West Virginia Mountaineers at Maryland Terrapins College Football Betting Preview

No. 18 West Virginia Mountaineers at Maryland Terrapins
Saturday, 9/17/11, 12:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPNU
Opening Point Spread:  Maryland -2
Current Betting Line:  Maryland -1.5
Opening Total:  51.5
Current Total:  54.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

West Virginia has won the last five meetings against Maryland heading into Saturday

West Virginia opened the season with consecutive home wins over Marshall (34-13) and Norfolk State (55-12), but the schedule gets much tougher in heading out on the road for the first time against Maryland.  Saturday will mark the 48th all-time meeting between the two schools and the Mountaineers hold a 24-21-2 advantage, including wins in the last five.  The program tallied a 31-17 win in last year’s meeting as 10-point home favorites, while going over the posted total of 45.  West Virginia is 12-14 ATS over the past two-plus seasons.

The Mountaineers are playing their first season underneath the direction of head coach Dana Holgorsen, who came to Morgantown after serving as Oklahoma State’s offensive coordinator.  West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith has flourished in the early going, throwing for a career-high 371 yards and four touchdowns last week.  Fans are use to seeing an explosive running game, but the team has yet to find someone to replace Noel Devine in the backfield, rushing for just 144 yards on 59 carries.

Maryland piled up 499 yards of total offense in a 32-24 win over the Miami Hurricanes on Labor Day and had a week off to enjoy it.  The star of the show was sophomore quarterback Danny O’Brien, who completed 31 of 44 passes for 348 yards and a touchdown.  It’s likely that the team will improve upon its 29th ranked scoring offense of a year ago, which tallied 32.2 points a contest.  Maryland was also extremely careful in protecting the football and committed just 15 turnovers.  In the last nine opportunities as a favorite, the program is 6-3 ATS in those opportunities.

The Terrapins are also under the direction of a first-year head coach, as Randy Edsall came over after spending 13 years at Connecticut.  He’s certainly no stranger to facing West Virginia during his years in Big East play, but managed just a single win in seven meetings.  Maryland continued its success of causing turnovers against Miami and is one of just five teams in the FBS with a turnover margin of plus-three or greater.  The Terrapins have won six of their last seven home games and averaged 39.0 points over that stretch.

Bettors will likely back the Terrapins due to their 8-2 ATS mark at home, while the Mountaineers are 4-13 ATS versus ACC opponents.

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