Stuckey: Betting Penn State-Maryland and 2 Other Situational Spots for Wednesday
Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Penn State forward Lamar Stevens
- Which college basketball teams are primed for a letdown on Wednesday night? Which could come out flat or get caught looking ahead?
- Stuckey details his three favorite situational betting spots, starting with an early 6:30 p.m. ET tip between Maryland (-1.5) at Penn State.
Today is Wednesday. Tomorrow is Thursday. Friday is March. If that doesn’t excite you, we probably wouldn’t be friends.
Similar to last night, three situational plays I circled before the week made the final cut for Wednesday. Let’s get into tonight’s trio, starting with a Big Ten matchup between two teams trending up in Maryland (-1.5) and Penn State.
Season Record: 35-26-2 (57.4%) +6.86 units. All odds as of 3 a.m.. ET
Penn State +1.5 vs. Maryland
6:30 p.m. ET on BTN
Maryland is having an outstanding year and is a real threat to make noise in March. However, I think this is a great spot to fade the Baby Terps, who rank 350th out of 353 Division I teams in experience.
Not only does Penn State have revenge from an earlier season loss, but Maryland could get caught looking ahead to a revenge game of its own against Michigan this weekend.
Also, I just don’t think Penn State is getting enough respect in the market right now. This is a top-50 team nationally that is playing some of the best basketball in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions have home wins this season over Virginia Tech and Michigan, and an overtime loss to Purdue.
Lamar Stevens, who deserves real First Team All-Big Ten consideration, is playing on another level right now. In fact, only Cassius Winston and Carsen Edwards are averaging more points per game during conference play.
From a matchup perspective, Penn State can compete on the glass and I think it can turn over a Maryland team that can be careless with the rock. During conference play, the Terps rank dead last in turnover percentage, which spells trouble on the road against a Penn State defense that ranks third in that same category. Maryland also ranks 14th out of 14 in steal percentage — a category the Nittany Lions actually top the Big Ten in during conference play.
Also, in that game earlier this season in College Park, Penn State actually led the Terps with 10 minutes remaining, and was within one possession in the final minutes. The Nittany Lions were right there and know they can play with the Terps, who I think will be a little flat.
I expect an inspired effort from a very confident Penn State team that has a shot to finish with a top 10 seed in the Big 10 with a win. Why is that important? Well, it would give them a first round bye in the conference tourney.
I think PSU adds another home win over a top 25 team.
Oklahoma State +16 at Texas Tech
7 p.m. ET on ESPNU
One of the most important keys in sports betting is having a short term memory. And while it pains me a little to go back to the well with Oklahoma State after Saturday, I have to at this number — especially in this spot.
This is just a classic buy low/sell high spot after what we saw this past Saturday:
- Texas Tech beat Kansas 91-62
- Oklahoma State lost 85-46 to Kansas State
There is obviously huge letdown potential for Texas Tech after it absolutely smacked Kansas on Saturday night in Lubbock. We might see a slow start for the Red Raiders, similar to what we saw last night with Kentucky after it smoked Auburn over the weekend. And I expect a motivated Oklahoma State squad after that embarrassing effort in Manhattan.
Texas Tech was recently a 6.5-point favorite in Stillwater. Now, the line suddenly swings almost 10 points in just two weeks? Overreaction city.
Oklahoma State also has revenge from an embarrassing loss to TTU in that game in Stillwater. The Pokes have played competitively on the road in conference play, the last game notwithstanding.
Illinois State -1.5 vs. Missouri State
7 p.m. ET on ESPN+
This is your revenge spot of the night. If you don’t follow the Missouri Valley closely, this is how Illinois State lost to Missouri State earlier this year:
Missouri State half-court buzzer beater to beat Illinois State 66-65 oh my.
— Josh Frydman (@Josh_Frydman) February 10, 2019
That loss sent Illinois State into a tailspin that it didn’t recover from until its last game in a win over Drake.
Speaking of Drake, Missouri State could potentially be peeking ahead to its season finale with the Bulldogs. That game that could potentially decide who wins the Missouri Valley regular season title.
This is also a massive game for Illinois State in regards to the Missouri Valley conference tournament. A win would go a long way in helping the Redbirds secure a top-6 seed, which means a first-round bye in Arch Madness.
Illinois State has had a pretty disappointing season compared to preseason expectations, as it was picked to finish second in the Valley. However, this is an experienced team, led by seniors Milik Yarbrough and Phil Fayne, that I think will make a late season push into the conference tournament.
I think the Redbirds carry their momentum over from that Drake win and get their revenge over Missouri State for one of the most brutal losses of the season.
Editor’s note: The opinions on these games are from the individual writer and are based on his research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.