The Maryland Terrapins face off against the Michigan Wolverines in the Big Ten Conference Championship Tournament Quarterfinal, so I bring you the best betting pick for this marquee matchup at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
These two schools meet for the third time this term, and the Wolverines went 2-0 straight up and ATS in a couple of regular-season encounters with the Terrapins. Back in December, Michigan won 84-73 as a 2.5-point road fave, while the Terrapins suffered a heavy 87-63 defeat as 10.5-point road underdogs on January 19.
The Wolverines opened as firm 8.5-point favorites for Friday’s clash, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. The totals are set at 134.5 points.
The Terrapins easily outlasted Michigan State in the second round
The Maryland Terrapins (16-12; 9-11 Conf.) overcame a 12-point first-half deficit in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday afternoon. They cruised through the second half and led by as many as 19 points, tallying a 68-57 victory over the Michigan State Spartans.
The Terrapins once more leaned on their defense, forcing 18 turnovers and limiting the Spartans to just 25.0% shooting from beyond the 3-point line. Maryland made only 38.2% of its field goals and 30.0% of its triples (6-for-20), while junior guards Eric Ayala and Aaron Wiggins combined for 40 points, 15 rebounds, six assists, and five steals.
Although they finished the regular season as the eighth seed in the Big Ten, the Terrapins have played well over the last four weeks. They’ve won six of their last eight games at any location, and the Terrapins are No. 34 in the latest NCAA NET Rankings which should be enough for the Big Dance ticket.
The Wolverines look to build on their regular-season title
The Michigan Wolverines (19-3; 14-3 Conf.) closed down the regular season with a two-game home-and-home set against Michigan State. They easily beat the Spartans as 11.5-point home favorites, 69-50, but suffered a 70-64 defeat in the regular-season finale as 8-point road favorites.
Michigan won the Big Ten title half a game ahead of Illinois, their first since 2014. The Wolverines are No. 3 in both of the NCAA NET Rankings and KenPom rankings. They score 119.4 points per 100 possessions (6th in the nation) and surrender 87.8 to their rivals (5th).
Freshman center Hunter Dickinson leads the way for Michigan this term, averaging 14.3 points and 7.7 rebounds per contest. Senior forward Isaiah Livers racks up 13.7 points and 6.1 boards per game, while sophomore guard Franz Wagner adds 12.9 points and 6.3 rebounds a night.
- 1-5 ATS in the last six games against Michigan
- 5-10 ATS in the last 15 outings as underdogs
- 14-5 ATS in the last 19 games overall
- 11-4 ATS in the last 15 showings as favorites of 8.5 or more points
The Winner Prediction
I’m looking for Hunter Dickinson to dominate the Terrapins in the paint. Through his first two meetings with Maryland, the 7-foot-1 freshman was averaging 14.5 points on 78.6% shooting to go with 8.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks.
Both teams lean on a stout defense, and the Wolverines arguably have way more offensive weapons than the Terrapins. Therefore, I’m going with Michigan, but buying a few points seems like a smart move.
Pick: Take Michigan -6.5 at -145
The under is 11-1-1 in Maryland’s last 13 outings. The Terrapins have to slow down the Wolverines somehow if they want to upset the odds, and I hope they’ve learned some lessons after surrendering a bunch of baskets in each of their first two matchups with Michigan this season.
Maryland prefers to play at a slow pace, recording just 65.5 possessions per 40 minutes (316th in the nation). Michigan records 67.2 (247th), so I’m backing the under on the totals.
Pick: Go under 134.5 points at -110