College Football Picks: Maryland at Virginia Tech Odds and Predictions

Doc MosemanCorrespondent INovember 14, 2013

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 21:  Quarterback C.J. Brown #16 of the Maryland Terrapins throws a pass while being hit by defensive lineman Will Clarke #98 of the West Virginia Mountaineers durng the first quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on September 21, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Maryland Terrapins will be looking for that all-important sixth victory of the season when they square off against the Virginia Tech Hokies this Saturday at Lane Stadium. Kickoff for this ACC matchup is set for 12:30 p.m. (ET), and the game will be available on ESPN3.

The Terrapins actually climbed into the national rankings earlier this year, but the stay was brief after an ugly 63-0 loss to Florida State on Oct. 5. Since then they have lost three of their last four games to fall to 5-4 both straight up and against the spread.

Virginia Tech snapped a two-game losing streak as a favorite with a stunning 42-24 pasting of then-No. 11 Miami this past Saturday as a 4.5-point underdog on the road. The Hokies are now 7-3 SU on the year and 4-5-1 ATS. It was just the second time all season they scored more than 30 points.

Maryland at Virginia Tech Betting Storylines

Maryland’s steady downward spiral can be directly attributed to sloppy play and a growing list of injuries on both sides of the ball. This has taken the punch out of an offense that scored an average 39.8 points a game before the loss to the Seminoles. It did manage to post 27 points in a 13-point loss to Clemson a few weeks back. However, as a whole, this unit has averaged just 13.4 points in its last five games.

In this past Saturday’s 20-3 loss to Syracuse as six-point home favorites, the Terrapins turned the ball over seven times, including two interceptions by CJ Brown. He has completed 61 percent of his 177 attempts this season for 1,473 yards and seven touchdowns. Maryland’s rushing attack managed only 81 yards in that game, and it is now ranked 90th in the nation with an average of 142 yards a game. The defense did its part by holding the Orange to just 10 points in each half. It has allowed an average of 24.9 points a game on the year.

The Hokies remain a tough team to figure out. They had climbed all the way to No. 14 in the country with six straight wins after a 35-10 opening-weekend loss to Alabama. The fall out of the rankings was fast and steep with an ugly 13-10 loss to Duke as 12-point home favorites, and their season continued to slide with a loss to Boston College as four-point favorites the following week. The dramatic turnaround against the Hurricanes may have been a fluke, but Virginia Tech has built of reputation for strong finishes in the past.

The driving force in this past Saturday’s upset was running back Trey Edmunds. He rushed for only 74 yards on 14 carries, but four of those runs ended in the end zone. Quarterback Logan Thomas has been inconsistent at times this season, but he was money in this game with 366 passing yards and two touchdown throws while completing an incredible 80.6 percent of his 31 attempts. Despite the impressive victory, there could be some lingering concerns on defense. This unit is still ranked ninth in the nation in points allowed (17.6), but it has now given up 58 points in its last two games.


Maryland at Virginia Tech Betting Odds and Trends by 5Dimes

Pointspread: Virginia Tech -16.5

Total Line: 42

The Terrapins are 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall and 2-4 ATS in their last six games on the road. The total has gone “over” in three of their last five games.

The Hokies are 4-2 ATS in their last six games overall but just 6-11-3 ATS in their last 20 home games. The total has stayed “under” in four of their last five games played at home.

These two have met four times since 2004, with Virginia Tech holding a 4-0 edge both SU and ATS. The total has stayed under in three of the four games.

College Football Picks: Maryland at Virginia Tech College Betting Predictions

I am banking on another strong performance by Virginia Tech this week after getting past their midseason swoon. Maryland had some teeth early in the year, but their current form continues to erode week after week on a team clearly headed in the wrong direction. Despite the Hokies past record ATS at home, look for them to win this game by more than the current 16.5-point spread.                                                                                    

Take: #328 Virginia Tech (-16.5) over Maryland (12:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16)