Sept. 17, 2021
Maryland Terrapins vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Predictions
Score Prediction - Maryland 38 Illinois 24
Maryland (2-0) hits the road for Champaign looking to keep its record unblemished. They took care of FCS Howard in a 62-0 tune-up last week in College Park, covering a 47-point number. Prior to that, the Terrapins picked up a 30-24 win against West Virginia as 2.5-point underdogs as the Under connected. As such, this will the conference opener for the Terps.
Illinois (1-2) has been all over the place so far through three games. It picked up its only victory in Week 0 against Nebraska in Champaign by a 30-22 count as 6.5-point underdogs to push on the total at most shops. After a successful debut for head coach Bret Bielema, the Illini took a step back with a loss at home to Texas-San Antonio, 37-30. A loss to the Roadrunners is nothing to be ashamed about, however, as they're a solid Group of 5 team with one of the best running backs in the nation, and a solid dual-threat quarterback at the helm. They then played their first game on the road at Virginia, and they got waylaid by the Hoos, 42-14, as UVA comfortably covered as a 10.5-point favorite. So the Illini are 1-2 ATS, and 1-1-1 on the total.
The Jekyll and Hyde Illini have had some trouble on offense, and that's not good against a Terps defense which just pitched a shutout, albeit against an FCS foe. The Illini just cannot be trusted on defense, either, as they're averaging 24.7 PPG while allowing 33.7 PPG. In addition, the D is surrendering 481.7 total yards per game, including 311.7 through the air.
QB Artur Sitkowski has been serviceable under center while filling in for the injured QB Brandon Peters (shoulder). It's uncertain if Peters will be able to return, and if he does return, if he'll have rust. That's a big concern.
Maryland has piled up 535.0 total yards of offense, and 339.5 yards per game through the air. They're 13th in the nation in each of those offensive categories. They're also 12th in the nation with 46.0 PPG, although that's a bit misleading since one game was against Howard, so that's not exactly like facing Alabama. Defensively, the Terps have allowed just 235.5 total yards per game, good for ninth in the country, and just 57.0 rushing yards per outing. But again, it's not a giant sample size. This game will be very telling.
Maryland Terrapins vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Best Bets
Maryland Terrapins vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Game Odds
Maryland Terrapins vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Betting Resources
Maryland Terrapins vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Betting Analysis
These teams have actually met just once before, as Maryland is fairly new to the Big Ten still. The Terps won 63-33 in College Park on Oct. 27, 2018, covering the number as the Over easily connected.
Maryland has a strong record recently as the favorite, covering seven of the past 10 in the situation. However, they haven't been as good as a road favorite, cashing in two of the past eight. They're also just 7-19 ATS in the past 26 on the road. However, they should be able to ease on past the Fighting Illini, who have trouble whether they're home, away or in a neutral site. It doesn't really matter.
Illinois is a dismal 2-5 ATS in the past seven games in Champaign, and they do not show well in Friday night games. They're 0-6 ATS in the past six appearances on a Friday, and 1-5 ATS across the past six appearances in the month of September. As mentioned above, they have moved the ball OK with Sitkowski under center, but the defense has been horrible. I expect Illinois to be able to throw up some points in this game, but they won't be able to match Maryland on the offensive side of the ball. Look for a late touchdown by the Terps to push this total OVER, as well as give them a cover.
Maryland Terrapins vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Betting Trends