NCAA Basketball Picks: Maryland vs. Illinois St. to Be Low-Score Battle

Charles Stark

Tuesday, November 24, 2015 3:44 PM UTC

Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015 3:44 PM UTC

As far as talent this game leans towards the Terrapins when Illinois takes on Maryland.  I like that both teams are well coached, & have been decent defensively, that I don't expect a high scorer.

NCAA odds
NCAA Basketball Odds makers have come out with the total for this game at 139 like at Bookmaker sports book. For my NCAA Basketball pick today I'm going to back under this total and look for a hard-fought defensive battle on both ends from these two well coached teams.


Illinois State Redbirds
The Redbirds are averaging 66.5 points per game, shooting 41% from the field, and 34.3% from distance.  They have been hot and cold so far this season but they have the athletes to hang in with Maryland a little bit led by senior Devaughn Akoon-Purcell who is averaging 17 points per game.  Dan Muller is starting to build a solid mid-major program here that should contend in the decently tough Missouri Valley Conference.  Although they are just 2-2 on the year both of their losses were to teams expected to win their leagues this season in San Diego State and South Dakota State.

Defensively Illinois State is allowing 69 points per game, 42.1% shooting from the field, and 32.3% from beyond the arc.  Those are respectable numbers and they will have to step up their game against an extremely talented Maryland team, which I think they will.  Rebounds could be a problem as the Terrapins are pretty stingy on the glass.  I am anticipating for the well coached Redbirds to get enough stops though to help keep this game under the total.


Maryland Terrapins
Offensively Maryland is averaging 73.3 points per game, shooting 50.6% from the field, and 32.8% from beyond the arc. They have been really excelling just around the paint area averaging 62.4% on their two-point shots. There is a lot of excitement about this Maryland team this season as they are loaded with a lot of talent. Head coach Mark Turgeon has a lot of weapons to work with this season led by sophomore guard Melo Trimble and senior forward Jake Layman. The issue so far has not been the talent but the chemistry of this team going forward. They have an interesting mix of returners and new players, all of them skilled. As the season goes on and they build that chemistry they will be extremely tough to beat come March.

Defensively Maryland is allowing 61.7 points per game, 41.7% shooting from the field, and 32.8% from beyond the arc. They have had a couple close calls against Rider and Georgetown so I think this team understands the value in getting it done on the defensive end. On the glass they have been extremely good allowing opponents only 27.7 total rebounds per game which ranks sixth in the country.

Both of these teams are very well coached, and both of them put a premium on defense. Although talent wise Maryland is the superior team don't expect Illinois State to back down in a game they probably feel they can contend. For one of your NCAA Basketball picks I recommend backing the under in this matchup. In the end I expect both these teams to put together enough stops to stay well below the total.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Illinois & Maryland Under 139 (-110) at BetOnline

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