Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Maryland Terrapins Betting Picks and Predictions

October 26, 2020

Date:Friday, October 30th
Time:7:30 PM ET
Network:ESPN
Venue:Maryland Stadium
Spread:Minnesota -20.5
O/U:61.5

The 0-1 Minnesota Golden Gophers will go on the road Friday night to face off with the 0-1 Maryland Terrapins at 7:30 PM ET in Maryland Stadium. You can watch the game on ESPN. The Golden Gophers come in as 20-point road favorites and we’re looking at a 61.5 over/under. The Gophers are coming off a tough loss to Michigan while the Terrapins were slaughtered by Northwestern. Let’s dive into how this game will go down on each side of the ball and who will end up covering the spread. 

Trends

  • Minnesota is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games played in October.
  • Maryland is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games.
  • The total has gone OVER in 7 of Minnesota’s last 8 games.
  • The total has gone OVER in 10 of Maryland’s last 14 games played in October.

When The Minnesota Golden Gophers Have The Ball

The Gophers faced a Michigan team in week one that appears to be the real deal. It’s hard to know just a week into the season, but their defense looked crisp and Joe Milton looked solid under center. The point in trying to make is that Minnesota lost to a top-10 (at least) team and we can’t hold it against them too much. They put up a fight for the majority of the game until the Wolverines were simply too much to handle. They’ll get a much easier matchup this week against a defense that allowed 43 points to Northwestern. Expect the Golden Gophers offense to open things up in a big way on Friday night. 

It all starts with QB Tanner Morgan. The junior signal-caller is starting his third season under center and is coming off a season in which he threw for 3,253 yards and 30 touchdowns. The expectations are high, but he knows this offense better than anyone and he will start to turn this around this week after throwing for under 200 yards in week one. The Gophers will throw the ball 30+ times in most games and 300 yards is easy work for Morgan on most occasions. 

They did run the ball extremely well against Michigan with Mohamed Ibrahim rushing it 26 times for 140 yards and two touchdowns. He was stuffed quite a few times, but the offensive line showed they belonged and pushed the Wolverines back more times than not. Ibrahim is a talented back and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Gophers run the ball more this season behind this mauling offensive line. Treyson Potts only saw five carries (18 yards), but he’s a guy with a ton of upside that will complement Ibrahim more in a game like this one where a lead should be present from start to finish. 

While Tyler Johnson is off to the NFL, there is far from a shortage of talent at wide receiver for the Golden Gophers. Rashod Bateman is one of the best WR’s in the entire country and he caught nine balls for 101 yards against an elite Michigan secondary. Do not be surprised when Bateman puts up 200+ yards in multiple games this season and ends up being a first-round pick. Chris Autman-Bell caught just one ball for 45 yards in the opener, but he will start opposite Bateman and has a lot of upside once the chemistry is there with Morgan. Ibrahim contributed with four catches out of the backfield and TE Ko Kieft caught two balls for 29 yards and a TD. Morgan has plenty of options when he drops back to pass. 

When The Maryland Terrapins Have The Ball

It was a brutal start to the season for the Maryland Terrapins as they were crushed 43-3 in a game that was over before it started. They were just 13-point underdogs and performed a lot worse than expected. They turned the ball over four times and didn’t force a single one of their own. Taulia Tagovailoa, brother of Tu’a, was utterly terrible in his first start. He averaged just 3.8 yards per completion with 94 yards and three interceptions. It couldn’t have gone much worse for this offense to open the season. 

QB Lance LeGendre stepped in for Tagovailoa and was much better, completing all four of his passes for 49 yards. He’s also a lot more mobile, so don’t be surprised to see both guys get action here as Maryland desperately needs offense. LeGendre looked a lot better and isn’t getting playing time based on the name alone. The only hope I see for Maryland in this game is with LeGendre at the helm. 

Three different running backs carried the ball six times, so it looks like we’re going to see a RBBC (running back by committee) from Maryland until one guy sets himself above the others. Jake Funk (5.8 YPC) and Peny Boone (5.0 YPC) ran it well while Isaiah Jacobs didn’t (2.5 YPC). Funk is a bulldozer type while Boone will try to run away from you. With this offensive line, it’ll take a talented back to put up any meaningful yards. 

It’s tough to know how good these pass-catchers really are as Tagovailoa couldn’t get them the ball with any degree of accuracy. Freshman Nick Degenarro led the way with 42 yards on three catches and the freshman has a ton of upside with the ball in his hands. Jeshaun Jones caught five balls for 37 yards and Dontay Demus Jr. added four catches for 41 yards. There is plenty of talent on the outside if the QB’s can just deliver the ball with accuracy. 

Spread Prediction

The Pick: Minnesota -20.5

While the Terrapins are going to have more success offensively than they did a week ago, I’m more worried about there defense and what the Golden Gophers are going to be able to do. They’ll be itching to put some points on the board after having to deal with a brutal Wolverines defense and they’re fully capable of putting up 40+ points in this matchup. You can’t be shocked if they put up even more as Northwestern just put up 43 against this defense. I expect the Golden Gophers to put up a ton on numbers in this game and for them to slowly pull away as the game progresses.

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Total Prediction

The Pick: Over 61.5
Final Score Prediction: Minnesota 55, Maryland 13

I love the over in this game as my favorite bet in this game. While Maryland looked terrible in week one, LeGendre seemed to rejuvenate the offense late in the game and I expect he gets plenty of playing time in this one. They’ll put up a couple of scores. Minnesota is going to put up a ton, however, and I’ve already gone over why. Rashod Bateman is one of the best offensive players in the entire country and I project he has a massive day. If you can find a player prop, give me the over on anything he has listed. As for this total, the over is bet.

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