The Maryland Terrapins reeled off a stretch of ‘non-board’ blowouts during December, outscoring their last five foes by a combined margin of 387-271. Mark Turgeon’s troops take their home floor for one final ‘cupcake’ clash in Tuesday’s meeting with the Indiana-Purdue Jaguars, who are 2-1 ATS in their last three contests. Will the NCAAB betting lines be covered, or will the ‘back door’ be left open in College Park?
Terrapins, Mitchell torch Delaware State
Maryland’s latest victory came in Saturday’s 79-50 triumph over the Delaware State Hornets, with the Terrapins shooting 56.9 percent from the floor. Terrapins freshman Charles Mitchell piled in season-highs of 19 points and 14 boards, playing 24 minutes.
Maryland’s Pe’Shon Howard and Dezmine Wells united for 10 assists, with Wells connecting 5-of-7 field buckets for 10 points. Howard and Co. held Delaware State to 32.1 percent shooting, while Terrapins guard Seth Allen logged three of his squad’s nine steals.
Maryland edged out the Hornets in rebounds, 35-28, with Mitchell and Wells adding one block each. The Terrapins connected 11-of-17 free throws, while held to a 2-for-9 day from three-point land.
Jaguars, Shanklin smoked at home
Indiana-Purdue saw a two-game winning streak end with Saturday’s 84-62 setback as a five-point home dog against the Oakland Golden Grizzlies. The Jaguars were held to 37.7 percent field shooting, while allowing Oakland to drain 7-of-17 shots beyond the arc.
Jaguars guard Jordan Shanklin notched a team-high 17 points, knocking down 5-of-10 buckets from the floor. Indiana-Purdue’s Donovan Gibbs and Mitchell Patton united for 11 boards, while the Jaguars were outrebounded, 33-24.
The lopsided battle’s 146 points dipped UNDER the ‘total’ of 158, with IUPUI sinking 16-of-21 free throws. Jaguars guard John Hart logged eight turnovers, while mates Greg Rice and Sean Esposito were held scoreless in a combined 29 minutes of action.
Back the Jaguars as big dogs
The NCAA Basketball odds makers at 5Dimes.eu opened Maryland as a 24-point home favorite, with early wagers on IUPUI dropping the number a ‘hook’ to 23 ½. Indiana-Purdue’s Ian Chiles (10.3 PPG) and Greg Rice (3.1 APG) are both listed as “questionable” with toe and leg injuries, respectively.
For today's NCAA basketball picks, I am taking the big number in this spot, looking for Indiana-Purdue to pull out a road cover here. Maryland’s home court enthusiasm should be down a notch here in a holiday afternoon tip, similar to last year’s New Years Eve spot that saw the Terrapins fail to cash as 14 ½-point home favorites in a 75-63 win over the Samford Bulldogs.
Maryland also comes in overvalued after its string of thrashings, while going 2-8 ATS in its last 10 spots that followed victories of 20 points or more. Despite playing a fairly lackluster schedule, the Terrapins rank in the Atlantic Coast Conference’s bottom half for free throw shooting (68.3 percent) and ninth out of the group’s 12 squads in three-point buckets (33.3 percent).
Indiana-Purdue has had its share of inconsistencies, but came away with a 77-68 victory in its most recent road spot on Dec. 23 against the Ball State Cardinals. The Jaguars connected at 51.9 percent from the field for the upset as 8 ½-point dogs, including a stellar 11-for-22 from three-point land.
Look for IUPUI to hit just enough baskets here to stay within cashing range, while Maryland and its crowd look ahead to conference play getting underway this weekend.
NCAA Baskebtall Pick: Indiana- Purdue +23 ½ (5Dimes.eu)