Northwestern vs. Maryland Odds, Picks, and Predictions (02/26/2022)

northwesternnorthwAs the College Basketball season begins to wind down, there are still many battles going on between teams to get higher in their respective conference standings.  The Big Ten for one, has many deciding factors left to see who will get within the top four of the conference.  Getting top four allows teams to have a double-bye in the conference tournament, so it’s very important how the season plays out.  There is currently a three team tie for fourth.  The two teams right above that spot at the two and three spots will face off this weekend.

Northwestern is currently 2nd in the Big Ten and two games back from Purdue.  They are currently 11-6 in the conference, but they are also only two games away from falling all the way down in the conference standings so finishing the season well is crucial.  They have a 20-8 overall record and are currently ranked 21st in the AP poll.  They enter this game off a tough loss against Illinois which dropped them further towards the middle of the pack in standings.  Maryland sits at the third spot in the Big Ten with a 10-7 conference record.  The Terrapins are one game back from Northwestern so this game certainly has a lot of effect.  They have a 19-9 overall record and also an incredible home record with only one loss at home.  As this game is playing at Maryland, that will be a big factor in this matchup.  Let’s jump into this game’s picks and predictions: 

Northwestern vs. Maryland Betting Odds

There are no betting lines currently out yet but it can be speculated who may be favorites and what the spread line is.  This game being played at Maryland is a vital factor considering their home record.  Northwestern will also come into this game off of a loss when they were on a hot streak prior.  I think the home factor will have oddsmakers place Maryland as the moneyline favorites.  ESPN Analytics is giving the Terrapins a 75.7% chance to win this matchup.  This is a big percentage in favor of the non ranked teams, but that speaks to just how close the Big Ten is.  Maryland does have the edge in some other rankings.  In Kenpom’s analytical rankings, Maryland is ranked 17th while Northwestern is all the way back at 42nd.  Maryland will enter this game off of a Minnesota win but prior to that lost an overtime game to Nebraska.  I would expect Maryland’s spread line to be placed around 3 or 4 points as favorites in this one.

There is no over/under line total just yet but it’s easy to speculate what it may be when calculating their scoring averages.  The Wildcats currently average 68.3 PPG while Maryland is averaging 71.1 PPG.  Both teams average close when it comes to scoring but let’s look at their defensive prowess.  Northwestern currently allows 62 PPG and the Terrapins allow 63 PPG.  This shows they are close in that margin as well.  I think this means the line will be placed right around 135, give or take a couple points.

Northwestern vs. Maryland Picks & Predictions

My Pick: Maryland ML

Maryland has been unbeatable at home this year in the Big Ten and I don’t think that changes on Sunday.  Northwestern is very good but I think some of their steam will wear off as they drop a couple games before entering the tournament.  I think this game will be a big offensive game in the first before becoming more defensive heavy down the stretch, and the big guys on Maryland will be able to keep the Wildcats off the glass.  Depending on what the spread line is placed at, I’m tempted to take Maryland in that as well as I think they win by around 5 points.  Maryland will need to be able to win the game in the transition and also in the guard play, as Northwestern is led by their two talented guards.  Boo Buie and Chase Audige both average double digits in scoring and are the bloodline of the Wildcats offense.  Maryland luckily has great guard play on their own with Jahmir Young but also having Hakim Hart who averages 12.1 PPG will be helpful.  I think the biggest difference maker will be down low where Maryland certainly has the advantage with Donta Scott and Julian Reese.  Both of them average double figures in scoring.  Their ability to get rebounds will be crucial for a Maryland victory in this one.

I think this game will become a defensive game down the stretch so I may lean towards an under depending on where the line is placed.  I think the final score will hover around 125 or 130.  If the total is placed at 135 or higher, I would go with the under.

Key Matchup

Jahmir Young vs. Northwestern

The biggest matchup will be how Jahmir Young plays against Northwestern.  He will likely be having Buie and Audige switching on him, so will have plenty of responsibility in this game.  Young currently averages 16.1 PPG and will certainly need to show that scoring possibility in this one.  If he is able to get the rim and score with ease, expect the Terrapins to have no issue closing this game out.

Jack is a Hoosier by birth and Hoosier by alum. Full of hot takes but sharper predictions. Residing now in the Chicago area. When he's not chowing down on deep dish pizza and Italian beef, he's watching and betting sports. Junkie for everything CBB, NBA, NFL, CFB, and MLB. Here to feed you a system to follow that might even be better than the one Tom Brady was gifted his whole career.

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