Maryland vs. Rutgers College Basketball Odds & Picks: Scarlet Knights Match Up Well
Rich Schultz/Getty Images. Pictured: Ron Harper Jr.
- The Maryland Terrapins look for their fourth straight win Sunday when they travel to the RAC for a Big Ten clash against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.
- Rutgers hasn’t been shooting the ball well from behind the arc, but that should change in this game.
- Kyle Remillard previews the matchup and shares his betting pick below.
Maryland vs. Rutgers Odds
|Time||Sunday, 3 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Saturday and via FanDuel.|
The Maryland Terrapins travel to the RAC for a Big Ten clash against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights Sunday afternoon. Maryland is looking to make it four wins in a row after taking down Minnesota and Nebraska twice. The Terrapins sit at 13-10 and have struggled to adjust after losing Anthony Cowan Jr. to graduation and Jalen Smith to the NBA.
It’s been a streaky season for Steve Pikiell’s Scarlet Knights, who opened the year with six straight wins. They followed that up losing five straight, then won four striaght. Rutgers currently has a 91.8% chance of reaching the NCAA Tournament according to Bart Torvik’s TourneyCast. They will need to win some games down the stretch to make that a reality, starting with Maryland.
When Maryland Has the Ball
Maryland is led by junior guards Aaron Wiggins and Eric Ayala. Wiggins averages 13.5 points and 5.6 rebounds while Ayala is putting up 14.6 points and 3.8 rebounds a game. Donta Scott leads the frontcourt for the Terrapins scoring 11.8 points and grabbing 6.7 rebounds per contest.
Consistent scoring has been an issue for the Terps. In conference play, Maryland is scoring just 98.2 points per every 100 possessions. That ranks fourth-lowest in the Big Ten, ahead of only Northwestern, Michigan State, and Nebraska.
They average 69.7 points per game, but in the last six games they are scoring just 63.7. The Terrapins have been prone to long scoring droughts and don’t have that one playmaker who can secure a bucket during these stretches. They play at a slow pace and use the majority of the shot clock.
When Rutgers Has the Ball
Coming off a 71-64 loss to Michigan, the Scarlet Knights played hard down to the last second, hitting a late 3 to cover the 9.5-point spread. It was a frustrating loss for Rutgers, which turned the ball over just three times, its fewest in a game since joining the Big Ten. They have a much more efficient offense than Maryland, scoring 111.2 points per every 100 possessions.
The Scarlet Knights are led by Ron Harper Jr., who is putting up 16.0 points and 6.0 rebounds. They’re a deep team with five players that contribute 9.0 or more points per game. Among those five is 6-foot-11 junior Myles Johnson, who is grabbing 8.5 rebounds a contest. He is going to look to take advantage of the smaller Donta Scott for the Terps.
Rutgers can’t afford any slip ups in the final four games if it wants to continue playing in March. If the Scarlet Knights win this game against Maryland and beat Indiana at home, then they will essentially be playing the rest of the season for seeding purposes. Rutgers already beat Maryland earlier in the season, 74-60. Harper scored 27 points in that game and the Scarlet Knights outscored the Terrapins 47-32 in the final 20 minutes.
Betting Analysis & Pick
I don’t give Maryland’s three-game winning streak much credit as it came against Minnesota, who is winless on the road, and then back-to-back wins against the worst team in the Big Ten, Nebraska. Rutgers matches up well with Maryland, which is a perimeter-oriented team. They don’t rebound the basketball well and don’t get to the line often.
Rutgers hasn’t been shooting the ball well from behind the arc. That should change in this game as Maryland is allowing teams to convert on 35.4% of their 3-point attempts, second worst in the Big Ten.
Rutgers are a feisty group and play extremely hard all game long. They’ve played the third hardest schedule in the country which gives more credit to the 12-8 record. This will be a hard fought game, but I am backing Rutgers who have more scoring threats than Maryland. I see both Ron Harper Jr and Myles Johnson having big games and covering the four point spread at the RAC.
Pick: Rutgers -4 (play up to -5.5)