Maryland's Superior Offense Makes Them Our NCAA Basketball Pick vs. Ohio St.

Kevin Stott

Sunday, January 31, 2016 2:09 PM UTC

Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016 2:09 PM UTC

We look at the numbers and Trends for Maryland & Ohio St. game and see if there are strong leans or solid NCAA basketball picks to offer up in this Big Ten game from a hostile court.

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Final Score Prediction: Maryland 71 - Ohio State 62
Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Maryland -4½
Best Line Offered: at PaddyPower


Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio is the site of this Big Ten showdown on Sunday afternoon between Melo Trimble and #8 Maryland and Marc Loving and host Ohio State in a game in which the hosts will be looking for a little Revenge after getting spanked by the Terrapins in College Park, 100-65, in the first meeting this season. 


Odds Overview
Maryland at Ohio State: The #8-ranked Maryland Terrapins (18-6, 7-2 Big Ten) head to Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio on Sunday afternoon to face host The Ohio State (14-8, 6-3 Big Ten) in a big conference showdown and important spot for the host Buckeyes. Offshore NCAA basketball odds boards opened up visitors Maryland as -4 point favorites (Heritage)—and then it was immediately wagered up to 4½ then to 5 before settling down to -4½ -108, all in a 9-minute span. It has now re-opened (Saturday afternoon) in most Offshore sportsbooks at -5 with the Total (Points) for this game from the aptly named Buckeye State opening up at 135½ (Bookmaker).


Maryland Terrapins
Maryland (10-11 ATS, 9-11 O/U) and Head Coach Mark Turgeon are having a very impressive season but it’s still fairly early and hard to tell if the Terrapins (12/1 to win NCAA Championship, Paddy Power) and the Big Ten Conference itself are for real this season in the context of the entire national scene. Maryland has just three Losses—at (then) #9 North Carolina, at Michigan and at (then) #11 Michigan State, and with very impressive starting 5, this team may be the best in the Big Ten despite Iowa currently being ranked #3 in the nation, especially with the Turtles topping the Hawkeyes in Iowa City on Thursday night, 74-68. That sensational starting group features G Melo Trimble 11 points, 6 rebounds vs. Iowa), G Rasheed Sulaimon (17 points, 5 assists), F Jake Layman (11 points, 7 rebounds), F Robert Carter (17 points, 7 rebounds) and C Diamond Stone (9 points), whose name automatically qualifies him for casting in a James Bond film. F Damonte Dodd (5 points) and G Jared Nickens (4 points) had the 9 points off the Terps Bench in the upset win (IOWA -5½, 147½), but unlike the NBA, you can often get away with mediocre Bench scoring production in College with a dynamite Starting 5. In the win against Iowa the Terrapins shot only 24.0% on 3-Pointers (6-24). On the Injury front, G Dion Wiley (Knee) is Out for the Season.


Ohio State Buckeyes
Ohio State (12-9-1 ATS, 9-12 O/U) and Head Coach Thad Matta have been playing some good basketball since getting spanked by these very Maryland Terrapins at College Park, 100-65, as the hosts topped the 100-point mark for the first time since 2012 and the Buckeyes (11-3 SU at Home) went home to Columbus with their tail between their legs, W3 consecutive ATS. In their last game, a 68-63 OT win over Illinois in Champaign, the Buckeyes Starters totaled only 38 points with Keita Bates-Diop (15 points, 12 rebounds) leading the way, leading scorer Marc Loving (13.5 ppg) the only other Ohio State starter in double-figures with 11 points (and 10 rebounds) while Jae’Sean Tate (9 points), AJ Harris (3 points) and Daniel Giddens (0 points, 9 rebounds) had the other 12. And this Buckeyes Starting 5 totaled just 4 assists—4 players with just 1 dish each. So it was the Buckeyes (150/1 to win NCAA Championship, William Hill) talented Bench that came through against the Fighting Illini with Trevor Thompson (16 points, 5 rebounds), Kam Williams (7 points), Mickey Mitchell (5 points) and the electric JaQuan Lyle (2 points, 3 assists, 7 rebounds) scoring 30 points for Ohio State (1-3 SU vs. AP Top 25). And they will be needed to try to get Revenge on real-deal Maryland here on Sunday afternoon.


Best Betting Approaches, Series Trends & Turtles Are Still Way Faster Than Acorns
With Maryland just recently joining the Big Ten, there are only 3 Big Ten Conference meetings between the Terrapins and Ohio State with the Buckeyes holding a 2-1 ATS edge and the Total at 1-1-1. As discussed, Maryland thrashed the Buckeyes, 100-65 in the first meeting in College Park (Jan. 16) easily covering the Point Spread as big 10½-point chalks (Total, 138), but Ohio State won and covered the first two meetings between the two (2015, 2013), both here at Home in Columbus, so the Home team has covered all three conference meetings in this series heading into Sunday’s dribble. The host Buckeyes are an impressive 8-4-1 ATS here at Home at Value City Arena and Ohio State is 8-2-1 ATS in their L11 Home games. But upstart Maryland is 11-4 ATS its L15 against the Big 10 and winning by 35 is winning by 35 in any language, brother, even snail, and the Terrapins are an impressive 7-3 ATS their L10 on the Road. Maryland 1-4 Under Road in Big Ten while in the L13 Sunday games played by the Terps, the Over is 9-4 ATS.

Besides Trimble (14.3 ppg, 5.5 apg) and big man Stone (13.0 ppg, 59% FG), the Buckeyes (71.1 AF-65.8 AA) will have to try to quell Maryland’s Carter (25 points in last meeting), Sulaimon (22 points) and even Layman, so their hands will be full as trying to outscore the Terrapins probably won’t work and trying to play lock-down D on a team like Maryland (77.3 AF-64.3 AA) who thrives on Defense and can get scoring from anyone in its starting unit makes devising a game plan for Ohio State Head Coach Matta quite difficult. It seems the Terrapins will win, and probably cover here again, on the strength of this team’s talented Starting 5 because even if you stop or semi-neutralize one or two of these Maryland guys, the other three are sure to pick up the slack. And that’s the stuff winning basketball teams are made of.

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