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Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: Maryland vs. Penn State (11/12/2022)

By Ace Margolis
November 11, 2022
Photo by: G Fiume - Getty Images

Maryland vs Penn St. (11/12/2022 – 3;30 pm EDT)

Line: Penn St. -10
O/U: 57

Overview and Betting Info

One of the biggest Power 5 conferences of all is deep in the battle for conference rights as the Maryland Terrapins head into Beaver Stadium to take on the 14th-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions on Saturday afternoon. The Terrapins come into the game having just lost to Wisconsin 23-10 last weekend while the Lions had no problem taking care of Indiana, crushing them 45-14.

Maryland Analysis

Maryland has been solid this season at 6-3 overall as they’re coming off a loss to the Badgers after winning two games in a row over Indiana and Northwestern, respectively. The problem for the Terrapins is that they’re stuck in fourth place in the Big 10 East where they have ranked teams like Penn St., Michigan, and Ohio State ahead of them. After nine games, the Terrapins are 4-5 both against the spread and the over/under.

The Terrapins have played good football this season due to a well-balanced offense and defense, however, it’s the offense that makes the team go. On the season so far, Maryland is putting up 429.9 yards a contest, 43rd overall while their 260.7 passing yards per contest is 44th in the country. Their best asset on offense, however, is the ability to hold on to the ball as their three turnovers on the season rank 21st in college football.

As the younger brother of Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagavailoa, Taulia Tagavailoa is an awesome college QB as well, putting up 2,078 yards through the air to go with 14 TDs. Tagalaivoa spreads the ball around to several receivers, four of which have at least 300 yards receiving this season. He doesn’t run as much as he did last season but he doesn’t have to as he has running back Roman Hemby to count on. Hemby has run for 747 yards and seven TDs so far.

Penn St. Analysis

Penn St. wasn’t even put into the Preseason Top 25, a rarity for such a prestigious Big 10 program. Perhaps it fueled the Nittany Lions because they’ve had an excellent season thus far at 7-2 overall and 4-2 in the conference where they’re in third place. Their only losses have been to 2nd-ranked Ohio St. and third-ranked Michigan. The Lions have gone 6-3 against the spread this year and even better against the over/under at 7-2.

Despite losing to two of the best teams in the country, the Lions have dominated every one of their wins, winning by double-digits in all seven victories. Their offense nor defense is in the top 25 but they’re still solid on both sides of the ball as their 436.7 yards a game is 35th in the nation while their 21.1 points allowed is good for 26th overall. They can put up points with 34.4 a contest, good for 31st in the country while their 10 takeaways are 29th overall.

On offense, QB Sean Clifford has led the way with 2,045 yards passing to go with 16 TD passes, 7 picks, and a 63% completion percentage. He’s got two great backs behind him with Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen combining for 1,237 yards and 16 TDs. They help contribute to a rushing attack that averages 171 yards a game, 51st overall.

Free Pick – Penn St. -10

Maryland has played good football this year but they haven’t beaten any ranked opponents nor have they had a schedule as tough as Penn State’s. Still, the Terrapins were able to hang tight with Michigan, something the Lions failed to do. That being said, this game will be in Pennsylvania where Penn St. will have a huge advantage with their running game and a defense that doesn’t allow a whole of points. The Lions can still make a big bowl game and aren’t going to fool around with the Terrapins at home. They’ll have no problems scoring on a mediocre Maryland defense and will contain Tagavailoa enough to easily cover the spread. We like Penn St. -10.

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