Tuesday College Basketball Odds & Betting Picks: Penn State vs. Maryland, BYU vs. Nevada
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: TJ Haws
As we head into the heart of December, Tuesday nights provide some great college basketball matchups.
The headliner is No. 4 Maryland traveling to Penn State, where the Terps haven’t won since 2015.
On the other side of the country, BYU’s now full roster welcomes in the Nevada Wolf Pack.
Let’s see which teams have the advantage on the college hardwood.
Tuesday College Basketball Betting
Odds as of Tuesday morning and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150). No strings attached. No rollover required.
Penn State vs. Maryland
- Spread: Maryland -1
- Over/Under: 144
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN2
Penn State (7-2) hosts the undefeated and No. 4 ranked Maryland (10-0) at the Bryce Jordan Center on Tuesday Night. The Nittany Lions have won the last three meetings at home against the Terrapins, and the last time Maryland won at Penn State was in February of 2015, when Melo Trimble was the point guard.
The Terrapins narrowly escaped their last game, winning 59-58 over Illinois after a 30-foot bomb from guard Anthony Cowan gave Maryland the lead with 20 seconds left. This will be the first true road game for Maryland, which is an underwhelming 5-5 against the spread this season.
Penn State is always tough at home and has the aforementioned advantage in University Park against the Terps. Senior Lamar Stevens (16.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg) is a returning first-team All-Big Ten player and is joined by senior forward Mike Watkins (11.2 ppg, 9.7 rpg) who ranks fourth in the nation with 3.8 blocks per game.
The Nittany Lions have an elite defense that ranks 27th in adjusted defensive efficiency per KenPom, but they are vulnerable from beyond the arc, ranking only 216th in 3P defense. However, the Terrapins aren’t shooting it well enough to take advantage, especially in a road location they have historically struggled.
Maryland is still a young team with an average of 1.26 years of college experience per player. After escaping with the one-point home win in a game they deserved to lose, this is a prime spot for Maryland’s first loss of the season.
The Pick: Penn State +1 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
BYU vs. Nevada
- Spread: BYU -7.5
- Over/Under: 153.5
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
BYU (7-4) is back to full strength after playing without senior forward Yoeli Childs (21.1 ppg, 10.5 rpg) for the first nine games due to a suspension. With Childs now in the lineup, BYU is a dangerous offensive team regardless of opponent.
The Cougars rank 23rd in adjusted offensive efficiency and 16th in effective field goal percentage. But their team 3P shooting is their best weapon.
The Cougars rank 12th in the nation in 3P shooting at a blazing team average of 41%. Senior guard Jake Toolson (42.1%), sophomore Alex Barcello (45.5%), and senior forward Dalton Nixon (48.4%) are all lethal from beyond the arc. Even the dominant interior play of Childs has been enhanced by him making 4 of 5 from deep.
The key for BYU is that with Childs now back, it does not rely as heavily on the 3P to score. However, the same cannot be said for Nevada.
The Wolf Pack are reliant on 3-pointers more than almost anyone in the nation. They generate over 20% of their points from 3P and have attempted 264 shots from deep this season. Nevada simply cannot rely on high-efficiency 3P shooting on the road at BYU, especially when the Cougars allow opposing teams to only shoot 29.2% from beyond the arc.
Nevada is only 6-4 against the spread this year with only two true road games, a blowout loss at Davidson and a win at Air Force where they allowed 85 points.
It is a very difficult task to try to outscore BYU, especially in its home gym. The Wolf Pack do not play enough defense to keep this game close and will have no answer for Childs inside. I am laying the 7.5 points in what I see as a comfortable BYU home win.
The Pick: BYU -7.5 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]