Maryland Betting Odds Preview

After 60 years in the Atlantic Coast Conference the Terrapins, one of the founding members of that league, have decided to make a move to the Big Ten.

No more games with Virginia, North Carolina or Clemson; Maryland fans will have to get used to annual battles with Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State, although they'll become re-acquainted with longtime east coast rival Penn State. Head coach Randy Edsall took over a team that went 9-4 in 2010 and went 2-10 in his first year here, then 4-8, and last year 7-6.

And this year he retains the services of 17 returning starters, the most Maryland has had in recent memory. The Terps might be in a new league, but they have a chance to make some immediate waves.

Maryland Odds to Win Big Ten: 100/1 at Bovada
Maryland Regular Season Win Total: 6.5 at Bovada

Maryland started 5-1 last year, the only blip being a blowout loss to Florida State. But the injuries started piling up, and the Terps lost three straight. They went into Blacksburg and upset the Hokies as two-touchdown underdogs, but then lost in strange fashion to Boston College. Maryland then won at NC State, but lost the Military Bowl to Marshall to finish 7-6 both SU and ATS.

This year the Terrapins get eight starters back on offense, including senior quarterback CJ Brown, last year's leading rusher, five guys who caught at least 30 balls last year and three along the offensive line. And nine starters are back on defense; all three on the line, three linebackers and three-quarters of the secondary.

The Terps averaged 26 points per game last year, while allowing 25 PPG. They could improve on both those figures this year.

Maryland opens this season with three very winnable games, then visits Syracuse, then begins Big Ten play with a trip to Indiana. The Terps then host Ohio State and Iowa, visit Wisconsin and Penn State, host Michigan State, visit the Big House and, finally, host the other new member of the conference, Rutgers. Conceivably, Maryland could be favored in as few as two or three Big Ten games.

After getting bit hard by the injury bug the last few seasons the Terps are due for some good health. And with at least seven winnable games they should return to a bowl, and maybe make a run at a top-three finish in the East Division.

Big Ten Championship Odds at Bovada as of August 5

Ohio State 10/11
Michigan State 15/4
Wisconsin 9/2
Nebraska 11/2
Michigan 10/1
Iowa 12/1
Northwestern 40/1
Minnesota 66/1
Indiana 100/1
Maryland 100/1
Illinois 200/1
Rutgers 200/1
Purdue 300/1

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After going 2-10 last year Maryland is now 6-18 in two seasons under head coach Randy Edsall. Now, a good part of the blame can be attributed to multiple injuries at quarterback, but six wins in two seasons is certainly disappointing. But the Terps might have a couple things going for them this year; if healthy they'll have a senior starting at QB, and college teams often make considerable strides during the third year of a new coaching regime. And Maryland would love to have a solid season,before it heads into the Big Ten next year.

Odds to Win ACC: +6700 at 5Dimes
Regular Season Win Total: 6.5 at Bovada

Maryland had 14 starters back last year from the 2-10 team of 2011, so it seemed logical the Terps might make some advances, and perhaps even return to a bowl. UM started off 4-2, beating nobody of note, and needed just two more victories to become bowl-eligible. But the Terps then lost by two points to N.C. State and by a field goal at Boston College, and then the schedule got tough, and they found themselves having to play freshman linebacker Shawn Petty at QB.

Not surprisingly Maryland lost its last four games to Georgia Tech, Clemson, Florida State, and North Carolina by an average of 23 points. So UM finished 4-8, 2-6 in ACC play in what might be considered a lost season. Somehow, the Terps managed to go 6-6 ATS, despite the ridiculous situation at QB and a -10 turnover ratio.

This year Maryland returns a dozen starters; seven are back on offense, including highly regarded WR Stefon Diggs and three along the offensive line, but only five are back on defense, as they'll have to replace three-quarters of the defensive line, including a pair of solid defensive ends.

The Terrapins open this season with what should be a couple of scrimmages, but then visit coach Edsall's former team, Connecticut, take on West Virginia in Baltimore, and visit Florida State. With any luck Maryland might win one of those games. From there on out the Terps host Virginia, Clemson, Syracuse, and BC, and visit Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, and NC State. Outside of its first two games Maryland might only be favored two or three times this season.  

ACC Championship Odds at 5Dimes as of August 5
 
Clemson +235
Florida State +240
Miami +575
Virginia Tech +775
North Carolina +850
Georgia Tech +1050
Pittsburgh +3500
Virginia +3800
Syracuse +6500
Maryland +6700
NC State +7000
Boston College +8500
Duke +12500
Wake Forest +15000