Maryland vs. Indiana Odds, Picks, Predictions For Thursday College Basketball (February 24)
Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images. Pictured: Trayce Jackson-Davis (Indiana)
- Maryland faces Indiana on Thursday in a must-win game for the Hoosiers.
- Indiana has lost five straight after a gut-wrenching loss to Ohio State on Monday, but are the Hoosiers overvalued as home favorites?
- College basketball betting analyst Tanner McGrath breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Maryland vs. Indiana Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Big Ten play is approaching the home stretch, and these are two teams in free-fall.
After blazing out to a 7-4 start in Big Ten play, the Hosiers have dropped five straight games. That includes a rough overtime loss to Ohio State on Monday– a game that everyone agrees Indiana should not have lost.
Maryland has been pathetic since day one, firing its head coach earlier in the season. Danny Manning has led his Terps to a 5-11 conference record.
Maryland’s at-large bid hopes are dead. However, Indiana is firmly on the bubble.
The Hoosiers need this game, but can we trust them?
It’s hard to figure out what Maryland is.
But it’s not hard to surmise that Maryland is not as good as it should be.
Fatts Russell and Eric Ayala have flashed brilliance in the backcourt at times. Russell might be the fastest point guard in the country, and the Terps are top 20 nationally in Transition Efficiency thanks to him.
Fatts Russell more like Fatts Hustle pic.twitter.com/U2iJnRTw70
— Maryland Men’s Basketball (@TerrapinHoops) January 22, 2022
Meanwhile, Qudus Wahab has helped the Terps make huge strides in interior defense and rebounding — something last year’s team was miserable at. Wahab ranks in the top-75 among D-I players in Defensive Rebounding Rate and is one of the best two-way rebounders in the Big Ten.
Image credit: CBB Analytics
However, the team is all-around inefficient on both ends of the floor. Specifically, on the defensive end, where the Terps rank 10th or worse among the 14 Big Ten teams in Defensive Efficiency, eFG% allowed, Defensive Rebounding Rate, Block Rate, 2-point defense, and 3-point defense.
Perimeter shooting hasn’t come easy either. It seems like a lot of the offense depends on Ayala, Russell, and Donta Scott creating independently — Maryland is 274th nationally in Assist Rate while ranking top-50 in isolation frequency — and that hasn’t been working.
I don’t expect Maryland to win the Big Ten tournament and thus the season is likely almost over. The talent is there, but there is plenty of work for coach Manning ahead.
Things were going well in Bloomington until Rob Phinisee got hurt.
Indiana’s problem has always been guard play. The Hoosiers are stacked upfront, with Trayce Jackson-Davis, Race Thompson, and Miller Kopp leading the best two-way frontcourt in the conference.
But Phinisee has been a bust for years, and Xavier Johnson was playing only moderately better than he was in Pittsburgh.
However, those two have played some miraculous games this season. They combined for 38 points in the win over Purdue. Johnson also put up 19 with six assists in a win over Penn State. When those two are playing well, Indiana can beat anyone in the country.
But when those two aren’t playing well, Indiana is a middling Big Ten team. And if one of them gets hurt, it becomes really ugly. Hence why Indiana has lost five straight without Phinisee on the floor.
There’s no backcourt depth for the Hoosiers, either. Parker Stewart and Trey Galloway have played the majority of minutes since Phinisee went down, and Indiana’s eFG% drops a full five points when those two are on the floor (45.1%) compared to when they are off (50.8%).
Unfortunately, the future isn’t bright for Phinisee.
Mike Woodson says Rob Phinisee "won't be back anytime soon." #iubb
— Inside the Hall (@insidethehall) February 19, 2022
With Indiana on the bubble, that hurts.
Maryland vs. Indiana Betting Pick
Betting Indiana has been ugly recently. Not only have the Hoosiers dropped five straight, but they’ve also failed to cover in every single loss.
Meanwhile, Maryland has covered in three straight games.
This could set up well for a buy-low spot on Indiana and a sell-high spot for Maryland.
However, Phinisee is out for this game. That may prove to be an issue against a respectable Maryland backcourt.
Additionally, the market is moving rapidly in Maryland’s favor. This line opened at Maryland +7 but quickly moved to +6 at some books (at the time of this writing).
With the spread in the 7-to-5 range, I see no value on either team.
However, if the market miraculously moves to Indiana -5 or better, I’d be willing to take a shot with the Hoosiers. Indiana has enough frontcourt firepower to overpower this Maryland squad, especially in a must-win bubble spot.
But in the Big Ten, seven is too many points for any team. If the market miraculously swings the other way, I’d target Maryland at +8 or better. The Terps have enough backcourt firepower to hang within a few possessions of a shorthanded Indiana team.
Otherwise, this game is a pass for me.
Pick: Wait on market | Maryland +8 or better | Indiana -5 or better
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