Free NCAA Football Prediction: Terrapins vs. Fighting Illini Odds
Looking for Maryland Terrapins vs. Illinois Fighting Illini free picks? College football betting sees the Terrapins taking on the Fighting Illini on Friday, September 17th at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Illinois. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NCAA football season long so stay tuned for more FREE college football game Week 3 predictions like this Maryland Illinois free pick.
College Football Handicapping Analysis: Week 3
(2-0) Maryland Terrapins vs. Illinois Fighting Illini (1-2)
Date: Friday, September 17th, 2021
Time: 9:00 pm EST
Venue: Memorial Stadium Champaign, Illinois
NCAA Football ATS Spread Odds: Terrapins -7.5, Fighting Illini +7.5
NCAA Football Moneyline Odds: Terrapins -350, Fighting Illini +260
NCAA Betting Total Odds: O/U 59.5
The Maryland Terrapins will kick off conference play when they travel and take on the Illinois Fighting Illini this Friday night. The Terps will be looking to win their third straight game to start the season, while the Illini will be looking to avoid a third straight defeat.
HISTORY: These two teams have only met once since Maryland joined the Big Ten, and the Terrapins won that meeting 63-33.
The Maryland Terrapins have gotten off to a good start this season. After defeating their longtime rivals, the West Virginia Mountaineers, to open the year, Maryland shut out Howard last weekend, 62-0.
Taulia Tagovailoa’s career at Maryland may be starting to take off. The younger brother of the Miami Dolphins star quarterback has sent a message through the first two contests. He went 22-27 for 274 passing yards with three touchdowns last weekend against Howard, and he threw for 332 yards and three scores in the opener against West Virginia
Tayon Fleet-Davis has taken sole control of the backfield so far in his senior season. He was a stud against WVU, gaining 123 yards on 18 carries, and catching four passes. He scored last week against the Bison as well.
Dontay Demus Jr. has also started his senior year on a strong note. He’s posted identical statlines in both games, totaling 12 catches for 261 receiving yards and touchdowns so far this season. Sophomore wideout Rakim Jarrett has brought in 13 balls for 189 yards and two scores, giving the Terps a respectable tandem on the outside.
Last weekend, the Maryland defense shut out Howard and made them go 0/11 on third downs. The Terps also forced four turnovers in the win over WVU.
Illinois Fighting Illini
The Illinois Fighting Illini have struggled a bit out of the gate. After opening the year with a strong home win over Nebraska in Week 0, Illinois has dropped their last two games. An embarrassing home loss to UTSA was followed by a 28-point defeat to Virginia last Saturday.
Artur Sitkowski replaced an injured Brandon Peters in the opener against Nebraska, and led the team to a victory. He was even better in his first start against UTSA, totaling over 300 yards and tossing two touchdowns, but the defense couldn’t stop the run visitor’s run game. Playing from behind last week didn’t bode well for him, and the same story could repeat itself this Saturday.
An injury to junior back Mike Epstein has led to a committee approach for the Fighting Illini. Sophomore Chase Brown led the backfield with eleven touches last weekend, and he gained 69 yards and scored on the ground.
Isaiah Williams, Deuce Spann, and Daniel Barker give Sitkowski a solid group of pass catchers to target. Isaiah Williams had a big game against UTSA, and he leads the team with 19 catches for 183 receiving yards and a touchdown. Spann, a backup quarterback, has scored in each of the past two games. Barker is a three-year starter at tight end, and he caught two touchdowns against UTSA>
Illinois was gassed on the ground in their first two games, and they got torched through the air last week against Virginia. After allowing UVA QB Brennan Armstrong threw for 405 passing yards and five touchdowns, Tagovailoa may light them up as well.
Free Week 3 NCAA Football Pick
Maryland has been a sneaky addition to the Big Ten both on and off of the field. They’ve come and pushed longtime Big Ten schools to the brink, and they may have jumped one of the conference longest tenured schools this season.
4* Free Week 3 NCAA Betting Pick: Maryland -7.5
This won’t be a blowout, but it’s hard to see Illinois stopping anyone defensively right now. Maryland’s momentum should travel and carry into this weekend. They’ve looked strong on both sides of the ball through two weeks, and Tagovailoa’s improvements have taken this offense to another level.
Take Maryland’s game spread, and eye their first half spread too just in case things get explosive early.
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