Thursday’s NCAAB Betting Previews: Maryland-Purdue, Iowa State-Iowa

Thursday’s NCAAB Betting Previews: Maryland-Purdue, Iowa State-Iowa article feature image

USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Iowa’s Tyler Cook and Iowa State’s Marial Shayok

Following a pair of enticing college basketball slates, we’re handed some leftovers Thursday evening. But don’t fret, they’re worthy for the holiday season.

The Big Ten continues its early season docket with Maryland-Purdue, while Iowa State and Iowa renew their in-state rivalry. Which sides deliver the most value? Let’s dig in.

>> All odds as of Wednesday night. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NCAAB odds and track your bets

Maryland at Purdue

  • Spread: Purdue -7
  • Over/under: 148.5
  • Tip: 7 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: BTN

After losing four starters from last season, the Boilermakers have begun showcasing their flaws in consecutive losses to Michigan and Florida State. They combined to average 0.95 Points Per Possession in those two games, and Carsen Edwards has settled for his fair share of isolation sets, as he’s shooting just 14-of-40 (35%) from the field during that stretch.

Purdue coach Matt Painter has stated the need to polish up the team’s ball movement, and the Boilermakers thrive off getting open 3s in transition — with 48.9% of their attempts coming via behind the arc.

Maryland won’t be an easy team to accomplish that against with its sound perimeter defense, yielding a 30.3 opponents 3-point percentage.

On the flip side, the Terrapins have pushed the tempo more than a campaign ago, and their 20th-rated Adjusted Offensive Efficiency (113.2 Points Per 100 Possessions) has proven to be potent.

Junior guard Anthony Cowan (16.4 ppg) vs. Edwards will be a fun matchup to watch, but Purdue’s struggling 3-point defense (36.4%) will be a crucial difference in the Terrapins hanging around throughout.

Mark Turgeon’s unit also presents a couple of efficient 6-foot-10 bigs in Bruno Fernando (15.4 ppg) and Jalen Smith (12.3 ppg), giving the Terps another advantage against the Boilermakers’ average interior defense.

Maryland is 3-1 ATS (75.0%) over the past two regular seasons when getting at least 6.5 points, per our Bet Labs data. The Terps have hit in the under in 11 of their past 14 games against Big Ten opponents, too.

I like both trends to continue in West Lafayette.

THE PICKS: Maryland +7;  Under 149

Iowa State at Iowa

  • Spread: Iowa State -1.5
  • Over/under: 152.5
  • Tip: 8 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: Fox Sports 1

The Cyclones pushed and failed to cover in the past two meetings against the rival Hawkeyes.

Nevertheless, the Cyclones’ 19th-ranked Adjusted Defensive Efficiency (92.9 opponents’ points per 100 possessions) should fluster the Hawkeyes’ attack (2-5 against the spread) that averaged 0.99 points per possession against Wisconsin and Michigan State’s elite defenses.

For some context, Iowa averaged 1.13 points per possession over its first six contests.

Iowa has been overly reliant on getting to the free throw line — its 58.2% Free Throw Rate (FTA/FGA) ranks second in college basketball. That’s not a sustainable way to create offense, particularly against a defense like Iowa State that’s allowing a 23.2% free throw rate, 23rd-lowest in the country.

Both teams have combined for a trio of injuries — most notably, Cyclones’ guard Lindell Wigginton (foot injury) will sit out until around Big 12 play.

But his absence hasn’t harmed Steve Prohm’s offense as much as expected, with Marial Shayok (19.4 ppg), Michael Jacobson (16.8 ppg) and Talen Horton-Tucker (14.5 ppg) all making major leaps in their respective games.

Shayok has emerged as a key ball handler and an occasional perimeter threat (34.2%). The athleticism of the ex-Virginia guard and Horton-Tucker represent tough covers for the Hawkeyes, especially if Joe Wieskamp (ankle) can’t suit up. Iowa coach Fran McCaffery noted the 6-foot-6 freshman could be a game-time decision.

Once again, I’ll be betting on the road squad.

THE PICK: Iowa State -1.5

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writer and are based on his research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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