NCAA Basketball Picks: Buckeyes' Offensive Advantages Make Ohio State -7 vs. Maryland Top Bet

Jeff Grant

Thursday, January 29, 2015 4:11 PM GMT

Ohio State has built a reputation of playing its best basketball at Value City Arena, which provides it betting value as a home favorite against Maryland Thursday.

Balanced
Maryland is the only team in the Big Ten Conference with three players averaging 13.5 or more points per game, which is important to consider when making your NCAA basketball picks, as it looks to build off a 68-67 victory over Northwestern Sunday.

The Terrapins have utilized a total of nine different starting lineups in 2014-15, with Jake Layman, Melo Trimble and Dez Wells leading the way in combining for 43.9 points.

Offensively, the team ranks 44th in terms of efficiency, while occupying the No. 12 spot in terms of getting to the free throw line.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the squad is 1-4 SU and 2-3 ATS as road underdogs of 6.5 to 9 points.

 

Playmaker 
Ohio State swept its conference games against Indiana and Northwestern last week, which can’t be ignored when looking over the NCAA basketball odds, as D’Angelo Russell continued his strong play on the court.

Russell earned Big Ten Player of the Week honors in averaging 27.5 points, while he leads all first-year players nationally in points scored per game (19.4) for the entire season.

The talented freshman certainly benefits by playing alongside senior Shannon Scott, who sits behind just five players in dishing out 6.7 assists per contest.

It’s important to point out that the school is 14-2 SU and 8-8 ATS as favorites this season.

Join Fellow Bettors' Discussion on Tonight's Ohio State vs. Maryland Game

Charity Work
The Terrapins are one of the more aggressive offenses in the country, with Trimble being the main player to watch with 131 makes at the charity stripe in 149 attempts.

Trimble scored a game-high 27 points last time out—helped by knocking down 9-of-10 shots from the free throw line.

 

Dominance
The Buckeyes have compiled a remarkable 102-9 SU record at home since 2010, which happens to be the most wins in that particular situation nationally over that span.

Ohio State has also produced a 151-65 SU mark versus conference opponents under longtime head coach Thad Matta—helped by the fact it has averaged a league-high 72.6 points and ranked third in assist-to-turnover margin since his arrival.

 

Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Buckeyes as one of their NCAA Basketball picks, as they’ve gone 3-1 ATS as home favorites of 6.5 to 9 points the last two-plus seasons.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Ohio State Buckeyes -7.5 at Bookmaker