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Maryland vs. Clemson Preview/Pick

NCAAF Week 5 Betting – Maryland Terrapins at Clemson Tigers

The Clemson Tigers (3-1 SU, 0-2 ATS), who have recovered after losing their first game in such resounding fashion, will play host to the Maryland Terrapins (3-1 SU, 2-1 ATS), who come south brimming with confidence, in an Atlantic Coast Conference college football clash that is slated for a Noon ET kickoff on Saturday at Memorial Stadium (natural turf) in Clemson, SC.

Saturday, September 27

BetUS NCAA Football Betting Odds: CLEMSON -10.5, Total 48.5
Here are some of the NCAA college football betting trends as they relate to this matchup:

* MD has won four of its last six games SU
* MD is 1-3-1 ATS in its last five road games
* MD has lost four of its last five road games SU
* MD has played its last four road games UNDER the total
* CLEM has won eight of its last 11 games SU
* CLEM has won 18 of its last 25 home games SU

Also….

* CLEM has won nine of the last 13 meetings SU
* MD has covered six of the last eight meetings
* Six of the last seven meetings have gone UNDER the total
* MD has covered four of the last five meetings as the road team
* CLEM has won four of the last six meetings SU as the home team

Clemson started the season with national championship dreams. And why not, with the talent the Tigers possessed in the backfield. Quarterback Cullen Harper was one of the best seniors in the country at his position, and James Davis and C.J. Spiller comprised arguably the best backfield duo in all of college football. But Clemson got off to a bad start, with a 34-10 thrashing handed to it by Alabama, and even though the team has come back with three straight wins, two of them were against The Citadel and South Carolina State (the other was against N.C. State), so the jury is still out. And Clemson ranks just 65th nationally in rushing, not to mention only 105th in tackles for loss. And if Harper throws two more picks, he will equal last year’s total.

The offensive line was the consideration that brought up some questions in ACC circles before the season began, and it has been a unit that is still a work in progress. That puts the Tigers, who were a consensus choice to win the ACC, into status as just one of several contenders. Is Maryland one of those contenders?

This is tough to answer as well. The Terps have been a Jekyll-and-Hyde crew, losing to Middle Tennessee State three weeks ago, then scoring an upset over California as a 14-point underdog. Maryland can run the ball, and both WR Darrius Heyward-Bey and QB Josh Portis provided quite a bit in the way of rushing yards last week, but Da’Rel Scott, who leads all ACC running backs, is nursing a shoulder injury, and is a game-time decision. Coach Ralph Friedgen is fortunate to have the threat posed by Portis, a Florida transfer who is playing the “Tebow” role for the Terps, and offering a balance for regular signal-caller Chris Turner.

Clemson, playing behind a more experienced offensive line, compiled 249 rushing yards in last year’s 30-17 win, but the previous three games were decided by a total of eight points. Friedgen is doing enough tinkering to keep his Maryland team less predictable, and that they’ll be as they take this one to the wire. We’ll grab the points with Maryland, the 10.5-point underdog in the BetUS NCAA college football betting odds.

JAY’S PLAY: MARYLAND +10.5 ***

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