NCAA Basketball Pick: Boston College +8½ over Maryland

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 5:00 AM UTC

Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013 5:00 AM UTC

Boston College is 1-3 in ACC play but those three losses have been by a combined total of only nine points. With the Maryland offense struggling, take the points with BC.

The young road team seems to offer a lot of value on Tuesday night as those Boston College Eagles (9-8, 2-1 away) pay a visit to the Maryland Terrapins (14-4, 12-1 home) at the Comcast Center in College Park, MD at 9:00 ET in a game televised nationally on ESPNU.

The point spread at Bookmaker Sportsbook has Boston College as a decided road underdog for this contest with the current line at +8½ with odds of -110.

Boston College was a freshman-laden team last season that lost its entire starting five from the previous year, and the results were understandable as the youngest team in the ACC finished at 9-22 overall and 4-12 in the conference.

However, they say that the biggest progression for NCAA Basketball players takes place between there freshman and sophomore seasons, and the Eagles are proof positive of that as they have already matched last season’s win total while currently owning a winning record at 9-8! Sophomore Lonnie Jackson has made the biggest leap in conference play as he has averaged 20.3 points in the last three games and has scored in double-figures in five straight contests.

And that still leaved Jackson as just the fourth leading scorer for Boston College overall this season (10.4 points per game) with fellow sophomore Ryan Anderson leading the way (16.4) followed by freshmen Olivier Hanlan (13.6) and Joe Rahon (10.8). This team has a bright future as long as the players stick around, and that future may be beginning now as while the Eagles are 1-3 inside the ACC, the three losses have been by a combined nine points!

Putting that in perspective, the combined margin of the three Boston College losses is just about equivalent to the point spread of this game, and it is not as if the Eagles are taking on one of the conference powerhouses tonight. They did face an elite ACC team in NC State to open conference play and lost by just five points at home, then after impressively beating Virginia Tech by 11 points on the road, the Eagles lost by three at Wake Forest and by one vs. Miami.

Besides the fact that it is facing an  up and coming team, Maryland is simply not shooting the ball well enough right now to be giving this many points. Yes, the Terps won 13 straight games after opening the season with a 72-69 loss to the defending national champions from Kentucky, but even with the Wildcats on the slate, the non-conference portion of the Maryland schedule ranked only 344th out of 347 Division I teams in SOS!

That lack of quality preparation has shown up through a 2-3 ACC start, and the biggest problem lately has been scoring points as the Terrapins have put up only 47, 51 and 52 points respectively in the last three games, lucky to come away with a 51-50 win over an NC State team playing in a huge post-Duke letdown spot in the middle game.

Maryland ranks 54th in the country in effective field goal percentage overall at 51.7 percent, but it is now fairly apparent that number is enhanced by the soft non-conference slate, as looking at ACC games only, the Terrapins are 10th out of 12 ACC teams at a mere 43.1 percent. Conversely, Boston College is second in ACC play only in effective field goal percentage at 51.2 percent, trailing only Duke!

With that in mind, take the points with the Boston College Eagles on Tuesday.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Boston College +8½ (-110)

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