A couple of Big Ten teams will hope to give their bowl hopes a boost as the Maryland Terrapins visit Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Kickoff will be at 3:30 EST on Saturday, November 4 at High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, New Jersey. Fans can watch the game on the Big Ten Network.
Oddsmakers list Maryland as a 2.5-point favorite on the road. The game has an over/under of 49.5 points. Click here to see a full list of Week 10 betting odds and links to game previews.
Maryland vs Rutgers Vegas Odds & Game Preview
The Scarlet Knights had a brief two-game winning streak, but couldn’t keep it going last week against Michigan, losing 35-14. The loss dropped Rutgers to 3-5 on the season. They now have to win three of their last four games if they hope to get to their first bowl game since 2014. With both Penn State and Michigan State left on their schedule, the Scarlet Knights can’t afford to lose to Maryland at home.
Things are nearly as bleak for the Terrapins. Maryland overcame a 4th quarter deficit last week to beat Indiana 42-39. The win broke a three-game losing streak and got the Terps to 4-4 on the season. However, Maryland still has to play Michigan, Michigan State, and Penn State. They’ll need to upset at least one of those teams to ensure a bowl game. It also makes this week’s trip to Rutgers a must-win game.
Vegas Free NCAAF Betting Pick: Rutgers +2.5
To be honest, I’m not overly impressed with either of these teams. Regardless of who wins, I don’t see either reaching a bowl game. But for this game, I’m going to lean toward Rutgers. They’re the home team and they’re the better defensive team in this matchup.
I don’t think the Scarlet Knights are anything special on defense. But if you take away their game against Ohio State, they’re giving up about 25 points per game against Big Ten teams. That’s not great, but it’s respectable. If nothing else, it makes me think they can have success against a weak offensive team like Maryland.
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Maryland quarterback Max Bortenschlager has been quite erratic throwing the ball this season. He’s barely completing 50% of his passes, which is far too low for a college quarterback at this level. The Terrapins could live with inconsistent passing if Bortenschlager contributed to their mediocre running game, but he doesn’t. The Rutgers defense has shown enough this season to make me think they can handle Bortenschlager and the Maryland offense without too much trouble.
Meanwhile, the Terrapins have one of the worst defenses in the country statistically. Even if you take away their blowout loss to Ohio State, the Terrapins are giving up nearly 35 points per game against Big Ten opponents. Outside of wins against Minnesota and Towson, Maryland has given up no less than 37 points in any game this year. Even an Indiana team that’s winless in the Big Ten scored 39 points against them last week.
Of course, the Scarlet Knights are by no means a juggernaut offensively. But they do have a capable running back in Gus Edwards, who provides a good security blanket for inexperienced quarterback Giovanni Rescigno. Against a Maryland defense that can’t stop anybody, the Scarlet Knights should find some success offensively.
I expect this to be an ugly game, even if both sides are desperate to get a win. With the Rutgers defense being better than the Maryland defense, the Scarlet Knights can win the field position battle and put their offense in better position to score points. With the home team being the underdog, I’ll take my chances with Rutgers.