2023 Music City Bowl Odds: Maryland Terrapins vs. Auburn Tigers Preview

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The Maryland Terrapins and Auburn Tigers did enough to make a bowl game this season, but not much more than that. Neither team came especially close to winning 10 games or making a New Year’s Six bowl game or doing anything of consequence. Neither team came close to winning a division championship or threatening for a championship of any kind. The Music City Bowl is a consolation prize for these teams, whose levels of motivation will be highly questioned in the days leading up to kickoff on Saturday, December 30 in Nashville. Let's take a closer look at this matchup along with the NCAAF odds.

Maryland Terrapins vs Auburn Tigers

Date: Saturday, December 30th, 2023 – 2:00 PM ET

Location: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN

2023 Music City Bowl Odds: Auburn -7

*Odds courtesy of BetOnline (check the full BetOnline review)

Maryland Terrapins

Maryland star quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa will opt out and prepare for the NFL draft. He will not play in this game.

Maryland defensive back Avantae Williams, running back Ramon Brown, linebacker Kobi Thomas, cornerback Corey Coley, linebacker Jaishawn Barham, tight end Corey Dyches, tight end Rico Walker, cornerback Gavin Gibson, offensive tackle Ja’Kavion Nanar, and safety Tamarcus Cooley have all entered the transfer portal. They will not play in this game.

You can see that a lot of Maryland players aren’t interested in playing in this game, but the big story is Tagovailoa, who is a talented but erratic quarterback. He wasn’t relentlessly consistent for Maryland, but Auburn should be very happy that he isn’t playing in this game nonetheless. When Tagovailoa plays well, he can be really hard to stop. When he’s great, he’s an amazing player. The problem is that he can’t maintain that level of play most of the time. Still, Auburn knows it won’t face a Maryland offense with a high ceiling. Not having Tagovailoa should limit what Maryland is able to do.

Auburn Tigers

Auburn receiver Malcolm Johnson, receiver Jyaire Shorter, receiver Omar Kelly, defensive lineman Stephen Johnson, edge rusher Stephen Sings, defensive lineman Enyce Sledge, and defensive back Austin Ausberry have all entered the transfer portal. They will not play in this game.

This was the first full season for Auburn head coach Hugh Freeze, who had previously coached in the SEC at Ole Miss. At Ole Miss, Freeze beat Nick Saban and Alabama multiple times, making Freeze one of the few SEC coaches to repeatedly beat Saban. This past season at Auburn, Freeze should have beaten Saban, but the Auburn secondary broke down on a fourth and goal faced by Alabama in the final moments of regulation time. This fourth and goal play was at the 31-yard line. It was basically 4th and 31. Auburn couldn’t stop Alabama. The Tigers rushed only two men instead of three or four. They did not generate any pressure whatsoever on Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe, who was able to sit in the pocket for a long time and eventually pick out receiver Isaiah Bond in the back corner of the end zone for a touchdown. Auburn let that game slip away. The Tigers now have to ask themselves if this game against Maryland is important or not. If they are motivated, they should be able to win comfortably.

Maryland vs. Auburn Prediction:

Auburn 27, Maryland 16