College Football Picks: Big Moneyline Underdog Pick of the Week

Our college football picks moneyline play this week will fade Bill Stewarts Mountaineers
The Maryland Terrapins are coming off a forgettable 2009 season. Maryland went 2-10, worst under Ralph Friedgen. One of the Terrapins two wins was in overtime against James Madison, which recently shocked the college football world against Virginia Tech. But two weeks into 2010 season Maryland has already matched its win total from a year ago, beating Navy and Morgan State.

This week Maryland travels to Mountaineer Field to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers. The college football line opened with West Virginia as 13 point favorites, but early betting on Maryland has brought the line down to 10 points. The public and wiseguys are playing the Terrapins at around 70%. While playing the spread on the Terrapins still looks like a reasonably good investment, the moneyline is tempting, too. Maryland is currently paying better than +300 for the straight up win and makes for a nice return on a modest wager.

The Terps were statistically dominated by the Midshipmen in week 1, but still found a way to win. The defense bent but didn’t break. The unit recovered 2 Navy fumbles at the 1 yard line and stopped Navy on 4th and goal from the 1 yard line to win the game. The offense had great success running the ball, totaling 261 rushing yards, but managed to gain only 11 yards through the air. Still, it was enough for the 17-14 victory in a game where the Terps were an underdog very similar to this spread. The Terps destroyed Morgan State last week, 62-3. Maryland outgained their FCS opponent 370-85 yards, but 10 penalties for 110 yards could not have made Coach Friedgen happy.

The main reason for Maryland’s success has been the ground game, which features a stable of capable runners. Da’Rel Scott is healthy again and he joins Davin Meggett as the Terps two primary backs. D.J. Adams saw some clean-up action last week and actually led the team in rushing and scored 2 touchdowns. Quarterback Jamarr Robinson is another dangerous runner, though his accuracy is questionable. Don’t be surprised to see Friedgen substitute in Danny O’Brien on passing downs. The Terps’ offensive line has looked good so far, which is important considering the hogs are coming off a disappointing year.

The Maryland defense has been remarkably better than in 2009. Last year the Maryland D was dead last in the ACC giving up 31 points per game. In two games the D has surrendered a total of 17 points. They’ve collected 5 turnovers and been great in the redzone; any defense that plays big in those two areas can afford to give up some yards. The defensive line is probably the weakest element of the Terps defense and they need to play well against West Virginia. The linebackers are some of the best in the conference.

West Virginia has been ok so far, but not great. They beat Coastal Carolina in week 1, 31-0. Last week they snuck out of Marshall with a 24-21 overtime victory. The game was on ESPN last Friday and I was sad to see Marshall lose an emotional game on such a special night. But the Thundering Herd couldn’t put their in-state rival away, and credit West Virginia for fighting back and stealing the win. Noel Devine is a lightning bug in the backfield. Geno Smith is a better thrower than his counterpart this week, but Robinson has the better wheels. The Mountaineers sport an odd 3-3-5 defense that can be surprisingly effective. But it wasn’t against Marshall, yielding 364 yards to a balanced attack from Conference USA. I expect Maryland to rely on a lot of north-south running between the tackles, taking advantage of what amounts to being a nickel defense.

I think West Virginia needs to play quite a bit better against Maryland to win this game. That’s entirely possible, but I like the way the Terps have been running the ball. I wasn’t at all impressed by the West Virginia defense last week. Now they have to face a bigger, more talented team in Maryland that’s building some momentum. While Maryland against the spread might be the best play a lot of the value is gone (Maddux personally bet +13.5 and +13 on Monday), I still think a moneyline play on Maryland might be a good play for someone looking to bet less and win more.

While we already personally bet Maryland at a number that is long gone we still have released 4 early picks for Saturday and plan to round the card out with 7 plays total for our clients.  We have started out the season hot and are on a 13-3 college football picks run for our clients.  Dont miss one more easy winner and get signed up for our college football picks against the spread package today.

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