Maryland vs. Ohio State Expert Pick and Prediction – October 7, 2023
MARYLAND VS. OHIO STATE EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – October 7, 2023 — If there’s one team looking forward to the end of Big Ten divisions, it’s got to be Maryland. The Terrapins’ arrival in the Big Ten meant the end of the ill-fated Legends and Leaders era, replaced with an East-West split that’s left the Terrapins chasing fourth place most years.
Quite simply, Maryland hasn’t been able to crack the Ohio State-Michigan-Penn State axis that’s ruled the Big Ten East for the past seven seasons. The Terps managed to go 2-1 against them in their first year in the conference, but since then, Maryland owns a 1-21 mark against the Buckeyes, Wolverines and Nittany Lions.
It’s been worst against Ohio State, which has never lost to Maryland. In Columbus, the Terps haven’t even come close. The series has been so lopsided that Ohio State’s 73 points in the 2019 game equal Maryland’s total in all four of its visits to the Horseshoe.
But Maryland has quietly built its program. Last year, the Terrapins put a genuine scare into the Buckeyes, who have looked anything but dominant in 2023.
In Ohio State’s one league game this year, the Buckeyes were far from convincing, handling Indiana more because of the Hoosiers’ ineptitude. If Ohio State sleepwalks through another one, Maryland’s finally good enough to take advantage.
(5-0 SU, 3-2 ATS)
(4-0 SU, 1-3 ATS)
When: Saturday, October 7th at Noon EDT
Where: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
Public Bets: 64% on Maryland
Public Money: 63% on Maryland
Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of October 5th, 2023.
Maryland vs. Ohio State In-Season Trends
Have things changed with the Maryland defense? The Terrapins have been an offense-heavy team, but the defense has started to show up more away from College Park. Maryland has only played to the over once in its past six away from Maryland Stadium, with the one exception being a 38-33 shootout at Indiana. It’s tough to judge if that’s for real, though, because the one road game Maryland played came at Michigan State, which has appeared to be in a fog since Mel Tucker’s firing.
Ohio State has never seen a total it didn’t like against Maryland. The over has cashed in all eight meetings, and in the Terrapins’ past two trips to Columbus, the Buckeyes cashed the over by themselves. Last year’s 43 marked the Buckeyes’ lowest-scoring day against Maryland, and the over still cashed because the Terrapins scored 30 of their own.
Showers and cool temperatures await the teams in Columbus. Temperatures should hit around 56 degrees, and with winds of 15 miles per hour in central Ohio, kicking might become a challenge.
If Maryland is going to hang around in this game, the offensive line must keep Taulia Tagovailoa upright. In two meetings with Ohio State, Tagovailoa has been sacked 10 times, as the Buckeyes keep winning the battle in the trenches. Tagovailoa has learned not to force things, as he’s thrown four touchdowns against two interceptions. But if Ohio State can keep him off-balance, he’ll have a hard time getting going.
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For the most part, the Buckeyes haven’t gone for big plays this year. Kyle McCord’s been more of a game manager than someone who goes out and wins the game, which is why Ohio State’s been letting teams hang around. The Buckeyes have only been in danger once, against Notre Dame, but they also haven’t looked like a world-beater.
Going against Ohio State in Columbus is not easy. But Maryland has improved since it got humiliated in Columbus two years ago. The Terrapins probably aren’t good enough to actually upset the Buckeyes, but they also shouldn’t get blown out of the building.
The reality is, for once, Maryland has the more explosive and more aggressive team. Ohio State has sacrificed some aggression to prevent big plays this season. That’s working, but it’s also making the Buckeyes look less impressive and less threatening. Ohio State should win, but this feels like too many points.