Maryland vs. Alabama Predictions, Odds & Picks: Will Terrapins Grind Out a March Madness Cover?
After narrowly failing to cover a 24-point spread in Round 1, the Alabama Crimson Tide meet the Maryland Terrapins in the Round of 32 for the second time in three seasons Saturday. Read on for our best Maryland vs. Alabama prediction based on the top NCAAB odds.
Maryland (22-12, 11-9 Big Ten) survived a game of runs in the Round of 64 against the No. 9 seed West Virginia Mountaineers. The Terrapins closed the first half on a 26-11 run and overcame a 13-point deficit to beat the Mountaineers 67-65.
Alabama (30-5, 16-2 SEC) continues its march as the top overall seed for the first time in school history. The Crimson Tide reached the Elite Eight just once (2004). However, this is their best opportunity to advance to their first Final Four and secure their first Men’s basketball national championship. No. 2 seed Alabama beat No. 10 seed Maryland 96-77 in the Round of 32 in 2021.
Here is our best Maryland vs. Alabama prediction (odds via DraftKings Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).
Maryland vs. Alabama odds
Maryland vs. Alabama prediction
Maryland +9 (-110 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Maryland could have easily folded against West Virginia when trailing 19-6 early but trusted that its experience and grinding out stops would get it back in the game. However, the most impressive part of the Terrapins’ comeback victory was how they played down the stretch with their “do it all” point guard saddled with foul trouble.
Senior point guard Jahmir Young ranked in the top five in the Big Ten in steal percentage, percentage of shots taken, and possession percentage, and ninth in assist rate. He picked up his fourth foul with 13:53 left in the victory over West Virginia, with the team trailing 47-41. However, the Terrapins dominated the Mountaineers inside, shooting 17-for-27 inside the arc (63%), which played a massive role in the comeback.
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The biggest reason Maryland is a confident four-star play is head coach Kevin Willard’s track record against similar opponents. Alabama is much like Jay Wright’s Villanova teams in how they want to spread the floor and hoist 3-pointers (the Crimson Tide ranked seventh nationally in 3-point rate).
Willard’s teams may not have the best record against Villanova, but they typically held the Wildcats under their scoring average and allowed 73.8 points per game in their last 12 meetings. Maryland ranked in the top 50 in the lowest percentage of opponents’ points allowed from 3-point range this year, and that's the recipe for covering this relatively large number.
Check out our best March Madness odds and Wooden Award odds.
Maryland vs. Alabama best odds
As of Friday afternoon, DraftKings and Caesars are offering the best line/odds combination for Maryland bettors with the flat +9 and equal -110 odds on either side. While FanDuel and BetMGM are offering more profitable odds, bettors should take the extra half-point of insurance on this spread.
Maryland vs. Alabama odds analysis
Alabama opened as -8.5 point favorites, but it's likely the line shades in its favor before tip-off, given it's the more public side as the No. 1 overall seed.
Most sportsbooks had an opening total of 144.5, but the only book that deviated from that was BetRivers, slightly lower at 144.
Maryland vs. Alabama game info
- Date: Saturday, March 18, 9:40 p.m. ET
- TV: TBS
- Location: Arena at BJCC, Birmingham, AL
Maryland-Alabama pick made 3/16/2023 at 10:19 p.m. ET.
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