One of the best college bowl games outside of the power six blue-chip bowl games, not only to watch, but to bet on as well is a Big Ten-Pac 12 tilt between two 7-5 teams, the Maryland Terrapins and Stanford Cardinal.
These teams appear to be evenly matched on paper, which will make for a game in which every down, every ugly route, every missed tackle, ever missed opportunity will be count. Here’s what you need to know before you bet on the Terps and the Cardinal matchup at 10 p.m. on Dec. 30.
Analyzing The Foster Farms Bowl Odds, Pick & TV Schedule
Maryland surprised many people in their inaugural season in the Big Ten Conference. The Terrapins finished the season with a 4-4 record in conference, good for third place in the East division.
Meanwhile, Stanford football has been a premiere program the past three years since David Shaw took over for Jim Harbaugh who left for San Francisco and now is headed to his alma mater Michigan. The Shaw led Cardinal had appeared in three straight BCS bowl games and won at least 11 games in his three seasons, but Stanford took a major step back this year.
Foster Farms Bowl
Maryland Terrapins vs Stanford Cardinal
Date: Dec. 30, 2014
Start Time: 3 p.m. ET
Location: Santa Clara, California
Stadium: Levis Stadium
TV Info: ESPN
Stream Info: WatchESPN.com
Radio: Maryland Vs Stanford
Point Spread: Stanford -13
Game Total: 49
Maryland will win the Foster Farms Bowl if
They can hold the Cardinal to 17 points or less and win the turnover battle!
The Maryland Terrapins are going to have to play some better defense than they’ve played in their recent losses if they want to pull off the upset over a Stanford team that once had national title hopes and comes into this contest on a pretty nice roll. Maryland lost three of their last five games while giving up at least 37 points in each loss, including their 52-7 smackdown loss at Wisconsin on Oct. 25.
— Foster Farms Bowl (@FosterFarmsBowl) December 24, 2014
Maryland was outscored by an insane 141-46 in their trio of losses against Ohio State, Michigan State and the aforementioned Badgers. The bad news for the Terps is that starting quarterback C.J. Brown has been nothing more than mediocre in completing jus 53.2 percent of his passes with 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions this season. Brown also led the team in rushing with 569 yards, though he averaged just 3.8 yards per carry.
WRs Stefon Diggs and Deon Long have combined for more than 1,200 receiving yards and seven touchdowns.
Defensively, the Maryland Terrapins are allowing 28.9 points, 438.1 yards, and they’ve forced 30 sacks and 21 turnovers. Cole Farrand leads Maryland with 111 tackles and Yannick Ngakoue has 13 tackles for loss.
Maryland ranked just 110th in total offense and lost the turnover battle in two of their three final losses. Maryland’s defense also gave up almost as many points per game (28.9) as they averaged on offense (29.1).
The Terps will face a Stanford defense that ranked fifth overall and second in the nation in points allowed (16.0) so the Terrapins clearly have their work cut out for them.
Stanford will win the Foster Farms Bowl if
They play defense like ‘normal’ and put at least three scores on the board!
Stanford’s defense finished seventh against the pass (175.7 ypg) and an equally impressive 11th against the run (111.8 ypg) so they clearly don’t have any holes on that side of the ball. While the Cardinal struggled on offense for the majority of the season, Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan really caught fire over the team’s final two regular season contests.
The senior signal-caller completed 31-of-39 passes for 448 yards and two scores over the pair of games as the Cardinal took out Cal 38-17 and UCLA 31-10 in their finale. WRs Ty Montgomery and Devon Cajuste have combined for more than 1,100 receiving yards and seven touchdowns while TE Austin Hooper has six receptions in his last two games.
Stanford’s ground game is averaging 4.3 yards per carry, as Remound Wright leads the way with 552 rushing yards and eight touchdowns.
Defensively, the Stanford Cardinal are allowing 16 points, 287.4 yards, and they’ve forced 40 sacks and 15 turnovers. Blake Martinez leads Stanford with 95 tackles and Henry Anderson has 13.5 tackles for loss.
Stanford averaged a pitiful 13.4 points per game in their five losses this season, so scoring some points against the feisty Terps is a must!
Who will win the Foster Farms Bowl?
A decisive 62 percent of the betting public like Stanford to win this game and cover the spread and it’s easy to see why.
Stanford is far superior on the defensive side of the ball and with the way they put points on the board over their final two games, it’s kind of hard to see them losing this contest against a Maryland team that has been the definition of a ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ kind of team.
— Stanford Football (@StanfordFball) December 29, 2014
I’m not real fond of the two-touchdown spread, but I’m going to back Stanford to cash in seeing how they dominated in their final two games and Maryland got routed against three opponents that are right around Stanford’s playing level.
Maryland has gone 6-0 ATS in their last six games following an SU loss but they’re also 0-7 ATS in their L/.7 games after giving up more than 450 total yards in their previous game. The Terrapins are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games.
Stanford is 4-1 ATS in their last five bowl games and an identical 4-1 ATS in their L/5 neutral site games. The Cardinal are also 2-5 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.