Maryland Vs. NC State Predictions, Picks, Odds Duke’s Mayo Bowl (12/30/22)
The year that could have been is the perfect motto for NC State’s 2022. Coming into the season as one of the most popular sleeper picks to win the ACC, NC State had all the talent to make the much-needed leap to dethrone the ACC elites. That was until they saw star quarterback Devin Leary go down with a season ending injury, derailing any potential success they could have had. Can they end the season on a high note with a win over Maryland? Get my Maryland Vs. NC State prediction.
Maryland Vs. NC State Odds
Oddsmakers initially didn’t think so, opening the Terps as a -2.5 favorite. Bettors have been in disagreement, flipping the script and hitting NCST all the way up to as the new favorite at -1. This comes as little surprise as Maryland’s offense will field some new faces as they are dealing with opt outs at wideout. As of writing, wide receivers Rakim Jarrett, Dontay Demus, and Jacob Copeland have all opted out. This leaves a lot of production to be filled for the Terps offense.
As for the total, oddsmakers believed points would be scored at a premium as they opened the total at 47.5. With the news of Maryland’s offense being gutted, as well as NCST having question marks at quarterback, bettors have hit the under buy taking this down to as low as 46.5 in some shops. This caught my immediate attention as Maryland has had a sneaky respectable defense this season and will now have to face the vaunted Wolfpack defense.
Maryland Vs. NC State Prediction & Pick
The Pick: Under 47
With that said, this is an under play for me at any number higher than 45. While I initially leaned Maryland on the number, I can’t in good faith put my trust into the offense that is dropping like flies. While Taulia Tagovailoa is a capable quarterback in his own right, I can’t help but imagine how much this pass attack is going to struggle with a brunt of the production being gone due to opt outs.
It’s not as if this offense was up to Maryland’s standards from years past. The offensive production took a major dip this season, finishing well below average in both Off Pass and Rush Success Rates. This was a disappointment as Maryland has fielded some of the most prolific pass attacks the past few seasons. A pass attack that could scare the most fierce defenses, one that they would need to find production against this NC State defense.
Instead, Taulia will have to find production through the air with less productive targets against a NCST pass defense that ranks top-15 in Def Pass Success. This puts more of a burden on the shoulders of wide receiver Jeshaun Jones and tight end Corey Dyches. They are two of Taulia’s top three targets in both receptions and receiving yards as well as combining for seven receiving touchdowns
As for the ground game, Maryland has once again struggled in that department with a 85th ranked Off Rush Success rank. Roman Hemby was the lead back, finishing the season with 924 yards and 10 touchdowns. We may see a heavier dose of him as Maryland looks to keep the Wolfpack defense on their heels. The potential for explosiveness is there as Maryland has been above average of busting out the big play on the ground. An area that the Wolfpack have been weak at in defending.
Maryland Vs. NC State Key Matchups
Can Maryland contain the NC State offense?
Maryland defense vs NCST backups
One of the more shocking revelations this year has been the surprisingly effective Maryland defense. Not normally known as a defensive unit, the Terps defense took a major leap in production by finishing 68th or better in both Def Pass and Rush Success Rate.
They get an opportunity to show out once again as the Wolfpack’s offensive production has fallen off a cliff since Devin Leary’s unfortunate injury. As of now, it is unclear if second string quarterback MJ Morris will be ready to go or if Ben Finley will have to step in.
No matter who goes out there, they will be hard pressed to find success for a unit that has shown no sliver of hope all season for scoring production. Ranked near dead last in all offensive metrics, this is a team that has had to rely on their defense for any success.
With Maryland’s offense taking a hit due to opt outs and NC State fielding an anemic defense, I will take the under at no lower than 45.