Duke’s Mayo Bowl picks, odds

This year’s Duke’s Mayo Bowl pits two teams with entirely different outlooks entering college football bowl season. One has weathered the storm all year amid intense adversity under center, while the other enters this game with an established quarterback and … not much else.

NC State lost star quarterback Devin Leary (pectoral) in mid-October and was down to its fourth quarterback by the regular-season finale. No matter, as redshirt freshman Ben Finley threw for 271 yards and two touchdowns to carry the Wolfpack past rival UNC and end the season with momentum.

Maryland vs. NC State prediction: NC State -1 (BetMGM)

Risk Free First Bet up to $1,000 with NPBONUS

New customers only. Must be 21+. AZ, CO, IA, IL, IN, LA, MI, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA, WV, WY only. (Welcome Offer not available in NY & PA) Full T&C apply.

Caesars Sportsbook Logo Square

First bet up To $1,250 On Caesars

New users only, 21 or older. NY, CO, DC, IA, IN, IL, MI, NV, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WV only. Full T&Cs apply.

No Sweat First Bet up to $1,000

21+. New customers only. AZ, CT, IA, IL, LA, MI, NJ, NY, PA, TN, WV, WY only. T&C apply

It’ll either be Finley or talented freshman MJ Morris (lower body) taking the snaps on Friday, forcing Maryland’s defense to adjust for either. That’ll be an even tougher task after top cornerback Deonte Banks opted out of this game to prepare for the NFL draft, joining receivers Dontay Demus Jr., Jacob Copeland and Rakim Jarrett as high-profile opt-outs for the Terrapins.

Maryland’s elite receiving corps was a key reason for its success offensively, so those missing pieces alone will put a lot on the shoulders of quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, who is still fighting through a nagging knee injury. That’s without mentioning the nine Terrapins in the transfer portal, including six on defense.

And then consider the locale: NC State was 6-1 at home this season and should benefit from a raucous “home” crowd at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. Maryland was blown out in its last two road games and simply has too much working against it here.

Maryland vs. NC State pick: NC State -1 (BetMGM)