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Wolf Pack vs. Terrapins Preview/Pick: Humanitarian Bowl

Humanitarian Bowl Nevada Wolf Pack vs. Maryland Terrapins

Maryland was a Jekyll-and-Hyde act for much of the season. At home they beat California, North Carolina State and North Carolina, and shut out Wake Forest (26-0). Away from home it was largely a different story. 

BetUS NCAA Football Betting Odds: NEVADA -1.5, Total 58

Here are some of the NCAAF betting trends as they relate to this matchup:

* NEV has won four of its last six games SU   * NEV has played four of its last five games OVER the total
* MARY has covered one of its last five games
* MARY has played six of its last eight games UNDER the total

Sure, the Terps won at Clemson, but they also were beaten by Middle Tennessee State, Virginia Tech and Boston College and were shut out by Virginia. Clearly they are going to want to rely on the running of Da’Rel Scott, who gained 959 yards on 4.9 yards a carry.

However, there were few teams in the country who stopped the run like Nevada did. The Wolf Pack were third in the country in that category, as a matter of fact, allowing just 2.6 yards an attempt, and although they lacked in terms of pass defense (321 yards/game – 119th in nation), we wonder to what degree Chris Turner (58%, 11 TD’s, 10 INT’s) will be able to exploit it. We have been waiting all season for Darrius Hayward-Bey to produce in such a way as to justify candidacy for the Biletnikoff Award, but the Maryland junior caught only 38 passes for 561 yards, and had only one 100-yard game.

Nevada provided a real downer in its post-season appearance in 2007, generating just 210 yards of offense in the New Mexico Bowl, dropping a 23-0 decision to the home-standing Lobos, and wants to atone for that. Colin Kaepernick, who triggers the “Pistol” offense devised by Hall of Fame coach Chris Ault, threw 19 touchdown passes last year with just three interceptions. This season he threw for 19 more TD’s, with just five picks, and not only threw for 2479 yards, but rushed for 1115 more (with 16 scores). He is one of the true double-threat quarterbacks in the country.

Luke Lippincott, the tailback who ran for 1420 yards last season, went down with an ACL injury very early and missed the rest of the season (he may get a sixth year on a medical waiver). Ault plugged in Vai Taua and the sophomore had 1420 yards himself, ranking ninth in the country. The Wolf Pack generates 500 yards a game, and this is a lot for Chris Cosh, Maryland’s defensive coordinator who was recently named to Bill Snyder’s staff at Kansas State, to deal with.

Nevada did not beat marquee programs this season (wins over Fresno State and Louisiana Tech, and a 35-19 loss to Texas Tech), but this team is unusual in the way it has controlled the line of scrimmage, gaining 6.2 yards a rush while allowing just 2.6. In this atmosphere, that will be too much for Maryland to handle. We’ll lay the small number with redemption-seeking Nevada, the 1.5-point favorite in the BetUS Sportsbook online NCAAF sports betting odds.

Our PLAY: NEVADA -1.5 ***

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