The Syracuse Orange (1-0) travel to College Park on Saturday afternoon to face the Maryland Terrapins (1-0). Kickoff is set for 12:00 PM EST on Saturday, September 7th at Maryland Stadium and the game will be televised on ESPN.
Taking a look at the Week 2 college football odds, Maryland opened as a 2.5-point home underdog earlier this week. That line has yet to move at all after early betting, as the Terrapins are currently listed at +2.5. The total for the game is sitting at 57 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Maryland vs Syracuse
Syracuse didn’t look all that great despite moving to 1-0 to start the season in Week 1, beating a weak Liberty program 24-0 to narrowly cover the spread. The biggest problem for the Orange was a lackluster performance on offense, as QB Tommy Devito was just 17/35 for 176 yards and zero touchdowns. Devito also threw two interceptions, although the Flames failed to capitalize on either of them. However, Syracuse was fairly effective on the ground, as the duo of Moe Neal and Abdul Adams combined for 138 yards and two touchdowns. Neal was also the leading receiver against Liberty, catching three passes for 54 yards. As a whole, the offense could only muster 24 points on 368 total yards in Week 1.
The Orange were nearly perfect on defense last weekend, shutting out Liberty entirely and picking off multiple passes from Flames QB Stephen Calvert. Syracuse was especially good defending against the run, as they actually held Liberty to negative yardage on the ground when taking sacks into consideration.
Maryland absolutely destroyed Howard in Week 1, as the final score of 79-0 was pretty much as lopsided as one game can get at the FBS level. The Terps were obviously dominant on both sides of the ball, but their ten total touchdowns on offense certainly stood out when analyzing the final box score. QB Josh Jackson was fantastic, going 15/24 for 245 yards and four touchdowns to lead the way on offense. Jackson established almost instant chemistry with WR Dontay Demus against the Bison, as Demus hauled in three catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns. Maryland also had an extremely productive day on the ground, as four players combined to score five rushing touchdowns.
Like Syracuse, the Terps also pitched a shutout in their season opener after Howard failed to score a single point in Week 1. Maryland basically gave up nothing on the ground or through the air, holding the Bison to under 70 yards in both categories.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Syracuse -2.5
As hard as it is not to overreact to how dominant Maryland was in Week 1, I still think that the Orange are the better team in this matchup. It’s so hard to get an accurate gauge on just how good Josh Jackson will turn out to be at quarterback after his standout performance against an extremely weak Howard defense last weekend. I just can’t get on board with the Terps until I see how they stack up against a quality opponent like Syracuse. I’m expecting to see this line continue to move toward Maryland right up until kickoff, as bettors seem to be buying the hype surrounding the Terrapins. I actually wouldn’t be totally surprised to see them become outright favorites by kickoff on Saturday, which I will likely hold off betting Syracuse at -2.5 despite expecting them to win straight up.
Click on the link for more free college football picks from our experts on staff.
There is no doubt that Tommy Devito will need to play exponentially better if Syracuse hopes to stay inside of the AP Top 25. However, he does have an excellent opportunity to rebound against a Maryland defense that has been historically average over the last few years. Yes, they did a fantastic job shutting down the Bison in Week 1, but I can’t imagine that dominant play continuing as their schedule gradually gets harder and harder as the year progresses. It is also important to note that the Terps are just 1-4 ATS over their last five games against teams with a winning record. Additionally, the Orange are 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight non-conference games and 6-1 ATS over their last seven games overall. While this game should stay close throughout, I like Syracuse to win outright on Saturday afternoon.