Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Maryland Terrapins Odds: Terps Open As Four-Point Home Underdogs Against No.5 Iowa
Maryland is creeping up the ladder towards the AP Top-25 behind their first 4-0 start since 2016 – and the public is here for it, buying what they’re selling. Books opened Iowa vs. Maryland odds with the visitors tipped as the four-point road favorites, but the line has moved since. As things currently stand, the Terrapins are catching anywhere between 3 to 3.5 points in the betting.
Junior quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa is a revelation for Maryland this season, and his outstanding performance is behind this early success. Tagovailoa's 75.5 completion percentage is the third-best in the country. He's seventh in passing yards with 1,340 and boasts a touchdown to interception ratio of 10:1. The Terrapins offense ranks eighth overall with 353.3 passing yards per game, while the defense is allowing the eighth-fewest points per game, 14.3.
No.5 Iowa present the toughest challenge yet for Maryland in their upcoming big Friday night showdown. Their ranked Big Ten opponents are undefeated on the season with a 4-0 record and the bookies’ favourite to improve to 5-0. The Hawkeyes defense looms large as one of the nation’s stingiest, conceding the third-fewest points per game, 11. The Hawkeyes offense, while averaging 293 yards and 28.8 points per game, has yet to dazzle. However, Spencer Petras led the Hawkeyes in a confidence-boosting come-from-behind win against Colorado State at the weekend.
Something’s got to give in this Big Ten showdown as top spot is on the line. Will Iowa underline it’s ranked credentials and improve to 5-0? Or will Maryland claim the huge upset at home and turn the conference on its head?
Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Maryland Terrapins
Date: Friday, October 1, 2021
Time: 8:00 PM ET
Location: Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium, College Park, MD
Iowa Hawkeyes Record: 4-0, 1-0 Big Ten
Maryland Terrapins Record: 4-0, 1-0 Big Ten
Iowa Hawkeyes Preview
No.5 Iowa Hawkeyes are soaring behind a four-game winning streak into Week 5. After opening their 2021 campaign with a 34-6 win over Big Ten rivals Indiana, the Hawkeyes reeled off three straight wins over Iowa State, Kent State, and Colorado State, beating both sides by double-digit margins. However, Colorado State made a fist of it, forcing the Hawkeyes to rally in a come-from-behind 24-14 win.
Quarterback Spencer Petras went 15-of-23 for 224 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception – his first of the season. Running back Tyler Goodson led the team in rushing with 57 yards on 18 carries while wide receivers Keegan Johnson and Sam LaPorta combined for 137 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
Iowa’s run defense looked good against Colorado State, holding the Rams to their lowest output (95 rushing yards) Saturday. However, the injury to star running back David Bailey two minutes into the game was a contributing factor. His absence impacted the Rams’ run game significantly.
Iowa struggled to stop Rams quarterback Todd Centeio, who had the defense on its toes with his dual-threat capabilities. Centeio made big plays through the air and on the ground, challenging Iowa’s defense with his diverse set of skills. The three quarterbacks Iowa faced up to that point had combined for a total of 14 rushing yards.
Maryland Terrapins Preview
The Maryland Terrapins are flying high behind a perfect start to their 2021 campaign. They opened with a 30-24 win over W. Virginia followed by a 62-0 evisceration of Howard. In Week 3, the Terrapins recorded their first Big Ten win over Illinois, edging their conference rivals 20-17. Most recently, they beat Kent State 37-16.
Quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, the younger brother of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, shredded the Golden Flashes defense, going 31-of-41 for 384 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. Running-back Tayon Fleet-Davis led the Terrapins with 60 yards rushing and two touchdowns, while wide receiver Dontay Demus acquired 108 yards on four receptions and a touchdown.
Kent State got away with 458 yards of total offense but was unable to convert those yards meaningfully. Maryland’s defense thwarted nine of their 13 possessions, forcing turnovers on downs four times. They sacked quarterback Dustin Crum five times and forced a fumble. On the downside, the linebacker Branden Jennings left the game with an apparent leg injury.
Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Maryland Terrapins Odds
The Iowa vs. Maryland odds predictably pay lip service to the ranked opponent, raising their value at the expense of the hosts. The Hawkeyes have the better pedigree, and they are widely expected to win outright at the expense of the plucky Terrapins, who are looking to end a run of six straight losing seasons.
As of Sunday, the line is Hawkeyes -3.5 with most top-rated sportsbooks. The line opened at Hawkeyes -4, but has moved towards the hosts since. Some books have gone down to Hawkeyes -3 already. The total is at 45.5 points.
Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Maryland Terrapins Betting Preview
Maryland is off to a stellar start but it arrives at a tough spot in the schedule, with a date against No.5 Iowa on Friday and No. 11 Ohio State next weekend. It follows that these two games will reveal how good Maryland really is and how good Taulia Tagovailoa is too.
Tagovailoa and the high-flying Terrapins offense can put up points in a hurry, but they could struggle to make an impact against Iowa’s tough defense. Through Iowa’s defense, the Hawkeyes can control the tempo of the game. That will put the pressure on Maryland’s defense. If the D-unit doesn’t hold up, Maryland will struggle to keep this game close, never mind win it. Simply put, they can’t cough up another 458 yards again. Just because Kent State didn’t capitalize doesn’t mean Iowa won’t take advantage.
NCAFF Picks: Iowa Hawkeyes -3 (-110)