College Basketball Odds & Picks for Louisville vs. Maryland: Back the Terps in Bahamas
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Louisville vs. Maryland Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The Baha Mar Hoops Bahamas Championship will conclude on Saturday as Louisville takes on Maryland in the event’s championship game. Tip-off is scheduled for 10 a.m. ET.
Both teams had impressive performances in their last games.
With less than seven minutes remaining, Maryland was down 71-63 against Richmond. But Donta Scott went on a heater, leading the Terps on a 17-3 run that would last over five minutes.
Louisville — which played its first game away from the Yum! Center this season — was able to pull away and dominate Mississippi State for what felt like the entire game.
Even though the Cardinals are still without head coach Chris Mack, both teams match up relatively evenly. Still, Louisville is a team Maryland might not be able to come back against if it finds itself in a deficit like it has had so many times this year.
The biggest question is: will the Cardinals be able to pull away against the best defense they’ve played so far this season?
For the Cardinals, it was a Thanksgiving feast on the defensive end and the backboards. Facing a Mississippi State team that has been shooting better than 40% from outside the arc, they were able to limit the Bulldogs to just 1-of-5 from 3-point range.
Louisville held a 41-25 lead at the half, leading by as many as 20 points in the first half.
The Cardinals looked like a completely different team in the Bahamas. After being out-rebounded in two of their first four games, the Cardinals dominated the glass, winning on the boards 47-38.
Louisville also appeared to leave its scoring issues at home, as it shot 41.3% overall while going 7-of-22 on 3-pointers.
Samuell Williamson led the Cardinals with 15 points and six rebounds, while Dre Davis accounted for 12 points and six boards. Malik Williams came up just short of a double-double with eight points and 10 rebounds.
Against Mississippi State, the energy and execution on both defense and the glass — two areas that Louisville has been strongly criticized for so far this season — was the best its been all season.
In the first half, the Bulldogs were held to just 25% shooting from the floor, including 0-of-5 on 3-pointers. They even had a scoreless stretch that lasted six minutes and 34 seconds.
On the glass, the Cardinals seized a 27-20 rebound advantage at the half, including 9-to-4 on offensive boards. That led to 12 second-chance points.
One issue for Louisville that still remained in the Mississippi State game was its lacking success at the charity stripe. Louisville has struggled from the line this season, hitting just 65%, and it was even worse against the Bulldogs, making just 59.1% of its free throws.
Maryland had an issue with fouling in its last game, so I won’t be surprised if free throws come into play again.
Maryland went into the locker room at the half vs. Richmond with a deficit for the fourth time this season. Maryland couldn’t do anything against the Spiders to end the first half, as Richmond went on a 12-0 run. Richmond was able to move the ball around and create effortless scoring opportunities.
Although Maryland was able to overcome the first-half deficit later in the game, in the future, it will become increasingly challenging to bounce back from large deficits at the half.
At the end of the first half, the Terps’ bench players — made up of Julian Reese, Xavier Green and Ian Martinez — were unable to get on the board. Reese and Green grabbed three and two rebounds, respectively.
The starters surged in the second half to catch up and defeat Richmond, though.
Fatts Russell totaled 15 points, 11 of which came in the second half. Qudus Wahab added 13 points for Maryland.
But Hakim Hart put together a season-high 24-point performance and tied his career-high of four steals. Hart shot 8-for-9 from the field, 4-for-5 from deep and scored 19 of his 24 points in the second half.
At the same time, Eric Ayala added 20 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
Maryland has been one of the more balanced teams this year, ranking inside the top 50 in both offensive and defensive efficiency. But the Louisville defense could spell trouble for a team that has been very hot and cold throughout games, matching up prolonged droughts with streaky scoring.
The Cardinals may not give the Terps a chance to bounce back if they go on another drought and fall into a deficit.
Louisville vs. Maryland Betting Pick
Louisville looked great for the first time this year against Mississippi State and I think it is a team that will only improve as the year goes on. However, I’m not ready to trust the Cardinals just yet.
Maryland’s biggest weakness has been fouling, which will be eliminated if the Cardinals continue to struggle at the line.
As of writing, the line for this game is still not out, but I don’t imagine it will be more than two points in either direction. If Maryland is favored by any more than two points, I will be laying off. If it is two or less, I’ll be betting the moneyline.
And if they are the underdog, take the points in what could be a very close championship game.