacks. Maryland will be missing their tackle leader from 2017 in All-Big Ten LB Jermaine Carter but Durkin was able to bring experience in with the transfer of Illinois LB Tre Watson.
Player To Watch
Byron Cowart, DE, Jr.
Maryland struggled with their defensive line last season as they were only able to compile 16 sacks in the 12 games they played and Durkin made it a priority this past offseason to seek reinforcements. Byron Cowart was the former #1 overall recruit in the 2015 recruiting class but he was unable to live up to his hype at Auburn after only recording 15 tackles in 25 games. Cowart said it multiple times that he needed a change of scenery and after Durkin spent some time under defensive-minded coach Will Muschamp this might be the right place for Cowart. Cowart should have the ability to see some time this season considering the lack of depth at the defensive end position and I expect Cowart to perform well opposite of Jesse Aniebonam.
How Over/Under 4.5 Wins & Maryland Terrapins Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Over 4.5 Wins -110
Under 4.5 Wins -110
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
9/1- Texas- L
9/8- @ Bowling Green- W
9/15- Temple- W
9/22- Minnesota- L
10/6- @ Michigan- L
10/13- Rutgers- W
10/20- @ Iowa- L
10/27- Illinois- W
11/3- Michigan State- L
11/10- @ Indiana- L
11/17- Ohio State- L
11/24- @ Penn State- L
Overall Record- 4-8
Against The Spread Selection: Under 4.5 Wins -110
My reason for the pick :
D.J. Durkin has all the right tools in place to make this program successful for years to come but unfortunately for Maryland, we won’t see that effect for another year or two. The Maryland Terps would be bowl eligible if they resided in the Big Ten East but matchups against Texas, Michigan, Penn State, Ohio State, and Michigan State tear this teams hopes of making a bowl game apart. Maryland will also need a year or two to get adjusted under Matt Canada as he brings a whole new approach to the offensive scheme. Maryland will need to sneak out a win against one of those top teams if they want any hope of residing above the 4.5 win mark, something that is unlikely at this point of the rebuild. Maryland is a year away from competing which prompted me to ride the under 4.5 win total.