Maryland vs. North Carolina NCAA Basketball Picks: Bet the Total in this Marquee Matchup

Charles Stark

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 12:04 PM GMT

Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015 12:04 PM GMT

NCAA basketball is back in full swing. Tonight a former ACC team visits North Carolina when the Tar Heels host the Maryland Terrapins. Check our NCAA basketball pick inside.

Betting Odds
NCAA basketball odds have come out with the total at 150.5. This seems like a logical number considering the high profile matchup and overall talent of both squads. Still, for my selection of the day I look for both teams to play great defense and not get up and down the floor as much as people think.

 

Maryland Terrapins
Maryland comes in averaging 77.2 points per game, shooting 53.2% from the field, and 36.8% from beyond the arc.  In the interior they have been one of the best in the country averaging 62.8% on their two point buckets which ranks third in the country. That is the staple of a Mark Turgeon offense and they have weapons across the board led by point guard Melo Trimble. They have not pushed the pace very much though and have just simply been very efficient in their half court sets.

Defensively the Terrapins are allowing 62.8 points per game, 42.3% shooting from the field, and 30.4% from beyond the arc. They are also allowing just 9.7 assists per game and have been playing great team defense for the most part. They will be particularly challenged tonight against a very athletic team, but I think they know for them to stay in this game it will have to be done on this end.

 

North Carolina Tar Heels
The Tar Heels are averaging 81.3 points per game, 48.3% shooting from the field, and 32.1% from beyond the arc. Of course the big story is getting Marcus Paige back on the court which should be a boost to this team. They are very efficient for the most part and will try push tempo, but what is most impressive to me is how unselfish they are averaging 18.3 assists per game.

On defense North Carolina is allowing 66.7 points per game, 39.7% shooting from the field, and 37.8% shooting from beyond the arc. Paige should help with their perimeter defense but Maryland is not more of an interior based offense which plays to the Tar Heels strength. I am anticipating for the Terrapins to put up their lowest score of the year tonight.

It is always fun to take the over and look for a high scoring, up tempo affair. I think we will see some glimpses of that tonight but for one of your NCAA basketball picks, I recommend backing the smarter play taking under the total. Expect both teams to fly around on defense and keep this closer to the high 130's, low 140's range.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Under 150.5 at Bookmaker

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