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Auburn vs. Maryland: Picks, best bets for Music City Bowl in Nashville on Saturday

The Tigers and Terps meet across the river from the honky tonks of Broadway. Auburn enters this bowl matchup as the favorite.

Maryland v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

The 2023 TransPerfect Music City Bowl will take place this afternoon as the Auburn Tigers will battle the Maryland Terrapins at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. This bowl will kick off at 2 p.m. ET and will air on ABC.

Auburn (6-6, 3-5 SEC) was streaky and inconsistent in its first year under Hugh Freeze. The Tigers started the season 3-0 before losing its first four SEC games, only to rally with three straight wins to reach bowl eligibility. The final two weeks were brutal as they got clobbered by New Mexico State in a 31-10 loss. And then of course, they had an opportunity to defeat Alabama in the Iron Bowl before Jalen Milroe completed an improbable touchdown pass on 4th and goal from the 31.

Maryland (7-5, 4-5 Big Ten) experienced another seven-win campaign under Mike Locksley this year and while reaching bowl eligibility again was nice, some fans viewed this year as a disappointment. The Terrapins rolled into October with a 5-0 record before experiencing a brutal four-game losing streak where they lost to the likes of Ohio State, Penn State, and even Illinois. Quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa put together his third straight 3,000+ yard passing season and surpassed Curtis Painter as the Big Ten’s all-time passing leader.

SP+ Rankings

Auburn: 37 overall, 66 offense, 24 defense
Maryland: 33 overall, 52 offense, 20 defense

List of injuries and players opting out of game


QB Robby Ashford – Out (Transfer Portal)
TE Tyler Fromm – Out (Transfer Portal)
WR Ja’Varrius Johnson – Out (Transfer Portal)
WR Malcolm Johnson – Out (Transfer Portal)
WR Omari Kelly – Out (Transfer Portal)
WR Jyaire Shorter – Out (Transfer Portal)


QB Taulia Tagovailoa - Out (Opt-Out)
RB Ramon Brown – Out (Transfer Portal)
WR Tyrese Chambers – Out (Transfer Portal)
TE Corey Dyches – Out (Transfer Portal)
RB Antwain Littleton – Out (Transfer Portal)
TE Rico Walker – Out (Transfer Portal)
WR Ryan Manning - Questionable (Undisclosed)


Against The Spread in 2023

Auburn: 6-6 ATS
Maryland: 6-6 ATS

Total in 2023

Auburn: Over 5-6-1
Maryland: Over 7-5

Team Pace

Auburn: 2.20 plays per minute of offense
Maryland: 2.37 plays per minute of offense

Odds at DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Auburn -6.5
Total: 47.5
Moneyline: Auburn -238, Maryland +195

Opening line: Auburn -7
Opening total: 46.5


47 degrees, partly sunny, 9 MPH winds SW

Our Best Bet for the Music City Bowl

Under 47.5

To put it bluntly, this has the makings of a gross bowl game between to teams who were above average at best down the stretch. Auburn was a mess offensively for stretches of the season with Payton Thorne as the starting quarterback. Meanwhile, Taulia Tagovailoa opting out of this matchup takes away some of the explosiveness for Maryland as backup Billy Edwards Jr. will get the start. I’ll just take the under here.