Pick Virginia -4.5 vs. Maryland in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, December 3, 2014 1:58 PM GMT

Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014 1:58 PM GMT

Virginia will be revenge-minded when facing Maryland Wednesday night, which makes it a top College Basketball pick in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Familiar Recipe
Virginia continues to rack up victories due to its top-ranked defense, which can’t be ignored when looking over the NCAA Basketball odds, as its surrendering just 43.6 points per game.

The Cavaliers are off to a perfect 7-0 start this season, with six of those wins coming by 17 or more points, including a 45-26 triumph over Rutgers last week.

It’s important to point out that the squad is 3-4 SUATS as road favorites of 3.5 to 6 points since the start of the 2012-13 campaign, with no clear edge in terms of the betting total (2-2 Over/Under).

 

Talented Freshman
In losing last year’s top scorer Dez Wells for four-to-six weeks due to a wrist injury, Maryland has relied on some new faces in producing a perfect 7-0 record, with the main contributor being freshman guard Melo Trimble.

The Co-Big Ten Player and Freshman Player of the Week averaged 21.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals in leading the team to wins over Arizona State, Iowa State, Monmouth and VMI from Nov. 24-30.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 2-2 SU and 3-1 ATS as home underdogs of 3.5 to 6 points, with the OVER cashing in three of those four opportunities.

 

Worthy Favorite
The Cavaliers deserve to be laying points in this matchup despite suffering a 75-69 overtime loss to the Terrapins as 3.5-point road favorites in last year’s regular-season finale for both teams.

Virginia has also put together a solid 8-6 SU record when participating in this event, including a 3-4 mark when playing away from Charlottesville.

 

Getting Defensive
The Terrapins will have to win a lot of games on the defensive end for the next month with their top scorer being out, but head coach Mark Turgeon’s locker room seems up to the task, as it ranks second in the Big Ten in holding foes to 35.1 percent shooting.

Maryland has tallied 38 blocked shots this season, but that number trails Virginia by four in that all-important statistical category.

 

Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Cavaliers as one of their NCAA basketball picks, as they’ve gone 21-6-2 ATS in their last 29 games versus lined competition.

Free NCAA Basketball Pick:  Virginia Cavaliers -4.5 at Bookmaker

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