Iowa Hawkeyes at Maryland Terrapins Betting Preview

Despite playing in the same conference, the Hawkeyes and Terrapins have only played three college football games against each other. Playing in opposite Big Ten divisions means these two teams aren’t nearly as familiar with each other as most conference rivals. The Hawkeyes have won the last two meetings, but the Terps took the lone matchup in College Park, where this week’s game takes place. 

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Iowa Hawkeyes Team Preview

Iowa soared up the rankings to start the season with two of the biggest wins in the country through the first two weeks. Kirk Ferentz’s squad has climbed the rankings to reach fifth in most major polls and is in the driver’s seat of a seemingly horrible Big Ten West. 

The Hawkeyes’ defense showed up in a big way in wins against Indiana and at in-state rival Iowa State. Iowa racked up six interceptions in two games against big-time playmaking quarterbacks Michael Penix and Brock Purdy. 

The Hawkeyes have personified Big Ten football in their style of play by managing a game on offense by running the ball and avoiding turnovers while playing strong defense. Even though the Hawkeyes are 4-0, they rank dead last in total offense in the Big Ten. Quarterback Spencer Petras has only thrown for 171 yards per game but has also only turned it over one time through four games. The offense mostly runs through running back Tyler Goodson, who has scored five touchdowns on the ground. 

Maryland Terrapins Team Preview

As Maryland’s head coach, Mike Locksley’s squad has started the season 4-0, already eclipsing the win totals the team reached in his first two seasons. The Week 1 win over West Virginia didn’t look as strong to start the season, but the Mountaineers have gone on to upset top 15 Virginia Tech and came within a field goal of beating third-ranked Oklahoma a week ago. 

The Terps followed up the Week 1 win with three straight wins over Howard, Illinois, and Kent State, covering in each of those games except the Friday night bout with the Illini. 

Maryland’s offense leads the Big Ten in passing behind Taulia Tagovailoa’s arm. The junior quarterback ranks top in the conference and top ten nationally, averaging over 335 passing yards per game while throwing for 10 touchdowns to only one interception. 

Defensively, Maryland ranks middle of the pack in the conference in total yards allowed. The team has created havoc for opposing offenses, though with 16 sacks on the other teams’ quarterbacks.

Betting Preview

Even with the large disparity in rankings, the Hawkeyes are only favored by three points on the road, according to both BetOnline and Bovada. The over/under betting line for total points is set at 45.5 points on both sportsbooks, meaning the oddsmakers are taking a classic Big Ten slugfest outlook in this one. 

Both teams come into the game have performed well against the spread at 3-1. The Hawkeyes and Terrapins have wins over middle-tier Big 12 teams and have a common opponent in Kent State. Each team hosted the Golden Flashes at home and won the game by three touchdowns. 

Even with the incredibly low total points betting line, the Hawkeyes seem primed to hit the under. Their first four games have all played below 45.5 points, and each week Iowa has hit the under. Maryland, albeit on betting lines in the mid 50’s up to 71.5, has hit the under in three of their four matchups to date. Expect the under to be in play again this week. 

Overall this will be a matchup of good on good. The Terps passing attack will be tested by Iowa’s aggressive and stout defense. Taking care of the ball should be paramount for Tagovailoa, and if he can, the Terps might just win this one outright.  

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