Maryland meets Illinois on Friday, September 17, as the 2021 college football season goes on with more Week 3 action, so we’ve prepared the best Terrapins vs. Fighting Illini betting pick and odds along with the key team stats and betting trends. 

These two Big Ten foes meet for the first time since 2018 when the Terrapins dismantled the Fighting Illini as 16.5-point home favorites, 63-33. Maryland opened as a 7.5-point road fave for Friday’s clash, while Illinois is a +255 moneyline dog with a total of 60.5 points on BetUs Sportsbook.

The Terrapins search for their third straight win 

After finishing the abbreviated 2020 season with a couple of straight losses, the Maryland Terrapins (2-0; 2-0 ATS) are off to a flying start in 2021. They beat West Virginia 30-24 as 2.5-point home underdogs and Howard 62-0 as 48.5-point home favorites, averaging 535.0 total yards per contest.

In his third year at the helm, Mike Locksley is searching for his first winning season with the Terrapins. Locksley hopes that junior QB Taulia Tagovailoa has improved after a disappointing 2020 campaign, and Tagovailoa has completed 76.2 percent of his passing attempts through the first two weeks of the new season.

Taulia has tossed for 1011 yards, seven touchdowns, and seven interceptions in four games in 2020. This time around, he has 606 yards and six touchdowns in just two outings. Tayon Fleet-Davis has 26 carries for 189 yards and a TD, while Rakim Jarrett and Dontay Demus have combined for 24 receptions, 450 yards, and four touchdowns.

The Fighting Illini hope to snap a two-game skid  

The Illinois Fighting Illini (1-2; 1-2 ATS) kicked off the 2021 CFB season with a 30-22 victory to Nebraska, upsetting the odds as 6.5-point home favorites. They upset the odds in a 37-30 home loss to UTSA, too, playing as 4.5-point home favorites, while the Fighting Illini suffered a heavy 42-14 defeat at Virginia this past Saturday.

Illinois was a 10.5-point road dog against the Cavaliers. The Fighting Illini had a bad day in the office and yielded a whopping 556 total yards while racking up just 337 in a return. Sophomore QB Artur Sitkowski threw for 221 yards, a TD, and a pick, while RB Chase Brown had seven totes for 41 yards and a TD.

Through the first three games in 2021, Sitkowski has recorded 611 yards, six touchdowns, and an interception, completing just 56.9 percent of his passing attempts. The Fighting Illini are scoring 24.7 points per game on 358.3 total yards while yielding 33.7 points on 481.7 total yards in a return.



  • 4-2 ATS in the last six games overall


  • 1-5 ATS in the last six games overall        
  • 1-5 ATS in the last six games played in September

Maryland Terrapins vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Pick

The Terrapins’ offense looks ready to rumble, while the Fighting Illini’s defense has shown a lot of flaws through its first three showings in 2021. Hereof, I’m expecting the visitors to come out on top by at least a touchdown.

Illinois’ secondary will have a really tall task in this matchup. Taulia Tagovailoa has impressed so far this term, as well as his favorite targets, Dontay Demus and Rakim Jarrett. Maryland’s defense is still a mystery, but the Terrapins’ offense should have enough firepower to win this game.

Pick: Take Maryland Terrapins -6.5 at -130     

The Total:

This should be a proper high-scoring affair, so I’m backing the over on the totals, expecting the Terrapins and Fighting Illini to combine for 61 or more points. Maryland will look to exploit the Fighting Illini’s leaky secondary, while Illinois’ offense should score a few touchdowns in front of the home fans.

The Fighting Illini hasn’t looked bad on the offensive end thus far. Maryland has allowed just 57.0 rushing yards per game over the first two weeks, but their opponents couldn’t brag with a powerful ground game.

Pick: Go over 60.5 points at -110