Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:00 AM EST odds are subject to change.
Duke's Mayo Bowl -Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
Maryland +109 over N.C. State
12:00 PM EST. This Mayo Bowl showdown between the Wolfpack and Terps get the early start today but these former ACC rivals often compete for the same mid-Atlantic recruiting base, and a bowl game in Charlotte presents a fantastic opportunity for one team to gain the upper-hand on the other. After a rough second half of the regular season, Taulia Tagovailoa will get the nod for the Terps but he will have a brand-new receiving corps to throw to. All three starting receivers, Rakim Jarre, Jacob Copeland and Dontay Demus Jr. have opted out. Starting tight end CJ Dippre has transferred to Alabama. The market doesn’t like that one bit, thus we have seen Maryland go from being a small favorite to being a small underdog. The market is also being influenced to side with the Wolfpack because this game is being played in North Carolina.
On the other side, NC State head coach Dave Doeren is keeping his plans at quarterback close to the vest. Three-year starter Devi Leary has been out since October. Backup M.J. Morris missed the last two games of the regular season, forcing fourth-string Ben Finley into the mix at the end of the year. Doeren was hopeful that Morris would be back in time for this game, but practice reports suggest that his status is still in doubt, and Finley may get the nod once again. Starting receiver Devin Carter and center Grant Gibson are both out.
Former offensive coordinator Tim Beck has left the Wolfpack to take Coastal Carolina's head coaching job, meaning N.C. State will have a new play caller for this one. There are plenty of questions on that side of the ball for NC State, but far fewer on the defensive side where the reports suggest that there are very few personnel issues. The Wolfpack's rushing defense allowed 3.6 yards per carry this season and with Tagovailoa missing his entire starting receiving corps, a run-heavy attack would play right into N.C State's strength. That’s X’s and O’s and thus we’ll reiterate that we couldn’t care less.
Wolfpack HC Dave Doeren doesn’t know his ass from his elbow so give a big edge in coaching to Maryland’s Mike Locksley. Furthermore, the Terps didn’t lose any games they were expected to win. The Terps’ five losses were to #4-ranked Michigan, Wisconsin, #14 Penn State, #2 Ohio State, and Purdue.
Meanwhile, Doeren walks around with a pull-string on his back. Yank it, and he says, “Defense is the strength of our team.” And it’s true, they held Texas Tech to 14 points, Florida State to 17, Wake Forest to 21. But QB Devin Leary, mostly healed up after an injury, instead said, ‘Get me outta here.’ There has been a three-QB juggling act since and none look the part. The Wolfpack lost to Boston College as a 17-point favorite. N.C. State was also a 12-point fav over Va Tech and escaped with a 21-20 victory in a game they should’ve lost. The Wolfpack lost to Louisville and they lost to Syracuse. Syracuse looked like catshit the last six weeks but now the market wants to turn catshit into caviar and get behind a falsely ranked (#23) and a very overrated team. Start the day off right folks. Go Terps.
Maryland +109 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.18)