College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions: Maryland vs. Northwestern (Wednesday, Jan. 12)
Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images. Pictured: Robbie Beran (Northwestern)
- After falling short against Wisconsin, Maryland will travel to Northwestern looking to snap its three-game losing streak.
- The Wildcats have advantages in this matchup, though.
- D.J. James explains what those advantages are and how they will impact the outcome of the Big Ten affair.
Maryland vs. Northwestern Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Northwestern is the seventh-most unlucky team in college basketball at the moment. The Wildcats are still 7-5 against the spread and looking to improve upon that against the 6-9 (ATS) Maryland Terrapins at home on Wednesday.
Both teams have dropped three straight Big Ten games, but home-court advantage could send Northwestern to an easy cover, especially given its robust outside shooting and disciplined offensive approach.
Maryland has had a tough time on offense for much of this season. It ranks 249th in 3-point percentage and 210th in 2-point percentage.
Eric Ayala, Fatts Russell and Donta Scott all score in double digits, but Ayala is the only player on the Terps shooting over 35% from downtown.
Northwestern shoots 36.3% as a team, so this is a clear advantage to the Wildcats.
Maryland is also less disciplined on offense. The Terps turn the ball over 18.2% of the time, while the ‘Cats are one of the nation’s best at limiting giveaways (12.4%).
Northwestern’s defense can also cause some havoc, as it will turn over the opposition around 20% of the time. Chase Audige is the predominant factor in this defensive attack (two steals per game), but Julian Roper II and Robbie Beran also average at least one steal per game.
Russell and Ayala typically have the ball in their hands, but they have a tendency to get a bit rattled, which could happen here on the road.
On the other hand, the Terps do thrive at getting to the free throw line. Per KenPom, their FTA/FGA (free throw attempt to field goal attempt ratio) ranks 48th in the NCAA.
Northwestern ranks 306th on defense in this category, which is an automatic edge to the Terrapins.
If Maryland can get the ball inside successfully, Northwestern will foul them. This could partly be negated by the Wildcats’ home-court advantage.
Northwestern takes care of the basketball. It does not allow turnovers, as Boo Buie is the only player averaging more than two giveaways a game. If Buie can remain calm, the ‘Cats should be in good shape.
As mentioned before, NU can hit the 3. Ty Berry and Pete Nance hit above the 40% mark from downtown. Buie launches the most and hits around 32.5%, while Beran comes into the picture at 35.5%.
Essentially, the Wildcats have multiple guys around the arc who can shoot.
Maryland allows a 32.9% opponent 3-point percentage, so it does not defend the outside shot well. Northwestern can exploit this, and if it is shooting well, it can force this margin out of the range of the Terps.
Finally, Nance and Ryan Young are the NU posts. The Wildcats may not be very tall as a unit, but they can limit how many offensive boards their opponents grab.
Maryland only crashes the glass 27.5% of the time offensively, and NU ranks 23rd in defensive rebounding, so it will not permit second scoring chances for the Terps.
Maryland vs. Northwestern Betting Pick
Northwestern has the home-court advantage here and should be favored by more. The market is down on the Wildcats, but this should not matter, as Maryland is not particularly good this season.
The discipline and outside shooting is the story here. NU will bombard the Terrapins with 3s, if it sees open opportunities. If the Wildcats can also rebound on the defensive end, they should come out of this game victorious.
Finally, Northwestern shoots a few percentage points better from the free throw line, so if it is leading come crunch time, it should be able to seal the deal with a cover.
Take Northwestern at -3.5 and play it to -5.
Pick: Northwestern -3.5 (Play to -5)
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