West Virginia vs. Maryland Predictions, Odds & Picks: Has Popular March Madness Betting Trend Gone Too Far?
When it comes to first-half totals on March Madness games with early start times, taking the Under is a popular trend. Has the popularity of this trend steamed its value? Read on for our West Virginia vs. Maryland prediction based on the top NCAAB odds.
We're going to fade one of the most popular March Madness betting trends in the first game of the 2023 NCAA Tournament on Thursday.
West Virginia (19-14) has been one of the more prolific first-half scoring teams in college basketball this season. Can the Mountaineers’ offense do enough early against the measured pace of Maryland (21-12) to counteract a popular March Madness betting trend?
Here is our best West Virginia vs. Maryland prediction (odds via DraftKings Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).
West Virginia vs. Maryland odds
West Virginia vs. Maryland prediction
Over 63.5 points in first half (-120 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐
First-half Unders in the NCAA Tournament has been an exploitable trend for a number of years.
According to Action Network, March Madness games that tip off before 2 p.m. ET and feature a first-half total below 70 are an astounding 55-28-3 (66.3%) to the Under since 2011. This coincides with the general trend of first-half numbers in the Round of 64, which Action Network calculates have hit at a rate of 59.6% since 2018.
West Virginia-Maryland, which is slated to tip at 12:15 p.m. ET Thursday, would fall into the described parameters. But with sportsbooks wise to the trend, this first-half total has fallen by multiple points to 63.5. Bettors who got in early might end up cashing that Under ticket, but there’s a case to be made that this line has now been steamed to the extent of value on the Over.
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Of the 17 games West Virginia played against NCAA Tournament teams, only six of the first halves finished below the 63.5-point total prescribed for this Round of 64 contest. With a top 40 adjusted defense and an adjusted tempo outside the top 300, Maryland’s presence could cause a grinding pace out of the gate.
But the Terps played 13 games this year against teams that ultimately landed in the March Madness bracket, with seven of those 13 affairs clearing 63.5 first-half points. West Virginia ranks 30th in the nation in first-half scoring, averaging 36.9 points per first half this season. If the Mountaineers can be somewhat efficient, this first half could certainly see 64 to 66 points to beat this total.
Check out our best March Madness odds and Wooden Award odds.
West Virginia vs. Maryland best odds
|Over 63.5||Over 63.5||Over 64.5||Over 64||N/A|
Check out our breakdown of the best March Madness odds and all of our March Madness picks and betting trends.
The thought process behind the pick is that the line movement has created value on the Over. So if you’re looking at the 64 or 64.5-point lines posted at Caesars and BetMGM, respectively, the value really isn’t the same despite the favorable -110 odds on Over at those books.
We like this play at DraftKings and FanDuel, where bettors can get the line at 63.5 points with -120 odds on the Over. We would play it to 64 points, but this play is not recommended at BetMGM’s line of 64.5.
West Virginia vs. Maryland odds analysis
West Virginia opened as a 2.5-point favorite and has settled at -3 as of Thursday morning after dropping to -2 earlier in the week. Sixty percent of wagers have backed the Mountaineers on the spread.
The total opened as high as 140 and has seen a dip to 137.5 across our best March Madness betting sites as of Thursday morning. There's an approximate 50/50 split of wagers between the Over and Under.
West Virginia vs. Maryland game info
- Date: Thursday, March 16, 2023, 12:15 p.m. ET
- TV: CBS
- Location: Legacy Arena at BJCC, Birmingham, AL
West Virginia-Maryland pick made 03/14/2023 at 1:30 p.m. ET.
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