Free College Football Picks: Maryland vs. Stanford Bowl

Jeff Grant

Monday, December 29, 2014 2:36 PM GMT

Monday, Dec. 29, 2014 2:36 PM GMT

Stanford will be missing one of its biggest offensive weapons this week, which makes Maryland a top college football pick in the Foster Farms Bowl Tuesday.

Finish Strong
Maryland was one of the more inconsistent teams in the Big Ten Conference, which is important to consider when making your college football bowl picks, as it alternated wins and losses over its last eight affairs.

The Terrapins have played some of their best football away from home, as their five road wins happened to be the most in the Conference—the highest such total for the program since 1984. Over the last two-plus seasons, the team is 1-3 SU and 2-2 ATS as underdogs of 10.5 to 21 points, with the OVER going 3-1 in that situation.

 

Close To Home
Stanford took a step back this season after representing the Pac-12 Conference in the Rose Bowl the last two years, which can’t be ignored when looking over the college football odds, as it prepares to play just 11 miles from campus at Levi’s Stadium.

The Cardinal have put together an 11-13-1 SU all-time record in bowl games, while they look to improve upon their 22-28-5 overall mark against Big Ten opponents.

It’s important to point out that the squad is 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS as favorites of 10.5 to 21 points since the start of the 2012-13 campaign, with no clear edge in terms of the betting total (2-2 Over/Under).

 

Making Plays
The Terrapins have an experienced option under center in C.J. Brown, who happens to be one of 10 active FBS players to pass for 5,000 or more yards and rush for 1,000 or more yards in a career.

Brown’s main target in the passing game may also return for this high-profile matchup, as wide receiver Stefon Diggs is listed as probable on the injury report after suffering a lacerated kidney on Nov. 1. Diggs sits behind just one current player in averaging 147.5 all-purpose yards per game in 2014.

 

Montgomery Matters
The Cardinal will have to continue relying heavily on their fifth-ranked defense that allowed just 287.4 yards per game, as head coach David Shaw announced Sunday that leading receiver Ty Montgomery would miss this contest with a shoulder injury.

Stanford has held foes to 20 or fewer points in 31 of its past 40 games—a number that may come into play due to its stop unit surrendering just 16.0 points a contest this year.

 

Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Terrapins as one of their top college football picks, as the Cardinal have gone 16-17 ATS as favorites the last two-plus seasons.

Maryland led the Big Ten in red zone scoring this season, which was helped by having Lou Groza Award winner Brad Craddock connecting on 18 of 19 field goal tries.

Free College Football Pick:  Maryland Terrapins +14 at Pinnacle Sports

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