Ohio State got a much needed quality win over the weekend, taking down Michigan State by 20 points, but the work still isn’t done. Before taking on Michigan in the finale, the Buckeyes can’t look past Maryland, no matter how favorable the Game appears. The Bucks were -14.5 point road favorites (16.5 on Monday) with an over/under of 58.5 as of Tuesday at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
The last couple meetings between these teams have been complete blowouts, OSU winning 62-14 last year and 62-3 the year before that. Needless to say, those are terrible results for the Terrapins, who have lost two straight and have scored only three points in their last two Games against good defenses (Iowa, MSU). This matchup probably won’t be as ugly as last year’s, only because Ohio State hasn’t looked as dominant in 2018. The Bucks ran for 281 yards in last season’s win, but more importantly held Maryland to three completed passes and 50 rushing yards on 42 carries (sacks included).
Of course, Maryland’s offense was on its third-string quarterback at that point and couldn’t pass the ball. While the team still doesn’t have a great quarterback with Kasim Hill and Tyrrell Pigrome under center, they are at least running the ball better and averaging 5.8 yards per carry. That’ll be the only way Maryland can compete in this Game because OSU’s defensive front hasn’t been as good as predicted, allowing 143.5 rushing yards per contest. The Terps managed a couple long runs against Michigan and if they can do that in this Game and keep Ohio State’s offense off the field, that’d be a good start. Still, that’s a hard thing to bet on, especially since Hill may miss the Game with injury and Pigrome could be forced to make his first start of the season at quarterback. Running backs Anthony McFarland and Ty Johnson can also be electric, but Johnson hasn’t been a factor since playing Rutgers a month ago.
The good news for the Terps is that they’re playing better defense this year, allowing only 181 passing yards and 161 rushing yards per Game. Those are better numbers than usual, but it’s not like they’re locking down opposing offenses, giving up 34 points to Indiana this past weekend and 33 points to Illinois in a win a few weeks ago.
The clear reason to back Maryland is because Ohio State hasn’t looked right since losing to Purdue. Dwayne Haskins has been elite, completing 68.9% of his passes for 33 touchdowns and only six interceptions, but the ground Game has caused the offense to fall flat at times. Mike Weber looked a little better against Michigan State as he ran for over 100 yards, but top running back J.K. Dobbins was at just two yards per carry on 14 rushes. Haskins has the ability to put up tons of points, but this offense hasn’t topped 36 in its last Four Games and if it doesn’t in this Game, that could be enough for Maryland to cover, especially at home.
The Buckeyes are 2-5 ATS in their last seven road Games and 1-5 ATS in their last six overall, while the Terrapins are 1-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The over has hit in the only Four meetings between these schools (the last Four years).
Ohio State ATS Trends
Ohio St is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 Conference Games
Ohio St is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 Games as a favorite
Ohio St is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Games following a win
Ohio St is 2-6 ATS in their last 8 Games in November
Ohio St is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 road Games
Ohio St is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 Games overall
Ohio St is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 Games as a road favorite
Ohio St is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Games as a favorite of 10 5 or more
Ohio St is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Games on turf
Maryland ATS Trends
Maryland is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Games following a ATS loss
Maryland is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 Games as a home underdog of 10 5 or more
Maryland is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 Games as a home underdog
Maryland is 1-4 ATS vs a team with a winning record
Maryland is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home Games vs a team with a winning road record
Maryland is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 Games in November
Maryland is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Games as an underdog
Maryland is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 Games as an underdog of 10 5 or more
Maryland is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 Games as a favorite of 10 5 or greater
Maryland is 5-11 ATS in their last 16 Games on turf
Our PICK – Maryland +14.5