This NCAA Tournament pick has betting odds at PK, and with good reason as Maryland and West Virginia are two very evenly matched teams. 2nd place in the Big Ten meets 4th place in the Big 12.
West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Maryland Terps
Most books we checked with opened this game with West Virginia favored by a point, with a total offered at 137.5. In the early action some shops bumped the Mountaineers to -1.5, while others moved the spread to a pick 'em. Also, the total was moving down in the early action, to as low as 135.5 at some outlets.
Going by Sagarin's PREDICTOR ratings at USAToday.com West Virginia should be favored by two points for this game's NCAA Tournament betting odds.
Fourth-seeded Maryland reached Sunday's round of 32 by nipping 13th-seeded Valpo Friday 65-62. The Terps led by four at the half, and the game was tied with just under seven minutes to go, but Maryland made eight free-throws in a row down the stretch to claim the victory.
The Terps shot 48 percent from the floor Friday, and hit nine of 21 shots from 3-point land. They also got a little lucky in that the Crusaders made just 10 of 18 free-throws.
But Maryland couldn't cover Friday's spread as a five-point favorite.
Also, that game played OVER its total of 124, as the teams combined to make 21 trifectas.
The Terps are now 9-1 SU, 7-3 ATS over their last 10 games. They're also 9-5 SU, 8-6 ATS this season against teams that made the Dance.
Fifth-seeded West Virginia advanced to Sunday by taming the curse and beating 12th-seeded Buffalo Friday 68-62. The Mountaineers led that game by 10 at the half, allowed the Bulls to battle back and tie the game with three minutes to go, then scored the last six points for the win and the cover as four-point favorites.
West Virginia shot a respectable 45 percent from the floor Friday, made 19 of 27 free-throws and, probably most importantly, won the turnover battle 17-12.
With the victory/cover the Mountaineers are still only 6-6 both SU and ATS over their last 12 games. West Virginia is also now 9-9 SU, 9-8 ATS this season against teams that made the NCAA tournament.
These two programs, separated by about 200 miles, haven't met since 2003.
Terps-Mountaineers Betting Trends
West Virginia has played four OVERS in its last five games, although one of those games needed overtime to do it.
Maryland has played three OVERS in its last four games, but only because it's been tagged with a couple of really low totals.
Keep in mind before deciding on your NCAA Tournament picks that West Virginia G Juwan Staten missed recent action with a knee injury, but returned to the court Friday and scored 15 points in 33 minutes. So apparently he's good to go.
Terps-Mountaineers Free Pick
West Virginia pressure will apply the pressure, and might get a few hoops off turnovers, but it also might lead to some opportunities for Maryland. Also, the Terps are shooting 76 percent from the FT line this season, while the Mountaineers are shooting just 66 percent. And in a game that might be decided by a bucket or two a few free-throws could make all the difference.
Free NCAA Tournament Pick: Maryland +1 at Pinnacle