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All times Eastern | Game odds via SportsLine consensus
🔥 The Hot Ticket
Virginia at Maryland, 7 p.m. | TV: FS1
The Pick: Maryland -14.5 (-110)Key trend: Virginia is 1-4 ATS in nonconference games since the start of last season.
I got this line earlier in the week when Maryland was still a 13.5-point favorite, and while I’m much happier with that line (14 is an important number in football, you know), the Terrapins are still the correct side to take. With QB Tony Muskett hurt, the Cavaliers will once again turn the offense over to freshman Anthony Colandrea. While he was impressive against James Madison last week, there’s a difference between James Madison at home and Maryland on the road.
Also, you know, Virginia lost to James Madison last week, even with Colandrea playing well.
The reason Virginia lost is the reason I’m so confident in Maryland: Its defense is awful. It’s allowed 85 points in two games against Tennessee and James Madison, and it ranks near the bottom nationally in nearly every statistic I care about, both standard and advanced. Where the Cavs have really struggled is in run defense.
In short, the Vols and Dukes were able to get whatever they wanted whenever they wanted it on the ground, and I don’t see how that changes tonight. Maryland tends to lean more on its passing attack with Taulia Tagovailoa, but even with transfer receiver Tyrese Chambers expected to return tonight, we should see a heavy dose of the run game.
Maryland’s Roman Hemby has rushed for 220 yards through two games with a pair of touchdowns. Last week, he had 19 carries for 162 yards against Charlotte, and the Terps will lean on him again if they’re smart. That’s why, if they’re…