This is a game I have had circled on my calendar since the conclusion of their first matchup against each other. Purdue can blame their recent woes on Maryland as the Terps laid the blueprint on how to give the Boilermakers trouble. After going down in the first half by a sizable amount, Maryland amped up the pressure and opened the cracks in the Purdue armor. While they couldn’t get the job done, they now get an opportunity for revenge. Can Maryland get the win this time around?
Purdue Vs. Maryland Odds
Oddsmakers don’t think so as they opened the Terps as a +2 underdog on their own home court. Bettors are backing them early, taking them down to +1.5 as of writing. This opening number was a disappointment as I was hoping to catch a key number of +4 or higher, but the Boilermakers recent woes have ruined those hopes. That sadly makes this a pass for me, potentially looking to grab the Terps live should they start off slow again.
As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a moderate pace as oddsmakers opened the total at 133. Bettors were quick to back the over, taking the number up to 133.5 in some shops. This comes as a bit of a surprise as Maryland will look to bring the same pressure that gave Purdue fits late in their first matchup. Both tempos also run under friendly, playing at some of the slowest paces in the nation.
Purdue Vs. Maryland Prediction & Pick
The Pick: Wait on the under
With that said, I will wait on the under as this early line movement is indicating that the total is going to continue to rise until tipoff. The total closed at 132 in their earlier matchup, ending comfortably under the total by combining for 113 points. I struggle to see what the major difference is now in this one that warrants an increase in the total as both offenses have run more anemic after hot starts, as well as Maryland laying the blueprint to slowing Purdue down.
That will be the key metric to this under cashing at the window, limiting the Purdue offense as they have continued to dominate with a top-10 ranking in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency. While they still run efficiently, their scoring output has dipped as opposing defenses have learned to pressure their guards. Purdue has mightily struggled with defensive pressure, being prone to turnovers and forcing looks at the rim.
When Purdue is able to get past the pressure and establish their offense, they still play friendly towards the under in their halfcourt sets. A brunt of their scoring comes from two pointers in the interior with Zach Edey leading the way. The offense runs completely through him as he averages 22.2 points per game, abusing smaller big men with an elite touch around the rim. Even with added defensive attention, he has excelled at hitting back towards the perimeter to reset the set.
Maryland’s offense also plays well towards the under, basing a brunt of their success on their ability to attack the mid-range. Their emphasis on attacking underneath the arc has been because of their inability to find any sort of consistency from the perimeter. Maryland currently shoots a lowly 30.4% from three, allowing defenses to sag off and dare them to beat them from deep.
Purdue Vs. Maryland Key Matchups
Will Purdue’s defense be able to continue giving Maryland fits?
Mayland mid-range shooting vs Purdue defense
Purdue has been one of the best two way teams in the nation, ranking top-20 in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency per Kenpom. Their ability to play at a high rate on both ends has made them one of the most formidable teams in the nation, one poised for a deep run come March Madness.
With Zach Edey anchoring the interior, the rest of Purdue can stretch out to cover more ground to smother opposing looks. They now also get the added benefit of going against an inferior perimeter shooting team, being able to afford to sag off.
Sagging off to put more defensive emphasis in the mid range will give Maryland fits as a majority of their scoring comes from two pointers. This will prolong Maryland’s scoring efforts, playing friendly towards our under.
With early money hitting the over, I will wait to see how high this total can get before taking a position on the under.