ACC Betting Preview: Clemson Tigers at Maryland Terrapins

#8 Clemson Tigers at Maryland Terrapins
Byrd Stadium – College Park, Maryland
Saturday, October 15, 2011, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU
Opening Line: Clemson -7 1/2
Current Line: Clemson -8
Opening Total: 52
Current Total: 53 1/2
Opening Money Line: Clemson -300 / Maryland +250
Current Money Line: Clemson -305 / Maryland +255

Clemson a surprising double-digit favorite on Saturday afternoon
The Clemson Tigers go on the road to take on the Maryland Terrapins in ACC Atlantic action Saturday night. Clemson could be without star quarterback Tajh Boyd but are still 8 point favorites.

The Clemson Tigers are 6-0 this season and travel to the 2-3 Maryland Terrapins. Clemson leads the series 31-26-2 including 14-13-2 at Maryland. Clemson won last year at home 31-7, but Maryland has won 6 of the last 10. Clemson, is coached by Dabo Swinney, has home wins over Troy 43-19, Wofford 35-27, Auburn 38-24, Florida St 35-30, and last week versus Boston College 36-14. The Tigers also have a road win at Virginia Tech 23-3. Clemson is 3-0 in the ACC. Maryland, is coached by Randy Edsall, and has home wins over Miami 32-24 and Towson 28-3. The Terrapins have losses at home to West Virginia 37-31 and Temple 38-7 and last week at Georgia Tech 21-16. Maryland is 1-1 in the ACC.

Clemson was a 21 point favorite on the college football betting line last week against Boston College. Clemson was up 23-7 at halftime. Clemson ended winning 36-14 to cover the spread by a point. Clemson kicked 5 field goals in the game. The Tigers had 500 total yards in the win, including 320 passing yards. Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd had 283 yards passing with a touchdown and no interceptions, and also had a rushing touchdown. He injured his hip late in the game and is questionable for the Maryland game. Running back Andre Ellington had 22 carries, 117 yards, and a touchdown. Receiver Sammy Watkins had 7 catches for 152 yards. The Tigers held BC to 258 yards and 14 first downs. The Eagles had 7 penalties and 2 turnovers.

Clemson is averaging 474.3 yards, including 297.7 passing yards and 176.7 rushing yards. The Tigers are averaging 35 points a game. Clemson has 5 turnovers and has allowed 12 sacks this season. Clemson is 50/105 on third and fourth down conversions, and 17/22 scoring in the red zone with 14 touchdowns. The Tigers are allowing 356.3 yards including 160.3 rushing yards and 196 passing yards a game. Clemson is allowing 19.5 points a game. The Tigers have forced 10 turnovers and have 11 sacks this season. Tiger opponents are 33/94 on third and fourth down conversions, and 12/14 scoring in the red zone with 6 touchdowns.

Boyd is 119/194 passing for 1,742 yards with 15 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, along with 59 carries, for 120 yards and 3 touchdowns. If Boyd can’t go because of the hip injury, then Cole Stoudt will be the starter. He has only thrown 11 passes this season.   Ellington has 115 carries, 528 yards, and 5 touchdowns, along with 11 catches for 53 yards. Mike Bellamy and D.J. Howard also get significant carries and each has at least one touchdown run. Bellamy has two. Watkins has 38 catches, 623 yards, and 6 touchdowns, along with 19 carries for 94 yards. Dwayne Allen has 22 catches, 340 yards, and 4 scores.  DeAndre Hopkins has 24 catches, 331 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Jaron Brown has 14 catches, 204 yards, and 2 touchdowns.   Kicker Chandler Catanzaro is 22/23 on extra points and 10/12 on field goals with a long of 47 yards.

Maryland was a 15.5 point underdog last week at Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech was up 21-3 at the end of the third and looked like they were going to cover the spread. However, Maryland scored 2 fourth quarter touchdowns to pull within 5 points with about 7 minutes left. They missed the two point conversion that would have made the score 21-18, and neither team scored for the rest of the game. The Yellow Jackets survived 21-16. Maryland had 333 total yards including 246 rushing yards. Maryland quarterbacks threw two interceptions. Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown only threw for 36 yards with no touchdown passes, but he did run for 124 yards and a touchdown. Running back Davin Meggett had 18 carries, 86 yards and a touchdown. The Terrapins held the high octane Yellow Jackets to 386 yards including 272 rushing yards. Georgia Tech had 8 penalties and a turnover.

The Terrapins are averaging 376.8 total yards and 22.8 points a game. Maryland is averaging 211.2 passing yards a game. Maryland has allowed 4 sacks this year and has 8  turnovers. Maryland is 30/79 on third and forth down conversions, and is 17/23 scoring in the red zone with 11 touchdowns.  Maryland is allowing 407.2 yards and 24.6 points a game. The Terps are allowing 196.4 rushing yards a game. They have forced 13 turnovers and 10 sacks. Maryland opponents are 42/83 on third and fourth down conversions, and 16/20 scoring in the red zone with 11 touchdowns.

Maryland quarterback Danny O’Brien was benched last week against Georgia Tech. Edsall hasn’t announced who will start the Clemson game, O’Brien or Brown.  O’Brien is 97/156 passing with 930 yards, 4 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, along with 16 carries for 18 yards. Brown is 10/24 passing for 92 yards, a touchdown and an interception, and is the second leading rusher for the Terps with 11 carries, 153 yards, and a touchdown. Running back Davin Meggett has 83 carries for 413 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 10 catches for 81 yards. Justin Pickett has 34 carries, 144 yards, and 1 touchdown.  D.J. Adams has 18 carries  for 76 yards and 3 touchdowns. Receiver Kevin Dorsey has 28 catches, 352 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Kerry Boykins and Matt Furstenburg also get significant targets.  Kicker Nick Ferrera is 10/10 on extra points and 6/9 on field goals with a long of 32 yards. Maryland has 11 players listed as doubtful or out for the Clemson game, including 7 defensive players and 3 offensive linemen.

Maryland is 2-3 against the spread this season and the total is also 2-3 in those games. Clemson is 5-1 ATS this season and the total is 4-2 in those games. The last two games in the series went under the total in the Clemson-Maryland series. Clemson is 5-0 ATS in the last 5 conference games, 4-0 ATS following a straight up win, overall, and on grass, 4-1 ATS in October and a favorite, 7-3 ATS as a favorite of between 3.5 and 10 points, and 6-2 following a straight up win of more than 20 points. Maryland is 7-1 ATS in their last 8 conference games, 6-1 ATS after scoring less than 20 points in the previous game, 6-2 ATS following a straight up loss, and in home games against teams with winning road records.

I would be more comfortable taking Clemson -8 if I thought Boyd was definitely playing as he would have a field day against Maryland’s beat up defense. Stoudt is untested and the Tigers might rely on Ellington to provide most of the offense. Maryland has questions of their own at quarterback with O’Brien and Brown. We could see one or both of them see some snaps. Actually all 4 quarterbacks could see action in this game.

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