Maryland at Alabama Picks and NIT Betting Odds
by Dave Schwab - 3/26/2013
This year’s NIT quarterfinals get underway on Tuesday night with the Maryland Terrapins heading on the road to square off against the Alabama Crimson Tide. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. (ET), and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Maryland earned a trip to the NIT quarterfinals as the No.2 seed in the top half of the bracket with an 86-70 rout over Niagara as a 10-point favorite in the opening round followed by a 62-52 victory over Denver as a 4.5-point favorite last Thursday. The total stayed “under” against the Pioneers after going “over” in its previous four contests.
The Crimson Tide are the No.1 seed in this bracket and lived up to the top billing by knocking off Northeastern 62-43 as 11-point favorites and Stanford 66-54 as 4.5-point favorites in their first two tournament games. The total stayed “under” in both contests and has now stayed under in six of their last eight games.
Maryland at Alabama Betting Storylines
Maryland’s main claim to fame this season was beating Duke twice (straight up and against the spread), but that alone was not enough to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Including the two wins in the NIT, it is now 24-12 SU and 16-12-1 ATS on the year. The Terrapins will have to win this game on the road where they are 6-9 SU but 9-5-1 ATS this year to advance to the semifinals
Dez Wells leads Maryland in scoring with 13.2 points, and Alex Len is averaging 11.7 points and a team-high 7.7 rebounds. As a team, the Terps are scoring 71 points a game and shooting 46.5 percent from the floor and 33.6 percent from three-point range. They remain one of the top rebounding teams in the nation with an average of 40.8 a game.
Trevor Releford has been a force for Alabama this season with an average 15.1 points a game while shooting 47.8 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from beyond the arc, but, overall, the team is only averaging 63.1 points and hitting 43 percent of its shots from the field. The Tide will be at a distinct disadvantage under the boards in this matchup with just 32.6 rebounds a game.
The main factor that has the capability to carry this team further in this tournament is a shut-down defense that has allowed an average of just 58.7 points a game overall and 55.5 points on its home court. Alabama has only given up 60 points or more in three of its last eight games. Despite a 10-point loss to Florida in the SEC Tournament, the Tide held the Gators to 61 points after holding them to 64 points on the road during the regular season.
Maryland at Alabama NIT Betting Odds and Trends
The Terrapins are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games against the SEC and a perfect 5-0 ATS in their last five games against a team with a winning record. The total has gone over in four of their last five games following an ATS win.
The Crimson Tide are 6-0 ATS in their last six games against a team with a winning record and 4-1 ATS in their last five home games. The total has stayed under in their last eight nonconference games.
These two teams last met in November of 2011 with Alabama coasting to a 62-42 victory as a 7.5-point home favorite. The total stayed under the 128-point line.
Maryland at Alabama Picks and Betting Predictions
Both teams come into this matchup in solid form and good health, so it should be a tight, well-played game for all 40 minutes. The slight edge in the matchup might tend to tilt towards Alabama with the home-court advantage, but the play is on the Terrapins and the 2.5 points. Their ability to dominate this game in the paint will be enough to keep the outcome in question until the final one or two possessions.
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