College Basketball Betting: Wisconsin at Maryland

College Basketball Betting: Wisconsin at Maryland

The Big Ten takes center stage in college hoops on Tuesday night when No. 5 Wisconsin heads east to battle No. 14 Maryland. If the Terps have any designs on capturing the regular season title in their inaugural year in the conference, they have to win out and hope for lots of help. Maryland is 1-2 against Top 25 opponents, but have lost only once at home and taken 11 straight in their own building. Meanwhile, Wisconsin is riding a steak of ten in a row since losing at Rutgers on January 11. The only other team to defeat the Badgers is Duke, so Maryland’s task is arduous, despite have home court advantage. Two of the Big Ten’s top players will be on display in Wisconsin center Frank Kaminksy and Maryland freshman guard Melo Trimble. Here’s a preview and prediction for tonight’s matchup.

WISCONSIN AT MARYLAND +6

The stretch drive for the Badgers will be a challenge, beginning with this tussle in College Park. A home game versus Michigan State and trips to Minnesota and Ohio State loom, so avoiding a stumble here would alleviate the pressure of finishing the schedule strong. The frontcourt of Kaminsky, Sam Dekker, and Nigel Hayes has size and range; the rebounding stats are misleading, because all three can patrol the glass. In addition to length in the post, the Badgers also boast a pair of potent three-point shooters in sophomore Bronson Koenig and senior Josh Gasser, who have combined to hit 73 treys in 27 games. The backcourt will be without senior guard Traevon Jackson for an 11th consecutive outing; he wants to return from foot surgery for Sunday’s tilt with the Spartans, although he still hasn’t been cleared to play. Indiana is the lone foe to score more than 64 points during Wisconsin’s unblemished streak.

The Terps are a different team at home, especially on defense. Only Virginia has managed to A) beat them at XFINITY Center, and B) score 70 points. Trimble is one of the nation’s best freshman and has been heating up of late, averaging 21 points in his last four starts. Helping Trimble pace the offense is senior Dez Wells, who has scored 12 or more in his last seven. However, Wells needs to do a better job of protecting the ball after committing 24 turnovers during that same span. Maryland goes ten deep on the bench and will likely need all those bodies to contend with the Badgers’ size in the paint. They also shoot 74.8% from the free-throw line, so expect them to be aggressive by attacking the basket in halfcourt sets and in transition. Head coach Mark Turgeon’s squad is a lock to make the tourney field, but a victory against Top 5 competition could improve their seeding.

Wisconsin is 14-12-1 ATS overall and 6-4 ATS on the road. Maryland is 8-14-2 ATS overall and a woeful 3-10-2 ATS at home. Those numbers suggest backing the Terps is risky. Even so, look for them to keep this one close.

Bet Maryland +6