It’s late morning on December 30th on the east coast, and it just dawned on me that today is the day Maryland faces Nevada in the Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl in Boise, ID. The game is going to be played at 2:30 Mountain Time, which is 4:30 EST – a time that guarantees I will miss the first half while finishing my work day and commuting home. The game time forecast calls for a a balmy Idaho winter day of 41deg. Did you know that Boise, ID is 2,374mi from College Park by car? Barring traffic in Wyoming, that’s an estimated 1 day and 11hr drive. On the other hand, Reno is a 422mi drive, which is a little over 4hrs at a rate of 100 mi/hr through what looks quite literally like nothing on the map.
This “neutral site” game should be like an average sparsely attended home game for Nevada, and I’m assuming that is why they are a 2.5pt favorite on the Vegas line. It may also be because there are a lot more people in Nevada that have access to the Vegas line than there are in Maryland, thus driving the spread up. This is a typical bettors trap game and is a perfect illustration of why over 90% of sports gamblers lose (it’s much higher than the 50% everyone assumes).
Maryland finished with a winning record after playing the 21st toughest schedule in the nation and beating four ranked teams. The ACC ended-up with 10 bowl eligible teams. There is no comparison between the WAC and the ACC. If Maryland hadn’t lost a fluke game against MTSU, then the Terps wouldn’t be in this mess to begin with. With all due respect to Ernest Hemingway, I am going to have to disagree with him and say the Terps are going to give the Nevada Wolfpack a beating.
After coming off games against Florida State and Boston College, the Wolfpack secondary is going to appear to be moving in slow motion. Maryland brings a much tougher defense than Nevada. The Terps offense moved the ball well against BC. Maryland might be suffering from apathy and travel fatigue, but there are players on this team like Darrius Heyward-Bey that are playing for a shot at the NFL, and others looking to solidify a starting position in 2009. I say they come to play. My prediction: Maryland 34, Nevada 24, and it won’t even be that close.
Don’t forget to stop by the Roady’s on Rte 301 in Centerville after the game, and tell ‘em Shell Games sent ya!