NCAA Tournament Odds, Picks for West Virginia vs Maryland
Getty Images. Design by Matt Roembke/Action Network. Pictured from left: Jahmir Young of Maryland and Erik Stevenson of West Virginia
West Virginia vs Maryland Odds
|West Virginia Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Bob Huggins squaring off against Kevin Willard to kick off the first Thursday of the NCAA tournament? Sign me up.
West Virginia vs. Maryland is a really good 8/9 game between two balanced and talented teams that have aspirations of advancing to the second weekend.
Both the Terrapins and the Mountaineers will enter the tournament battle-tested after going through the grinds of the Big Ten and Big 12, respectively.
With West Virginia currently sitting as a short favorite in this matchup, where does the betting value lie? Let’s discuss.
Mediocre offensive play has held WVU back in the last few years. Huggins’ teams can always guard and get after you defensively.
This year, however, the offense is actually the strength of the team. The Mountaineers check in at 15th nationally in KenPom’s AdjO rankings, and this team shares the ball very well.
Erik Stevenson is the best natural scorer on the roster, and the senior can get it done at all three levels.
Stevenson is explosive getting to the rim and is a plus shooter from behind the arc, as well.
Maryland is rock solid on defense, so Huggins will need more than just Stevenson for his team to score it consistently on the Terps.
Joe Toussaint has been really steady in the backcourt, and Tre Mitchell can do a little bit of everything on the interior.
On the other end of the floor, containing Jahmir Young will be vital in this game.
Maryland also goes to the offensive glass pretty aggressively, so WVU will need to make a concerted effort to block out when shots fall off the rim.
Maryland has been one of the pleasant surprises of the college basketball season. The Terps are a complete team and rank inside the top 35 in both offensive and defensive efficiency.
Young has been dynamic with the ball in his hands all season and he feels like the type of guard that is built for March.
Donta Scott has also been phenomenal in his final year in College Park. The 6-foot-8 senior is a load to deal with on the block, but he can also step out to the top of the key and make shots from distance.
If there is a weakness for this team, it would be overall outside shooting. The Terps can go cold for long stretches, which can often spell disaster in tournament play.
Expect Hakim Hart to spend a lot of time chasing Stevenson, and that matchup will go a long way in deciding this one.
West Virginia vs Maryland Betting Pick
This game has the potential to create some fireworks right out of the gates in this year’s tournament.
There should be plenty of lead changes between two teams that are susceptible to big runs in both directions.
Ultimately, I give the edge to West Virginia to do just enough to pull it out.
Maryland has just not been the same team away from the XFINITY Center, and struggled in its only game in the Big Ten Tournament against Indiana.
There is basically no NCAA Tournament experience on Willard’s roster, either.
Meanwhile the Mountaineers have been playing some of their best basketball of the season in recent weeks, and they have started to take better care of the ball in the half-court.
Give me WVU to pull it out, earning the right to face Alabama in the Round of 32. Country roads, take me home.
Pick: West Virginia ML (-130 or Better)
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