Bet Maryland Moneyline vs. Syracuse in College Football

Ross Benjamin

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 3:51 PM GMT

Old East Coast college football rivals meet when Syracuse, now of the ACC, entertains Maryland, now of the Big Ten, at the Carrier Dome Saturday afternoon (12:30 pm ET, ESPN3). Here's our take on a game we'd watch even if we had no action, and a free NCAAF pick.

The Betting Odds
As of early this week Syracuse college football odds could be found at -1 at some books, while Maryland could be gotten at +2 at others.

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The Match-Up
Syracuse began this season with a 27-26 victory in overtime over FCS Villanova, coming nowhere close to covering the spread as two-touchdown favorites. But last week the Orange won at Central Michigan 40-3, cruising to the cover as five-point faves on the road.

The 'Cuse needed a minor miracle to avoid the upset bid of the Wildcats, and in the end lost all the key categories in the box score. In fact, they shoulda got beat, had not Villanova's kicker missed a 25-yard field goal in the closing moments of regulation.

But the Orange bounced back last week, spotting the Chipps a field goal, and then scoring the last 40 points of the game. Syracuse out-gained CMU 464-217, out-rushed them 289-34, didn't turn the ball over and won the TOP battle by a 33/27 margin. That's how a team covers a point-spread.

Syracuse returned 15 starters this year from a team that went 7-6 last year. Eight starters were back on offense, including four along the O-line, and seven starters came back on defense.

Maryland opened this season with a 52-7 victory over FCS James Madison, covering as 24-point favorites at home. The Terps then won at South Florida 24-17, but couldn't cover as 11-point road chalk. And last week UM, wearing some seriously ugly-ass uniforms, lost at home to West Virginia 40-37 as a field-goal favorite.

The Terrapins fell behind Saturday 28-6 in the second quarter, and then rallied to tie the game at 37-37 on a punt return for a score with 10 minutes to go. But they couldn't take the lead, and lost on a 47-yard field goal at the buzzer.

The Terps got out-gained by the Mountaineers 694-447 and lost the time-of-possession battle by a 35/25 margin. So they deserved to lose.

Maryland returned 16 starters this season from a team that went 7-6 last year. Seven starters were back on offense, and nine starters returned on defense.

 

When Last They Met
These former Eastern regional rivals used to play regularly, 27 times from the 1950s into the '90s, but last year they met for the first time in 20 years. Syracuse went into College Park and upset the Terps outright 20-3 as six-point dogs. The Orange out-gained Maryland that day 382-292 and dominated the ground battle 242-81, while the Terrapins turned the ball over four times, three times in Syracuse territory. But in fairness, Maryland was a bit banged up at that moment, especially on offense.

 

Terps-Orange Betting Trends
Maryland is 7-5 ATS on the road over the last two-plus seasons.

Syracuse is 4-0 ATS the last four times it's been favored at home.

 

College Football Pick
The Orange looked pretty good in beating Central Michigan last week, while the Terrapins had to scramble from way behind against West Virginia, and eventually lost. But we expect good things out of Maryland this year, even with the move to the Big Ten. So in expecting a bounce-back effort – or at least a little better first half - we like the Terps to win this game outright at 5Dimes.