Iowa vs. Maryland Odds & Picks: Betting Value on This Home Underdog?
G Fiume/Getty Images. Pictured: Eric Ayala (5) of the Maryland Terrapins.
- The Iowa Hawkeyes (15-7) travel to College Park, Maryland, to take on the Maryland Terrapins (11-12) at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday night.
- Iowa won the first meeting, 80-75, during a game featuring 54 combined points from Keegan Murray and Eric Ayala.
- The Terrapins are reeling and in desperate need of a win, but can you trust Maryland's fickle offense even in a revenge spot at home?
Iowa vs. Maryland Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Maryland looks to end a three-game losing streak when it hosts the Iowa Hawkeyes on Thursday night. The Terrapins enter this game coming off of a 82-67 loss to Ohio State. Maryland has now fallen 11-12 on the season and just 3-9 in conference play. This also marks the first time since 2014 that Maryland’s overall record has fallen below .500.
The Iowa Hawkeyes also needed a bounce-back performance in their most recent game versus Minnesota, and the team rose to the occasion. The Hawkeyes dispatched the Golden Gophers by a score of 71-59, thereby ending the team’s two-game losing streak.
Iowa has had a solid season, sporting a 15-7 overall record, but it has only managed a 5-6 record during conference play. The Hawkeyes rank ninth in the Big Ten Conference standings as of writing.
Thursday’s matchup between the Hawkeyes and Terrapins will be the second meeting between these two Big Ten conference foes: Iowa won the first meeting, 80-75.
However, this season the Terrapins have notched a 3-0 record in rematches of losses they had earlier in the season. Can Maryland make that rematch record 4-0 against Iowa on Thursday night?
The Hawkeyes are the second-best scoring team in the Big Ten, averaging 82 points per game. They also rank second in the conference in scoring margin (+11).
Keegan Murray spearheads the Iowa offense, contributing 22.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game while hitting 55% from the floor.
Expanding our scope beyond just the Big Ten, Iowa ranks 10th in Division-I in adjusted offensive efficiency (AdjO), per KenPom.
I don’t expect the Hawkeyes to have much difficulty scoring against the Terrapins. Maryland has been average on defense — but not impressive nor dynamic enough to slow down the Hawkeyes’ elite offensive attack.
Iowa’s defense hasn’t been as impressive as their offense but it’s not awful either. The Hawkeyes limit opponents to an effective field goal percentage (eFG%) of 49.3%.
Additionally, the Iowa defense has been particularly adept at forcing turnovers. Opponents average 14.7 turnovers per game against the Hawkeyes, which is the 55th-highest opposing turnover rate in Division-I basketball.
Unfortunately for Iowa, the defense did not deliver in the team’s first meeting against Maryland. Terrapins guard Eric Ayala scored 19 points in that game, and Maryland boasts a 6-1 record when Ayala scores 20 or more points.
If Iowa enables Ayala to get off again in Thursday’s rematch, then the Hawkeyes could be upset fodder.
Maryland ranks 209th in adjusted tempo, which should enable the Terps to slow down a fast Iowa offense at home. Furthermore, slowing down the Hawkeyes is one of the non-negotiables required for Maryland to win the game. After all, Maryland only averages 69.7 points per contest.
Nonetheless, the Terrapins have been particularly impressive on the glass, averaging 36.7 rebounds per game. Accordingly, they should be able to put up a fight around the basket to further muddy up the game.
The Terps are led by Eric Ayala who averages 15.7 points per game. Fatts Russell and Donta Scott are also major offensive contributors averaging double-digit points alongside Ayala.
Granted, Maryland struggles to shoot the ball from the floor. However, the team has been excellent at the free throw line. The Terrapins lead the Big Ten in made free throws and rank second in the conference in free throw percentage (75.1%).
Maryland’s mixed offensive profile notwithstanding, one key to winning outright against Iowa will be limiting Hawkeyes stud Keegan Murray. In the teams’ first meeting, Murray tied a career-high with 35 points. If Maryland allows Murray to score at will again in Thursday’s rematch, the end result will likely be the same as the first meeting.
Iowa vs. Maryland Betting Pick
Iowa has been somewhat stagnant in conference play, and I’m not confident enough in the Hawkeyes defense to trust them in this spot — especially as a four-point road favorite against a hungry Terrapins squad that is well overdue for some positive shooting regression.
Maryland kept the game within five points on the road earlier this season, I won’t be surprised if Maryland wins outright on their home court. Back the Terrapins at +3 or better.
Pick: Maryland +3 or better.
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