Maryland vs Wisconsin College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions

Maryland vs Wisconsin College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions article feature image

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  • Maryland and Wisconsin meet in an all-Big Ten affair from Madison.
  • Will these defenses continue to shut down opposing teams from beyond the 3-point line?
  • Anthony Dabbundo breaks it down and gives his Maryland vs. Wisconsin betting pick.

Maryland vs. Wisconsin Odds

Tuesday, Dec. 6
9 p.m. ET
Maryland Odds
-110o / -110u
Wisconsin Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The Kevin Willard era in College Park is off to a stellar start as Maryland has started his first season with eight consecutive victories. The Terrapins will play their second true road game and second conference game in the Big Ten on Tuesday night as they visit Wisconsin in the Kohl Center.

Wisconsin may not have Johnny Davis anymore to carry its offense, but the Badgers are 6-2 with wins against USC, Dayton and in-state rival Marquette.

The Badgers have been winning with their defense, which is top-25 in KenPom's Adjusted Efficiency and has held opponents to just 27% beyond the 3-point line.

A look at the underlying statistics for both of these defenses suggests that regression is coming and that this Big Ten matchup could be higher scoring than the market indicates.

Maryland Terrapins

Maryland doesn't have a ton of elite shooters to space out this Wisconsin defense, but it owns one of the best offenses in the entire country at the rim.

Synergy grades out this Terrapins offense as elite in rim shots and dribble drives. They have superior backcourt athleticism that will make them difficult to guard, even in the half-court where the Badgers will try to force them to play as much as possible.

If the Terrapins are able to get out in transition at all, they should be able to generate plenty of open looks, too.

The offense seems pretty legitimately sustainable, as they're not turning the ball over, they're able to crash the offensive glass and they're grading out well despite pretty mediocre 3-point splits.

But similar to the Badgers, the 3-point defense has been unsustainably good to this point in the season.

Maryland has held opponents to just 26% on 3s. The defense has improved at guarding opponents, but not enough for it to jump from 35% 3-point allowed (last year) all the way to 26%.

Regression is coming for this defense once teams start to make open 3s against it. And that's likely to be against a Wisconsin offense that can space the floor and make shots from all over.

Wisconsin Badgers

The Badgers' defense is 23rd in KenPom efficiency, but I'm not really buying that number based on the rest of the statistical profile.

The Badgers don't force many turnovers, they don't have elite rim protection and the defense is built almost entirely on opponents failing to make any jump shots against them.

The Badgers have allowed an unsustainably low percentage of 3-pointers this season. Wisconsin has allowed opponents to hit 33% of their 3s in each of the last three seasons, and there's nothing in this team's makeup that suggests this year would all of a sudden see improvement.

This is a classic example of defenses running really well early in a college basketball season, and it's not going to continue. It creates an inflated perception in the market of how good the Badgers' defense really is.

If you're average at ball pressure and only above average at rim protection, then you're not going to be a top-30 KenPom defense. The Badgers rank 72th nationally in near proximity field goal percentage, per Haslametrics.

The Badgers will want to make this game as slow as possible, but Maryland's offense has been elite in transition and can cause problems for an untested Badgers defense on the fast break.

Wisconsin is still elite at taking care of the ball with point guard Chucky Hepburn taking a considerable step forward in his role and production this season.

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Maryland vs. Wisconsin Betting Pick

This is a battle of somewhatcontrasting paces because Maryland's offense likes to move quickly in transition and Wisconsin looks to keep every game in the half-court.

The pace projection seems about right to me based on the market, but the market is too high on the efficiency of both of these defenses.

Neither team will continue to hold opponents under 30% from 3 and both defenses are just average at forcing turnovers and protecting the rim.

Wisconsin's defense, for example, allowed 77 points to Marquette, 69 to Kansas and 78 to Wake Forest. The Badgers' defense is unlikely to be any better than it was last year, and that means the market is too low on this total.

I like the over at 130 or better in this matchup, as both offenses protect the ball, get to the rim and start hitting 3s against these overrated perimeter defenses.

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