This Saturday the Maryland Terrapins (4-1) will host the Virginia Cavaliers (2-3) in ACC play. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 EST at Byrd Stadium and will be televised on ESPNU. These two teams have alternated wins and losses over the last four meetings, with Maryland winning the most recent matchup 27-20 last season at Virginia. Oddsmakers currently have the Terrapins listed as 7-point home favorites with the total set at 44.5 points.
Why Virginia Will Cover:
The Cavaliers opened the season with an impressive 19-16 win at home over BYU, but they have lost three of four since and come into this one off a 21-point home loss to Ball State. Virginia has been one of the worst teams in the country to back against the spread, as they have gone 4-14-1 ATS over their last 19 games overall. I know it can be very difficult to take a team like the Cavaliers on the road, but this is a game where they figure to have a decent shot at keeping it close.
One of the big reasons for Maryland’s success early in 2013 has been the play of senior quarterback C.J. Brown, who has completed 63.7% of his attempts for 1,125 yards with 7 touchdowns to just one interception. Brown was unfortunately hurt in the Terrapins loss to Florida State this past weekend and is listed as doubtful against Virginia. Not only does the loss of Brown take away from Maryland’s passing attack, but he was second on the team with 286 rushing yards and had scored a team-high 6 rushing touchdowns. While Virginia’s offense has been less than impressive, defensively they have played well. The Cavaliers rank 28th in the country in total defense, allowing just 340.2 ypg.
There’s a solid system favoring the Cavaliers based off how these two teams finished up in their most recent games. Road teams after allowing 42 or more points in their last game against an opponent off a loss by 28 points or more are 64-25 (71.9%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Adding to this is the fact that Virginia is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a double-digit loss at home.
Virginia is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a double-digit loss at home.
Why Maryland Will Cover:
I don’t think anyone expected to see the Terrapins get handled with such ease last week against Florida State. There were some experts who thought Maryland had a realistic shot at winning that game outright. As we all know that’s not how it went down. The Seminoles cruised to a 63-0 win.
Losing Brown to an injury just added insult to the cause, but Maryland is at least in better shape than they were a year ago. Sophomore Caleb Rowe played well in relief of Brown, completing 9 of 17 attempts for 119 yards. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he came out an put together a strong performance against Virginia in front of the home fans.
The biggest key here is that Maryland doesn’t figure to score a whole lot of points to cover this spread. Virginia has struggled to do much of anything on the offensive side of the ball. The Cavaliers rank 103rd in scoring offense (21.6 ppg) and 101st in total offense (349.6 ypg). Maryland’s defense pitched a shutout in their last home game against West Virginia and held both FIU and Old Dominion to just 10 points. I would expect an inspired defensive effort from the Terrapins on Saturday, especially after they way they were embarrassed by Florida State.
Maryland is a perfect 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games and are also a perfect 4-0 ATS following a SU loss of more than 20 points. Virginia is a mere 2-8 ATS in their last 10 conference games.
Maryland is a perfect 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games and are also a perfect 4-0 ATS following a SU loss of more than 20 points.
Early Lean – Maryland -7 & UNDER 44.5
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