Pinstripe Bowl Picks, Predictions and Odds: Maryland vs. Virginia Tech

Dec. 29, 2021
Jonathan Willis
VI Betting Expert

This year's Pinstripe Bowl features familiar foes as the Maryland Terrapins take on the Virginia Tech Hokies. Kick off is set for 2:15 p.m. ET and will air on ESPN from Yankee Stadium in Bronx, New York.

Score Prediction

Maryland 34, Virginia Tech 24

Best Bets

Over 54.5 (-110) at DraftKings

Pinstripe Bowl Predictions

It was a disappointing year for both the Maryland Terrapins and Virginia Tech Hokies. Maryland looked like a potential sleeper after a 4-0 September, but the Terrapins were blasted by Iowa in early October and stumbled to a 6-6 record. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech had to knock off rival Virginia for the Commonwealth Cup to become bowl eligible after firing Justin Fuente.

Virginia Tech is in a state of flux coming into this game. The Hokies fired Justin Fuente and replaced him with Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Fry, but not before a lot of players left the program. Maryland didn’t beat a team with a winning record after September, but the Terrapins should be able to get the upper hand on the Hokies in the Pinstripe Bowl.

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  • Matchup: Big 10 vs. ACC
  • Date: Wednesday, December 29, 2021
  • Venue: Yankee Stadium
  • Location: Bronx, New York
  • TV-Time: ESPN, 2:15 p.m. ET

Maryland Terrapins Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 6-6
  • ATS: 4-8
  • O/U: 7-5

Taulia Tagovailoa put up some big numbers for Maryland this season. He was a dark horse Heisman Trophy contender through September, but a five-interception performance against Iowa on October 1 dashed those dreams. Tagovailoa was sacked multiple times in each of his last seven games, yet he still surpassed 300 yards through the air four times in that stretch.

Maryland’s downturn coincided with the season-ending injury to standout receiver Dontay Demus Jr. Demus averaged 18.1 YPR and was the Terps’ second leading receiver even though he only played in five games. That led defenses to focus their coverage on Rakim Jarrett, and he wasn’t as able to get open down the stretch.

This team didn’t do a great job of running the ball in conference play. Tayon Fleet-Davis did explode for 18 carries for 152 yards and two touchdowns against Rutgers in the season finale, but he was a non-factor in almost every other Big Ten game.

The Terrapins had one of the worst defenses of any Power Five team. Maryland ranked 114th in scoring defense and 102nd in total defense. The secondary was particularly dreadful, surrendering 8.4 YPA and 275.2 YPG through the air.

Virginia Tech Hokies Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 6-6
  • ATS: 5-7
  • O/U: 4-8

The Hokies will reportedly be without at least seven starters in the Pinstripe Bowl. Braxton Burmeister entered the transfer portal a week before Christmas, so Connor Blumrick will be making his first career start. Blumrick is a Texas A&M transfer that threw just 16 passes for the Hokies this season.

This offense will be without its best two receivers too. Tayvion Robinson announced that he was transferring to Kentucky, and Tre Turner made the decision to miss this game in order to prepare for the NFL Draft. Da’Wain Lofton is questionable to play in this game too, leaving Virginia Tech perilously thin at receiver.

Fortunately, Raheem Blackshear will be playing in the Pinstripe Bowl. Blackshear was Virginia Tech’s top rusher this season, averaging 5.9 YPC for the Hokies. He announced that he was declaring for the NFL Draft, but he won’t leave the team until after this game.

Virginia Tech could be a little thin in the secondary too. Jermaine Waller opted out of this game, and Brion Murray and Nadir Thompson might not be available according to local reports. Defensive linemen Amare Barno and Jordan Williams aren’t going to take the field either, so the Hokies are going to start a patchwork unit on defense.

Maryland has gone OVER the point total in four straight games when facing a school from Virginia. (AP)

Inside the Stats - Maryland Terrapins

  • Record: 6-6
  • VI Ranking: 61
  • Points Scored: 327
  • Points Allowed: 389
  • PS/G: 27.2 (77th)
  • PA/G: 32.4 (105th)

Inside the Stats - Virginia Tech Hokies

  • Record: 6-6
  • VI Ranking: 48
  • Points Scored: 298
  • Points Allowed: 275
  • PS/G: 24.8 (93rd)
  • PA/G: 22.9 (39th)

Key Players to Watch

  • MARY: Taulia Tagovailoa - QB (308/450, 3,595 yards, 24 TD, 11 INT)
  • MARY: Rakim Jarrett - WR (56 catches, 769 yards, 5 TD)
  • VT: Raheem Blackshear - RB (121 carries, 711 yards, 6 TD)
  • VT: Tayvion Robinson - WR (44 catches, 559 yards, 5 TD)

Pinstripe Bowl Betting Conclusion

Mike Locksley is in his first bowl game, and he is looking to make the most of it. Locksley is a dynamite recruiter, but he has one of the worst winning percentages among active college coaches. A win here means much more to him and this program than most in this position, so the Terrapins are the play.

Pinstripe Bowl Betting Trends

  • Maryland has failed to cover the spread in seven of its last eight games.
  • Maryland has gone OVER the point total in four straight games when facing a school from Virginia.
  • Maryland has lost three of its last four games.
  • Virginia Tech has lost four straight games after winning the game prior.