Grab Maryland For Your NCAA Basketball Picks vs. Nebraska As Terrapins Look Ahead To Big Ten Title

Willie Bee

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 2:34 PM GMT

Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016 2:34 PM GMT

Looking to keep pace of Indiana and Iowa in the Big Ten, Maryland heads out on the road to Nebraska, part of our Hump Day free NCAA basketball picks lineup.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Maryland -6
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

If the Maryland Terrapins are going to live up to the preseason college basketball futures odds and win the Big Ten, they have to avoid any missteps like the potential one Wednesday night on the road at the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Ranked No. 3 in the latest coaches poll, Maryland can't get caught looking ahead to a big home date with No. 16 Purdue this Saturday. Tonight's battle at Lincoln's Pinnacle Bank Arena can be seen on the Big Ten Network beginning at 8:30 PM (ET), and the opening -6 spread on Maryland has stuck at Pinnacle with 142 for the total.

Wednesday's fracas is the only scheduled meeting between the two schools this season, and just the third ever in the brand new rivalry. Both previous matchups came last season, Maryland's first in the Big Ten, and the Terrapins swept the contests with the teams splitting against the NCAA basketball odds.

Both clashes also finished 'under' the totals which were in the 122-122½ range. The Terrapins just managed to cover a 2½ point spread in Lincoln thanks to Dez Wells' jumper in the waning seconds, topping the Cornhuskers by a 64-61 count. Nebraska's Shavon Shields led all scorers in that game with 26, and the Cornhuskers left 14 points at the free throw line on 23-of-37 shooting.

 

Terps Coming Off Big Road Win Over Buckeyes
Maryland (19-3 straight up, 10-10-2 against the spread) has only dropped three games all season, each of those setbacks coming in true road games starting with a trip to face former rival North Carolina in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge to begin December. Mark Turgeon's troops quickly shook that off with nine straight wins, but then looked a little shaky on the road in conference play.

First came a near-miss in Wisconsin, escaping the Badgers with a 63-60 triumph that pushed a closing 3 point spread. A trek to Michigan with the same spread followed, and the Terrapins dropped a 70-67 decision. They were 4 point underdogs less than two weeks later in East Lansing, and fell by nine to Michigan State, 74-65.

Maryland may have finally gotten that road monkey off its back this past Sunday in Columbus where the Terps tangles with Ohio State. It wasn't necessarily pretty, especially on the offensive end, but the end result was a 66-61 victory. Melo Trimble led the way with 20 points and Jake Layman recorded his second double-double in conference play (16 pts, 10 reb). The final had just enough to cover a 4½ point spread, and gave the Terrapins a season sweep of the Buckeyes after clubbing them 100-65 in College Park two weeks earlier.

 

'Huskers Return Home On 2-Game Slide
It has been a streaky start to the Big Ten schedule for Nebraska (12-10 SU, 10-7 ATS), and unfortunately for the Cornhuskers, two of the streaks are in the loss column. They dropped three right off the bat to open league play, but negated that with four consecutive wins, the last of which was a big upset at then-No. 11 Michigan State two weeks ago when the Huskers were getting 15 from the sportsbooks. All four wins in the stretch saw Tim Miles' crew shoot 50% or better from the field.

The 'Huskers haven't been able to match that offensive effort in the last two games, however, losses at home to Michigan and on the road to Purdue. In fact, both the Wolverines and Boilermakers were the ones shooting lights out, each converting more than 50% from 3-point range to win by 13 and 15 points, respectively.

The teams are going opposite directions on totals right now, nine of Maryland's last 11 staying 'under' while Nebraska is 6-0-1 O/U/P its last seven. My free NCAA basketball pick is on the Terps minus the points.

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