Free College Basketball Picks: Maryland at Ohio State
by George Monroy - 12/3/2013
The Ohio State Buckeyes have rattled off six straight double-digit victories to start the season, including a huge road win over the No. 17 Marquette Golden Eagles two weeks ago. Ohio State is currently the No. 5 team in the nation and is looking to erase the sting of last season’s razor-thin loss to Wichita State in the Elite 8 round of the NCAA Tournament. The team will be playing a nationally-televised ESPN game on Wednesday night and will be looking to showcase its talented group of players by earning a dominant victory over Maryland.
The Maryland Terrapins opened the season with a one-point loss to the No. 18 Connecticut Huskies, and they have since gone 5-1 with four double-digit victories under their belts. The Terrapins are no strangers to playing in the national spotlight and will face four Top 25 teams this season to go along with 23 ESPN televised games. The team has not been invited to the NCAA Tournament since 2010 but has played in the tournament five times over the last 10 years. Let’s take a closer look at the Maryland versus Ohio State matchup and figure out which side of the spread has the most value to wager on.
Maryland at Ohio State Betting Story Lines
Ohio State started out the season on an impressive note, but the team has covered only two of its five posted spreads so far this year. Even though Ohio State has been dominant with six straight double-digit victories, the team has been the recipient of some very large spreads to start the year. The Buckeyes are averaging only 74.5 points per game, which for a top-ranked team is on the lower end of the scale. The team is excellent defensively and allows its opponents to score only 53 points per game. The Buckeyes have four players averaging double-digit points, but none of them score more than 11.3 points per game.
Ohio State is coming off of its best offensive performance of the season where the team was able to score 99 points on 69 percent shooting against the North Florida Ospreys. The Buckeyes had five players score in double-digits and were led by the 18 points, seven rebounds and two assists from center Amir Williams. The team also hit 60 percent of its three-pointers but shot poorly from the free throw line, hitting only 59 percent of its shots.
Maryland is coming into Wednesday’s matchup with four straight wins. The team is being led second-year player Jake Layman, who is averaging 16.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. Forward Evan Smotrycz has been contributing 13.7 points and 5.9 rebounds to the team while shooting 45 percent from beyond the arc. The Terrapins managed to score 89 points during their last outing against the Morgan State Bears on 62 percent shooting from the field and 65 percent shooting from the three-point line. The team has struggled at the free-throw line through its first seven games of the season and has not shot above 50 percent at the charity strip in three games.
Maryland at Ohio State NCAA Betting Odds and Key Trends
Ohio State opened as a -10 point favorite over the underdog Terrapins at BetOnline, while the total was off the board. Ohio State is 5-0 ATS against the Atlantic Coast over its last five meetings and 4-1 ATS over its last five Wednesday games. The team is 5-1 ATS following an ATS win but is only 2-6 ATS during its last eight matchups following an ATS win. The Buckeyes have struggled during their last eight overall games and currently have a 2-6 ATS record.
Maryland is 7-0 ATS over its last seven road games and has an impressive 11-2 ATS record over its last 13 overall games. Maryland is 4-1 ATS in its last five nonconference games and is 6-2 ATS following a SU win. The Terrapins have struggled on Wednesday games and are only 1-5 ATS over their last six matchups.
Free College Basketball Picks: Maryland at Ohio State Predictions
This is a matchup that Ohio State is probably going to win. The team’s defense is too elite to let this game slip away. The question for bettors is whether or not the team has enough offense to cover the 10-point spread. Maryland is not a powerhouse by any means, but the team has a tough schedule against big programs and will not be intimidated by a matchup against the No. 5 Buckeyes. Ohio State simply does not score a lot of points and prefers to play at a slow pace. Expect this to say in the six- to eight-point range for most of the night and for Maryland to pull off a late-game cover. Take the Terrapins plus the points.
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