College Football Picks: Virginia vs. Maryland

Joe Freda

Monday, October 7, 2013 2:43 PM GMT

We have another ACC battle taking place this weekend, as the Maryland Terrapins face the Virginia Cavaliers. We breakdown the early betting odds in hopes of finding solid value for our Week 7 college football picks.

The Maryland Terrapins and Virginia Cavaliers have traded victories over the last four years, while the ‘total’ has also split at 2-2. Saturday’s NCAAF action has the Atlantic Coast Conference foes matched up at College Park, where Maryland went 2-0 ATS in its first pair of home affairs. Will we look to the spread for value, or are bettors best suited to look at the total with their college football picks?

Terrapins thrashed by FSU

Maryland saw its unbeaten start to the year come to a crushing halt, with last weekend’s 63-0 setback against the Florida State Seminoles. The Terrapins were held to 234 total yards and nine first downs, while FSU collected as a 17-point home favorite for my followers.

Maryland’s Caleb Rowe and C.J. Brown ended up sharing quarterback duties, failing to find the end zone in their side’s 26 minutes of possession. Brown suffered a concussion, leaving the senior listed as “doubtful” to return for this week’s contest.

The Terrapins’ defense was lit up for 431 yards through the air, giving up five passing touchdowns to Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston. OVER backers cashed thanks to FSU’s 42 points in the second half, lifting the battle above the ‘total’ of 57.

Cavaliers fall as short ‘chalk’

Virginia logged its second straight loss on the same day’s action, dropping a 48-27 matchup to the Ball State Cardinals. The Cavaliers’ defense surrendered 506 total yards, with their side failing to cash as a 3 ½-point home favorite.

Cavaliers quarterback David Watford connected 21-of-36 strikes, finishing with a season-high of 209 passing yards. The sophomore added 47 yards on the ground, including an early scoring dash to give the Cavaliers a 17-7 lead.

Watford’s backfield mate Kevin Parks broke the century mark for the second time in three games, dashing for 104 yards en route to a pair of touchdowns. Virginia’s squad coughed up three fumbles, while the contest’s combined 75 points flew OVER the ‘total’ of 49. 

Back the UNDER on Saturday 

Saturday’s kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. (ET), with college football odds makers slow to post numbers due to Brown’s injury for Maryland. The weather forecast in College Park calls for 68 degrees, with partly cloudy skies and a 15 percent chance of rain. 

For this week's sports picks, I am backing the UNDER between these foes, looking for a tight duel as both sides regroup from last week’s losses. 

Maryland has held its visiting rivals to 10 PPG in College Park, while also registering a 37-0 shutout against the West Virginia Mountaineers at nearby M&T Bank Stadium. Brown missing the matchup would make the Terrapins rely more on their running game, grinding the clock on Byrd Stadium’s turf. 

Virginia’s sole road spot showcased some low octane in a 14-3 defeat to the Pittsburgh Panthers, with UNDER backers cashing in the Sept. 28 affair. The Cavaliers came away with a sparse 188 total yards, while defensive mates Anthony Harris and Demetrious Nicholson grabbed one interception each.

The UNDER is 4-1 in the Terrapins’ last five home dates against foes with losing road records, while going 3-0 in the last trio of meetings Maryland has hosted in this series. Look for another UNDER ticket to cash here, adding to the 4-1 mark for the wager in Virginia’s last five road games. 

College Football Pick:  UNDER at William Hill