Maryland Football Predictions

The Maryland Terrapins ended their 2013 campaign with a 20-31 loss to Marshall in the Military Bowl. While it wasn’t the finish they had hoped for, it was their first bowl game and winning record posted under head coach Randy Edsall, who is entering his fourth season on the job.

It doesn’t get any easier for Edsall going forward, as the Terrapins will be making the jump from the ACC to the Big Ten in 2014. The good news for Maryland is they will have a ton of experience coming back. The Terrapins return 17 starters, including senior quarterback C.J. Brown. The only significant loss from last year’s team is corner Dexter McDougle, who was taken in the 3rd round of the NFL Draft (only player selected).

Last Season
ACC (Atlantic)
ATS Record
Points For
Points Against
2014 Maryland Terrapins Schedule
Date Opponent
Spread (Est.)
Win Chance
8/30 James Madison
9/6 @ USF
9/13 West Virginia
9/20 @ Syracuse
9/27 @ Indiana
10/4 Ohio State
10/18 Iowa
11/1 @ Wisconsin
11/15 @ Penn State
11/22 Michigan State
11/29 @ Michigan
11/30 Rutgers
Estimated Wins: 5.10

One of the big reasons Maryland hasn’t been able to live up to their potential under Edsall, is they have been hit hard with injuries each of the last two years. In 2012 the Terrapins had to use a linebacker at quarterback. Last year they had already lost their top two receivers and both starting corners by the 7th game of the season. It’s rare to see a team have that bad of luck in consecutive seasons. Maryland should remain healthier and in turn will likely be a lot more competitive in the Big Ten than some might think.

One area where better health could play a big role is in the turnover department. Last year Maryland posted a -7 turnover margin, which was only slightly better than -10 turnover margin they had in 2012. This is one area of the game that tends to even out over the years. Keep in mind that Maryland had a combined +19 turnover margin in 2010 and 2011. Even with the move to more difficult conference, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Terrapins finished with a positive turnover margin in 2014.

While the Terrapins had to play a couple of Top 10 teams in Florida State and Clemson last year, the overall schedule wasn’t that tough. Not only is Maryland going to have to play a couple of highly ranked teams, they have one of the more challenging schedules in the Big Ten. The Terrapins have a brutal home schedule with the likes of Ohio State, Michigan State and Iowa and it doesn’t get a whole lot easier on the road with away games against Indiana, Wisconsin, Penn State and Michigan. Not to mention their only cupcake in non-conference action is their season opener at home against James Madison.

Regular Season Win Total
Big Ten Championship Odds
National Championship Odds
125 to 1
600 to 1
Odds Courtesty of Bovada
Season Predictions

It’s hard to get a good read on the Terrapins, because of how bad of luck they have had the last two years with injuries. It becomes even harder with the move to a completely new conference. I don’t think there’s any doubt that Maryland will be competitive in their first year and it’s not out of the question that they could contend in the BIG East with home games against Ohio State and Michigan State.

However, I believe the schedule is absolutely brutal, Maryland is 1-11 over the last 5 years against ranked opponents and don’t have a dominant home field advantage (just 35-29 at home over last 10 years). Even though they will likely send out a better product, I don’t see it translating into wins. I have Maryland going 2-6 inside the Big Ten and 3-1 in non-conference play to finish up the season at 5-7, just slightly below their season win total of 6.5.

When it comes to betting on Maryland against the spread, I think the best bet is to wait and see how they look in non-conference play and go from there. If the Terrapins struggle against the likes of USF and Syracuse on the road, I don’t see them being a serious factor in the Big Ten. On the other hand, if they come out 4-0 and are able to stay healthy, this team could be poised to surprise in their new conference.

2014 Projections
Big Ten (East)
Big Ten Record
Overall Record
Win Total Prediction
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Big Ten
Ohio State Michigan Michigan State Penn State
Indiana Maryland Rutgers
Illinois Iowa Minnesota Northwestern
Nebraska Purdue Wisconsin
ACC Big 12 American Athletic Big Ten
Conference USA Independents MAC Mountain West
Pac-12 SEC Sun Belt

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