The #12 overall Penn State Nittany Lions (3-0) travel to College Park in Week 5  for a BIG 10 East showdown against the Maryland Terrapins (2-1). Kickoff is set for 8:00 PM EST on Friday, September 27th at Maryland Stadium and the game will be televised on FS1.

Taking a look at the Week 5 college football odds, Maryland opened as a 6-point home underdog earlier this week. That line has moved by half a point after early betting, as the Terrapins are currently listed at +6.5. The total for the game is sitting at 57.5 points.

Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Maryland vs Penn State

Penn State managed to improve to 3-0 overall their last time out, surviving a 17-10 scare at home against Pitt. The Nittany Lions gave up ten points in the second quarter but recovered after the half, scoring seven points in the third quarter to take the lead back for good. QB Sean Clifford struggled through the air, going just 14/30 for 222 yards and no touchdowns. RB Journey Brown led the way on the ground, rushing ten times for 109 yards. None of the receiving corps really had a good showing, as KJ Hamler recorded a team-high three receptions for 68 yards. Overall, it was a poor showing by Penn State offensively as they could only manage two touchdowns on less than 400 total yards.

The Nittany Lions were outstanding defensively against the Panthers, holding Pitt to just one touchdown all game. Penn State was especially formidable against the run, as they allowed just 26 net rushing yards. The defense has now given up an average of just ten points per game over their first three outings this season.

Maryland couldn’t quite find a way to win their third consecutive game, getting upset 20-17 on the road by Temple in Week 3. The Terrapins were up 15-13 at the end of the third quarter but collapsed down the stretch, getting outscored 7-2 over the final 15 minutes and dropping to 2-1 overall. QB Josh Jackson didn’t play well, going just 15/38 for 183 yards and a touchdown while also getting picked off once. RB Anthony McFarland Jr. had a massive day on the ground, rushing 26 times for 132 yards and a touchdown. Dontay Demus led the way for the pass-catchers, although he only had three receptions for 42 total yards. As a whole, the Maryland offense gained less than 350 yards and scored just two touchdowns against an average Temple defense.

The Terrapins defense played fairly average against the Owls, giving up more than 400 total yards of offense and three touchdowns. Maryland was definitely exposed through the air by Temple QB Anthony Russo, who threw for almost 300 yards and three touchdowns.

NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Penn State -6.5

The Maryland hype-train was moving at full steam ahead heading into Week 3, but it appears as if expectations may have gotten a little bit out of control after blowing out Howard and Syracuse to open the season. The Terrapins looked average at best in the loss to Temple, especially considering that the Owls just got blown out by Buffalo in Week 4. While Penn State also didn’t have their best outing in Week 3, they did still manage to beat a Pitt Panthers program that just upset UCF in Week 4. All things considered, I think I’m leaning towards Penn State in this Big 10 East matchup on Friday if the spread continues to stay under a full touchdown. While the Terps offense looked like a juggernaut in their first two appearances, Josh Jackson came crashing back to earth in Week 3. Anthony McFarland Jr. is certainly a workhorse out of the backfield, but I am not sold that he can have a fourth straight big game against a very tough Penn State defensive line.

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The Nittany Lions have won four out of their last five meetings with Maryland and are also 5-1 in their last six road games. Penn State is also a perfect 3-0 ATS in their last five games against the Terrapins. Until Maryland can hang tough against a powerhouse team, I’m still not going to buy in to their impressive start to the year offensively. I’ll happily lay the 6.5-points in this spot and roll with the road favorite – give me the Nittany Lions to cover!