The sports betting sites have released their NCAAF odds for Saturday’s Week 10 action. One game, in particular, interests me as worth investing in: Michigan vs. Maryland.
For reasons that I will explain, you should play both the side and total for this game. Feel free to parlay both bets at the top sportsbooks in order to maximize your profit.
Michigan Wolverines vs. Maryland Terrapins
Saturday, November 20, 2021 – 03:30 p.m. EST at Maryland Stadium
Not Looking Ahead
One might see that Michigan has Ohio State on deck and think that the Wolverines will look past lowly Maryland in order to focus on the big game. However, history tells us that we will see a focused Wolverine squad, one that, as I will explain, benefits from significant matchup advantages in its meeting with Maryland.
One example of Michigan not looking ahead is recent. Before facing rival and top-10 opponent Michigan State, the Wolverines covered against Northwestern. In 2019, Michigan blew out Indiana before facing Ohio State. The list continues.
On the subject of patterns, it is Maryland that merits pessimism. The Terps are suffering an 0-6 ATS losing streak, as part of which they are 0-5 ATS as the underdog. Keep this trend in mind for your sports betting.
This trend shows that they have been utterly non-competitive against stronger Big Ten teams as blowouts and easy covers have been commonplace. While losing by as many as 49, their "best" loss was by 17 to Penn State with its anemic rush attack.
Michigan Offense vs. Maryland Defense
Michigan’s rush attack is anything but anemic. The Wolverines love to run the ball -- they own the nation’s 15th-highest run-play percentage -- and they do it well, ranking ninth nationally in rushing yards per game. Hassan Haskins, with his 31 carries against Penn State and 27 against Indiana -- has shown that he can efficiently handle the load without injured partner-in-crime Blake Corum.
Haskins benefits from a strong offensive line whose pass protection statistics further solidify it as a top-level unit. This group is led by well-known, veteran commodities like right tackle Andrew Stueber and center Andrew Vastardis, whose speed and strength work in the offseason made him a reliable piece.
The Wolverine offensive line further benefits from a strong position coach who has led his unit beyond a barrage of injuries at the guard positions. This group promises to succeed against a Maryland front seven that has proven unable to handle the Big Ten’s better rush attacks.
Minnesota, too, for example, has invested heavily in its offensive line and generally in running the ball. The Golden Gophers amassed over 300 rushing yards against the Terps and they form just one example.
Unlike some of the teams to recently blow out the Terps, Michigan boasts a balanced offense thanks to the efficiency and mistake-free play of quarterback Cade McNamara, who owns a 12-to-2 interception ratio while playing as active a role in the offense as he’s needed to.
Maryland Offense vs. Michigan Defense
Offensively, Maryland continues to be woefully one-dimensional. Its rush attack ranks 119th -- close to last -- averaging 99.7 rushing yards per game. This statistic is all the more shocking given the bevy of easy games that Maryland had scheduled earlier in the year: the Terps dominated low-profile teams like Howard and Kent State.
While they enjoy bullying the weak, the Terps are bullied by the strong. Maryland’s offense is, out of necessity, pass-heavy. The Terps own the nation’s eighth-highest pass-play percentage. Know for your best bets that this reliance on passing makes them a poor match-up for a Wolverine defense that ranks ninth nationally in limiting opposing pass yards per game.
Defensively, Michigan benefits from a new coordinator who is great at confusing opposing pass attacks. Mike Macdonald employs creative blitzes and skillfully calls for zone coverages. Macdonald will, moreover, disguise coverages and give the opposing quarterback a variety of looks.
With veteran studs like Daxton Hill, whose quickness, range, ball skills, and other traits make him a high-level NFL prospect, Michigan has the playmaking personnel to make the most of Macdonald’s schematic ingenuities.
Terp quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa can be interception-prone -- he’s thrown 10 this season and one in each of his last two games -- and his interceptions will only support Michigan’s cause.
The "under" is 4-1 in games where the Wolverines are favored by double digits. In such easy win-type games, the Wolverine defense stays disciplined, not taking its foot off the gas pedal, while the offense doesn’t go too crazy.
With respect to our Michigan and "under" parlay, Corum’s absence definitely helps because the Wolverine offensive line, quarterback play, plus Haskins will do more than enough scoring for the team, given the Wolverines’ dominant secondary and Maryland’s inept ground game, to cover the spread.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.