'Over' Is Our NCAA Basketball Pick As Iowa & Maryland Light Up The Scoreboards

Charles Stark

Thursday, January 28, 2016 12:54 PM UTC

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016 12:54 PM UTC

Two of the best teams in the Big Ten matchup tonight when Iowa travels to take on Maryland. I believe this game will go down to the wire, but what will be the NCAA basketball pick?

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 146
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline


NCAA Basketball Odds
NCAA basketball odds boards have the total set for this game at 146.5 like at Bookmaker -110. This seems a bit high with Maryland being at home and good at controlling tempo, but for one of my NCAA picks for today, I will back over the total and look for these teams to get up and down the floor. This should be an up tempo, high pace game from the first tip.


Iowa Hawkeyes
Iowa is averaging 81.7 points per game while shooting 47% from the field, and allowing 67.9 points per game on 40.9% shooting from the field. On the season, Iowa is 10-6 on their over under totals overall, and 5-4 on the road. Head coach Fran McCaffrey has this team hitting on all cylinders right now, and they have scorers all around the floor. They can be really difficult to defend, so I think Maryland will have their hands full tonight. Offensively, they really push tempo averaging 62.4 field goal attempts per game, and they rank 13th in the country in making 29.3 of those on average. They move the ball extremely well averaging 70.8 assists per game which ranks 12th in the country, and they are ranked second in assist to turnover ratio. From the inside out, they don't do anything subpar on this side of the ball as they tend to push the pace and spread the floor. Iowa also ranks ninth in the country shooting 41% from beyond the arc. On the defensive side, they have some good statistics and defend beyond the arc just about as good as anybody in the country allowing opponents to shoot only 30.2% from distance. Except for that statistic, Iowa ranks across the board as a middle tiered defense, good but not great. What really jumps out at me is the fact that they rank in the bottom part of the country in opponent field goals and three pointers attempted per game. Expect Maryland to get a lot of good looks, and for Iowa to get up and down the floor.


Maryland Terrapins
Maryland is averaging 77.5 points per game while shooting 50.3% from the field, and allowing 64.1 points per game on 40.4% shooting from the field. They're just coming back off a tough loss against Michigan State so I look for them to bounce back tonight and play well at home. On the season they are 9-10-1 on their under over totals overall, and 5-6 at home. They got knocked a little bit for their lack of competition prior to their game against Michigan State, and I think that game showed that the Terrapins have a little ways to go to be considered a team to fear in March. Offensively, you cannot deny their statistics though and they are even more deadly at home. Maryland ranks in the top five in the country in shooting efficiency, shooting percentage, two point shooting percentage, and effective field-goal percentage. They don't push the tempo as much as Iowa, but they can put up points on teams that like to push the pace like the 100 points they put up against Ohio State two games ago. Of course Iowa will be a much stiffer challenge, but the pace should be fast all night. Defensively, the Terrapins rank 23rd in the country in defensive scoring, and 18th in opponent shooting efficiency. Like Iowa, the rest of their statistics are good but not great. They do like to control tempo, however, they tend to allow teams to put up quite a few shots allowing opponents to put up 58.4 field goal attempts per game which ranks in the bottom half of the country.

Both of these teams can score and I expect them to do so tonight. For one of your NCAA basketball picks, I recommend backing over the total when Iowa visits Maryland. Expect Iowa to continue their up-tempo pace, and for Maryland to be able to score quite a few of their own tonight at home.

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