Maryland vs. Belmont Betting Guide: Can Bruins Start Real 2019 NCAA Tournament Run?

Maryland vs. Belmont Betting Guide: Can Bruins Start Real 2019 NCAA Tournament Run? article feature image

USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Bruno Fernando and Dylan Windler

#6 Maryland vs. #11 Belmont, NCAA Tournament Betting Odds

  • Spread: Maryland -3
  • Over/Under: 146.5
  • Time: Thursday, 3:10 p.m. ET
  • TV: TruTV
  • Location: San Jose, Calif.

>> All odds as of Wednesday night. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and live win probabilities on your bets.

After an 81-70 win over Temple on Tuesday night in Dayton, No. 11 seed Belmont (19-10-2 against the spread) has now covered in six of its past eight games (6-1-1).

No. 6 Maryland (17-14-1 ATS) has dropped three of its past four ATS, including its loss to Nebraska in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament.

Which side presents more value in this Round of 64 matchup? Let’s break it down.

First Four Magic

Since the First Four started in 2011, at least one team from the four play-in games has advanced to the Round of 32 each season. Three of them have made the Sweet 16, while one advanced to the Final Four (VCU, 2011).

The Bruins notched their first NCAA Tournament win in program history against Temple on Tuesday. But make no mistake, coach Rick Byrd has always had one of the most creative offensive minds in college basketball, using a heavy dose of the Princeton offense.

Belmont’s Perimeter Mismatch

For the Bruins at least to cover, they’ll have to control the pace to get open 3-point looks through a Princeton-style offense that should frustrate Maryland.

Mark Turgeon’s Terps have been susceptible from  behind the arc, especially in Big Ten play, letting up the second-highest 3-point scoring rate (34.0%). And Belmont gets loads of open looks and cashes in.

Dylan Windler (20.8 ppg) posted just five points (2-of-7 shooting) against Temple, but expect him to raise his game to another level vs. a Terps team that should struggle to stick with the Bruins’ small-ball lineup. Windler is hitting almost 43% from deep this season, and Belmont has five players shooting at least 36%.

Maryland’s Inefficient Interior Attack

Even with two should-be dominant bigs in Bruno Fernando and Jalen Smith, the Terrapins notched the fourth-lowest 2-point scoring rate (48.3%) in conference play. Fernando owns a 23.5% turnover rate as well and has been a major contributor to Maryland’s below-average miscue percentage (19.8%).

Mark Turgeon’s bunch could take advantage of the Bruins’ saggy defense around the arc, but it’s at its best while playing inside-out through Fernando & Co. Belmont has allowed the 53rd-lowest 2-point clip (47.1%), so expect freshman big Nick Muszynski to provide plenty of resistance.

Given that the Terps have one of the least experienced teams in college hoops, their inconsistent play should be exposed, especially in an environment where most fans will be cheering on the underdog.

Eli’s Pick: Belmont +3, with some moneyline

Action Network Projected Odds

Get point spreads for this game and every possible tournament matchup with our bracket simulator built by Sean Koerner, our Director of Predictive Analytics, a former oddsmaker and FantasyPros’ most accurate in-season fantasy football ranker from 2015-2017.

  • Spread: Maryland -5 vs. Belmont
  • Over/Under: 148 vs. Belmont
  • Score vs. Belmont: Maryland 76.5 | Belmont 71.5
  • Win Probability: Maryland 66.1% | Belmont 33.9%

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game is 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.

How would you rate this article?