College Basketball Odds, Expert Picks & Prediction for Northwestern vs Maryland (Sunday, Feb. 26)

College Basketball Odds, Expert Picks & Prediction for Northwestern vs Maryland (Sunday, Feb. 26) article feature image

John Fisher/Getty Images. Pictured: Northwestern’s Boo Buie.

Northwestern vs Maryland Odds

Sunday, Feb. 26
12 p.m. ET
Big Ten Network
Northwestern Odds
-110o / -110u
Maryland Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

We've got another potential snail's race on our hands coming up here on Sunday afternoon as the Northwestern Wildcats hit the road to College Park to take on the Maryland Terrapins.

The Cats are coming off a brutal collapse this past Thursday at Champaign, as they blew an 18-point first-half lead to Illinois and ended up taking a 66-62 loss.

Maryland, meanwhile, is coming off a comfortable 88-70 win at home over Minnesota, so it'll be interesting to see how both teams come out for a noon ET tip.

While Northwestern is close to losing the Big Ten regular-season title, Maryland will be looking to improve its seeding for the Big Ten Tournament and build some momentum heading into March.

Let's uncover the best betting angle by breaking down these two teams.

Northwestern Wildcats

I've been quite vocal on past breakdowns and on Twitter that I think this Northwestern team is due for some major regression. But before we talk about why, let's talk about some of the things that the Cats do extremely well.

First off, they're 20th in defensive efficiency, and they're a team that loves to rely on their defense. By keeping the tempo slow on offense (286th), it allows them to limit turnovers and lower the in-game variance. This could work against Maryland, considering they have a similar style on offense.

The breakout of star senior guard Boo Buie (17.6 PPG) has helped the Cats tremendously on offense. Buie and backcourt mate Chase Audige have been providing the majority of the spark on offense.

Now, let's get into why regression is looming for Northwestern. It's 225th in Rim-and-3 rate, and its -7.07 record luck suggests it shouldn't have as many wins as it's picked up.

The Wildcats also struggle from beyond the arc, ranking 277th in the entire country in 3-point percentage.

This is also a matchup in which they may have trouble grabbing second chances on offense, which has been the case throughout the course of the season thus far (203rd in offensive rebounding percentage).

I have a hard time believing they're going to come out of College Park with a win unless Buie goes absolutely nuclear.

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Maryland Terrapins

Maryland has been a tough team to figure out this season. All of its underlying metrics suggest it should be nationally ranked, but the team's struggles on the road have set it back immensely.

There's a lot to like about this Terps team that does a lot of things exceptionally well. Kevin Willard's squad currently sits in the top 30 of both offensive and defensive efficiency. Maryland also does a decent job of grabbing offensive rebounds and hitting its free throws.

As mentioned, the Terps are a snail on offense just like Northwestern.

The main area of concern I have with this Terps team is their shooting from beyond the arc, as they currently rank 319th in 3-point percentage. It's scary how similar both of these teams are defensively, but it's the offense where the Terps have a massive edge.

Northwestern vs Maryland Betting Pick

I originally thought I was going to back Maryland here. I think it's a decent spot considering how deflated Northwestern might be after Thursday's loss.

However, I think the better play here is the under.

Both of these teams love to go slow and rely on their tough defense. Both of these teams struggle from beyond the arc, and I think we can end up in an ugly game.

Maryland is also a much better team at home as opposed to on the road, so I think it'll show up with a good effort here.

Add in the fact that it's a noon ET tip-off, and we have a lot of things playing in our favor. Instead of laying the points with the Terps, I'll happily take this under and watch this rock fight.

Pick: Under 130.5 (Play to 130)

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