Penn State Nittany Lions vs Maryland Terrapins Prediction, Spread and Trends to Watch - 11/06/2021

by James Q

Penn State Nittany Lions vs Maryland Terrapins Prediction, Spread and Trends to Watch - 11/06/2021

Game Time: 12:30 pm ET, Saturday, November, 6th, 2021
Venue:  Maryland Stadium, College Park, Maryland
Where to Watch:  FS1

Opening NCAAF Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings:  Spread: Penn State -10.5; Over/Under:  55.5 points
Circa:  Spread: Penn State -10; Over/Under:  55.5 points
Caesars:  Spread: Penn State -10.5;  Over/Under:  55.5 points

Season Record

Penn State: 2-3 conf, 5-3 overall (Big Ten)
Maryland: 2-3 conf, 5-3 overall (Big Ten)

The Penn State players should enter this game holding their heads up high.  They had their biggest matchup of the season last game when they went on the road to play OSU and lost 33-24.  They were an 18 point underdog and they beat the point spread.  Coincidentally I made a bet (and wrote my recommendation here) on Penn State to cover.  It was the largest return of my life and will bankroll my next 1000 college football picks!  Go Lions!  

As opponents go, Maryland is a much more favorable head to head matchup for Penn State. Penn State looks to snap it’s three-game losing streak, while Maryland has an identical record.  They are both 5-3 overall, they are both 2-3 in conference.  Maryland’s strength of schedule isn’t quite as good as Penn State, but unlike Penn State the Terrapins have won the games they should have won.  Let’s see how the numbers break down.

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Penn State has three losses to #19 Iowa Hawkeyes, Illinois, and #6 Ohio State Buckeyes.  There are a couple of ranked teams on that list.  They beat Wisconsin, #12 Auburn, Indiana, Ball State, and Villanova.
Maryland has three losses to #19 Iowa, Minnesota, and #6 Ohio State.  The same ranked opponents are on that list!.. Only Maryland lost to Iowa by 37 points and OSU by 49 points.  Penn State played both teams much stronger to much closer losses.

Offensive Analysis

Penn State is ranked 85th on offense in the FBS.  They have scored 24 touchdowns on 375.1 yards per game. Quarterback Sean Clifford has passed for 251 ypg while going 172-264 (65% completion) for 13 touchdowns and 6 interceptions.  He played his heart out against OSU and is largely responsible for beating that spread!  It would be nice if they were more balanced and could pull down more than 124 yards rushing per game, but the effort is there.
Maryland is 42nd in the FBS in offense.  They have scored 29 touchdowns on 431 ypg.  They are 15th in the FBS in passing offense… They are downright pass happy.  Thanks to a quarterback with a famous name Taulia Tagovailoa… the Terrapins pass for 309.2 yards per game.  Dampening all this excitement, the Terrapins are guilty of committing 12 turnovers so far.  The running game is about par with Penn State’s in that they get 121.9 ypg .  If it were an offense only matchup Maryland would probably be the winner… it is not.

Defensive Analysis

Penn State is 38th in the FBS in total defense.  This represents a drop in the standings since their epic showdown with OSU (the one where they covered the spread and made me a lot of cash!).  Penn State has given up 12 touchdowns on 342.2 ypg.  The secondary for Penn State is excellent, they held OSU to a season low in receptions.  Taulia should struggle to complete passes and to escape the Lions pass rush.  PSU has 15 sacks on the season and has faced better offensive lines.

Maryland’s weakness is defense.  The Terrapins’ defense is 84th in the FBS, but have posted their good numbers against some meager competition.  They have allowed 29 touchdowns on 402.5 ypg. The Terrapins allow 161 yards rushing per game and 241.5 passing yards per game.  Also DB Nick Cross leads the team in tackles and interceptions.  This is a trend I have noticed: if your best defender leads the team in Tack and INT… he is a good or great player on a bad defense.  Other Maryland players need to step up.

Penn State Nittany Lions vs Maryland Terrapins Prediction

Our prediction for Saturday, November 6th is….   Penn State 35 - Maryland 18
This prediction is for Under the game’s point total.
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NCAAF Betting Trends

Penn State is 8-4 ATS in road games over the last 3 seasons.
Penn State is only 2-7 ATS off a loss against a conference rival over the last 3 seasons.
Maryland is 1-8 ATS when playing a team with a winning record over the last 3 seasons.
Maryland is 5-14 ATS against conference opponents over the last 3 seasons.

Starting Lineups

PSU:  QB Sean Clifford, RB Noah Cain, TE Brenton Strange, WR Jahan Dotson, WR KeAndre Lambert-Smith, WR Parker Washington, LT Rasheed Walker, LG Eric Wilson, OC Mike Miranda, RG Juice Scruggs, RT Caedan Wallace

Maryland: QB Taulia Tagovailoa, RB Tayon Fleet-Davis, TE Chigoziem Okonkwo, WR Darryl Jones, WR Brian Cobbs, WR Rakim Jarrett, LT Jaelyn Duncan, LG Mason Lunsford, OC Aric Harris, RG Johari Branch, RT Spencer Anderson 


Statistical Leaders

Passing yards: Sean Clifford 2,008
Rushing yards: Noah Cain 258
Receiving Yards: Jahan Dotson 690
Tackles: Ellis Brooks 62
Interceptions: Ji’Ayir Brown 3

Passing Yards: Taulia Tagovailoa 2,384
Rushing Yards: Tayon Fleet-Davis 399
Receiving Yards: Dontay Demus JR 507
Tackles: Nick Cross 46
Interceptions: Nick Cross 2

Penn State:  James Franklin.  He will get a big offer from USC when the season is over and he should take it.  PSU will want more wins soon.. He may not have the recruiting prowess to make that happen.
Maryland: Mike Locksley.  He took the job in 2018 (2019 was first season) after being the Alabama Offensive Coordinator.  He has a National Championship ring from 2017… why isn’t Mike mentioned on that Penn State short list?

Weather Forecast

Partly Cloudy. 55*, Humidity at 58%, Wind at 4 mph.  

James Q

About the Author:

James Q. has been involved with sports and gambling his entire life. A former division 1 scholarship basketball player, James understands sports (and especially basketball) inside-and-out. Following his basketball playing days, James parlayed his gambling skills into a semi-pro poker career. James resides in Los Angeles, and especially loves the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Rams, and Los Angeles Dodgers. And when he isn't betting on sports (and writing about it), James can be found performing stand-up comedy on the Sunset Strip.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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