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Maryland

vs.

Ohio State

College Football

Free Pick

10/7/17

Maryland is coming off an impressive road upset at Minnesota and get to follow that up with a trip to Columbus against a team that just won 56-0. The Buckeyes are still looked at as being the best team in the Big Ten and were early -31.5 point favorites on Monday at 5Dimes Sportsbook.

A lot of people will look at the beat down Ohio State put on Maryland in last year’s meeting, but that was a long time ago. The Terps, while on their third-string quarterback due to injury, have looked like a better team this season. The big loss to UCF is slightly unexplainable, but beating both Texas and Minnesota on the road are two of the best wins of any team in the conference as of now. Maryland’s 31-10 home loss to the Gophers last year can be looked at for improvement, as well.

But this line is so big because the Buckeyes will get money no matter what and after a 56-point win, there’s no reason to go against them. They ate up this defense in last year’s matchup, running for 253 yards and five touchdowns, while J.T. Barrett threw for 328 and three more touchdowns. And with how Maryland’s defense has looked early, there’s little reason to think Ohio State won’t put up 50 points again.

Barrett is quietly having an excellent season, but isn’t getting as much national attention due to the Oklahoma loss. He already has 13 passing touchdowns to only one interception, while running for 263 yards. His yards per attempt are up to 8.74, which is his highest rate since the 2014 season when he took the nation by storm. If he continues to throw the ball this well, the Bucks will be the best team in the Big Ten with the help of freshman running back J.K. Dobbins (573 yards).

The big thing in this game will be how well the Ohio State defense plays after shutting out Rutgers. The Bucks have one of the better defenses in the country, but haven’t looked as such in games against Indiana, Oklahoma and UNLV. If they repeat last year’s performance against the Terps, things could get ugly again.

The Terrapins couldn't do anything as they ran for just 43 yards on 1.1 yards per carry, while getting only 133 yards from the passing game. Sophomore quarterback Max Bortenschlager had a nice performance at Minnesota last week, but this is another animal. A lot of that success came because Ty Johnson ran the ball well. When Johnson couldn’t find room against UCF, that led to 10 points against a mediocre team. Against one of the best defensive lines in the country, Johnson could have tough sledding yet again against the Buckeyes and that will be trouble for Bortenschlager.

The line seems a bit large, but this could be another disaster for Maryland if they can’t run the ball. Even after last week’s win, it’ll be hard to back the Terrapins, even with the line pushing 30 points. The Terps are 2-6 ATS in their last eight road games and 4-17 ATS in their last 21 following a straight-up win. The Buckeyes have failed to cover in their last four home games and are 1-5 ATS following a straight-up win.

Our Pick - A weak call on Maryland +30.5

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