Maryland vs. Ohio State kicks off this Saturday at 12:00pm EST in Columbus as a home game for the Buckeyes. Ohio State is currently a -19.5 favorite and -1250 on the moneyline while the total is set at 57.5. Read on for more Maryland vs. Ohio State best bets and predictions as Maryland looks to cover the spread by keeping this contest close.
Maryland Vs. Ohio State Prediction & Best Bet
It’s the best start that Maryland fans can ask for as they roll into Columbus undefeated and firing on all cylinders. After making quick work of Indiana, Maryland’s high-powered offense now gets the opportunity to shock the nation with a potential upset over a hobbled Ohio State squad who has looked deflated at various points of the season. They barely skated past Notre Dame, potentially losing star wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr to injury in the process.
A potential massive blow for an Ohio State offense who has mightily struggled per their standards at this point of the season. Normally top of the league in various offensive metrics, Ohio State has dipped to 37th in Overall Off Success Rate, 21st in Off Explosiveness, 27th in Points per Opportunity, and 42nd in Havoc Allowed.
While not exactly poor numbers, it’s still a sharp decline from recent OSU outings and makes them more vulnerable against other high-powered offenses. Especially when Maryland is more than capable of making Kyle McCord uncomfortable, daring him to beat them over the top as a shaky downfield thrower.
Maryland’s offense has dominated the headlines for their program over the past few seasons, yet it’s their defense that needs to be highlighted after making a massive swing in production. Especially on the back end with their secondary ranking 36th in Def Pass PPA, 41st in Def Pass Success Rate, and 29th in Def Pass Explosiveness. They still struggle to defend the run, especially on short downs, yet OSU will be hard pressed to exploit that weakness as they have dipped in that department by ranking a lowly 76th in Rush Success Rate.
That means we may see an uptick in failed early down rush attempts, setting OSU’s downfield progression back and having to deal with converting long distances to gain. This creates stalled out drives and gives the ball back to Maryland’s offense to capitalize and keep them within the spread. When Maryland has the ball, the pass attack should have little to no issue with exploiting OSU’s weak Def Pass Success Rate and move the ball down the field into scoring position with ease.
Maryland Vs. Ohio State Prediction & Best Bet: Maryland +19.5
Maryland Vs. Ohio State Betting Odds
Even with Maryland cruising past inferior competition, oddsmakers have tempered their expectations in their matchup against Ohio State by opening them at +19.5. That is a slight decline from the lookahead line, opening at +21 from a few weeks ago. While I normally preach patience and the importance of grabbing a key football number, Maryland’s spread is good down to +17.5. Should this go in the other direction then I’ll look to add more at +21.
As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a very quick pace as oddsmakers opened the number at 58.5. Bettors believe points will be scored at a slightly slower pace, backing the under down to as low as 56.5 as of writing. Maryland’s improved back half of their defense is more than capable of halting OSU’s pass attack, especially if their front seven can generate pressure to the backfield and force McCord into scrambling situations.
Maryland Vs. Ohio State Key Matchups
Can Maryland’s Roman Hemby open up the pass attack by finding success on the ground?
Roman Hemby Vs. Ohio State Rush Defense
While Maryland is more known for their pass attack, it’s their ground game that may play a major part in their offensive success. That starts with lead running back Roman Hemby, a pass catching back who will look to give the OSU second level fits with his shifty open field running ability.
ROMAN HEMBY IS FASTER THAN YOU pic.twitter.com/DxFUaIgkCK
— Maryland Football (@TerpsFootball) October 22, 2022
Metric wise, the advantage may come in the explosiveness department. Not an area I like to put too much stock into, but OSU’s defense may be caught cheating back to give them more coverage which exposes their middle for chunks of a time by Maryland’s ground game. Ohio State ranks 56th in Def Rush Explosiveness while Maryland ranks 14th on the opposite end.