When determining which side of the line to put your money on when betting on Maryland season wins, there is one major question to ask.
Are the Terps ready to take the next step in 2021?
This will be Maryland’s eighth season in the Big Ten. It has not had a winning overall record since going 7-6 in 2014. In fact, the Terps have never had a winning conference record since moving to the Big Ten.
Based on the futures bets posted at several sports betting apps, however, the expectation is the Terps will be better this year.
Three betting outlets have the total for Maryland season wins set at 5.5 with juice favoring the over.
At FanDuel, that juice is -145 on the over with the buyback on the under set at +125. At Caesars Sportsbook, the juice on the over is the same, and the under is slightly less at +120. DraftKings has the over 5.5 set at -135 and the under at +115.
Caesars has its season win total set at 6.0, and that is fittingly juiced to the under at -125. If you think the Terps can win seven games, you can get +105 on the over.
Even if Maryland takes the next step and records a winning record, it is a long shot to win the conference and division titles.
At FanDuel, the Terps are +10,000 to win the conference championship. They are +5,000 to win the East Division.
It’s easy to see why the expectations are higher this season than they have been in recent years.
Mike Locksley enters his third year as head coach, and he has put together some solid recruiting classes.
The offense has some strong returning talent, including quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa. The younger brother of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa ranked third in the Big Ten in passing yards and completion percentage last season.
Taulia Tagovailoa’s upside was obvious in wins over Minnesota and Penn State last season. He passed for 676 yards and accounted for eight touchdowns.
He’ll be joined by experienced skill players in running back Tayon Fleet-Davis, wide receivers Dontay Demus Jr., Rakim Jarrett and Jeshaun Jones, and tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo.
The Terps’ best path to success, however, must include a vastly improved defense.
Not having spring practice in 2020 likely hindered Maryland’s chances to get better last season, but that won’t be a problem this season.
Maryland won’t have to become one of the best defensive units in the conference to improve its overall record. Climbing into the middle of the pack might work just fine to get past opponents like Michigan State, Rutgers, and Penn State.
Maryland Season Wins Prediction
A 2-3 record last year during the shortened season wasn’t good, but it hasn’t stopped the expectations from rising.
The Terps have a potent offense that will hit the ground running, and they have a defense with a lot of room to grow. Maryland seems like a good bet to finally reach six regular-season wins.
A win in the season opener against West Virginia, in which they are 3.5-point underdogs at three sportsbooks (FanDuel, DraftKings, and Caesars), would mean the Terps only have to win three conference games to reach six wins. Non-conference games against Howard and Kent State should be easy wins.
Even without a win over West Virginia, however, a 4-4 conference record is absolutely attainable for this improving team.