NCAAB Tennessee Vs. Maryland Odds, Picks, Predictions (12/11/22)

Don’t let NFL Sunday distract you from the fact that we have a high-powered college basketball matchup as the Tennessee Vols take on the surprisingly great Maryland Terps. After starting out hot, Maryland’s undefeated streak finally came to an end when they lost to Wisconsin in their last game out. Can Maryland bounce back with a win over the elite Tennessee Volunteers?

Tennessee Vs. Maryland Odds

Oddsmakers don’t think so as they opened the Terps up as a +4.5 underdog. Bettors also side with the Vols, taking them up to as high as -5.5 as of writing. After going against an elite defense that resulted in a loss, Maryland now goes against an even better unit in Tennessee. A team that is ranked third overall in Adjusted Efficiency per Kenpom, Tennessee has been playing as one of the most complete teams this point of the season.

As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a premium as oddsmakers set the opening number at 131. A bit of a head scratching moment for me as I figured bettors would lean towards the under, but they have attacked the over instead by taking it up to as high as 134.5 as of writing.

Tennessee Vs. Maryland Prediction & Pick

The Pick: Wait on the under

With that said, I will wait on the under to continue to rise up until tipoff. It’s never easy going against steam, but if this movement continues to lead to a buy point on the under, then I will have no choice but to place a wager on it. Especially after we witnessed what happens when Maryland goes against an above average defensive unit. Now they matchup against the number one defense in basketball.

Ranked first in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, Tennessee has steam rolled opposing units to a hot start to the season. Normally one of the elite units of the SEC, Tennessee is poised for another year of success as they make a run for the National Championship. A feat that has eluded them during their dominant past few years.

Maryland has been no slouch on the offensive end, bringing in an elite balancing scoring effort to give opposing defenses fits to cover all of them. Tennessee is more than capable of smothering Maryland’s looks into low quality shot selections, ranking top-2 in both effective field goal percentage and defensive three-point percentage.

The gist of their defense comes from generating Havoc at the perimeter, fielding elite defensive on ball guard play who are more than capable of getting steals and pressuring opponents into trying to make bad passes. With ball hawks waiting to pounce on the panicked minded passes, this has allowed Tennessee to get out in transition against a backpedaling defense.

Maryland has been no slouch on the defensive side of things either, a sneaky part of their success while the offense has been commanding all the attention. Maryland currently ranks 32nd in Defensive Efficiency, while also well above average in defensive field goal efficiency and three-point percentage.

Tennessee Vs. Maryland Key Matchups

While Tennessee’s defense will be more than capable of limiting Maryland, can the Vols find consistent scoring production?

Tennessee scoring vs Maryland depth 

While Tennessee is one of the best teams in the nation, only ranked behind UConn and Houston per Kenpom, their main bugaboo has been their offense. Ranked 36th in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, the Volunteers have failed to shoot at a consistently high rate this point into the season.

It’s not as if they are without scorers, Tennessee currently plays nine players meaningful minutes with four of them in double digit scoring. Their main issue has been their inconsistency of being able to knock down the shot at an above average rate by ranking well below average in both two point and three-point percentage.

So how does Tennessee take care of opposing units outside of their sluggish halfcourt sets? By scoring in transition with their defense turning into offense and using their rebounding for second chance opportunities. Another metric to watch for our under as Maryland excels at rebounding as well.

Verdict

With Tennessee’s defense capable of shutting down the Maryland offense, while Maryland has key advantages that limit second chance opportunities and limited scoring on their part, I will take the under should it continue to rise as we near tip off.

Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

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