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The Maryland Terrapins look to stay undefeated when they travel to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions Tuesday night. Maryland squeaked by Illinois 59-58 on Saturday to win its Big Ten opener. The Terrapins beat Marquette and Notre Dame by 21 points apiece. Penn State is coming off a 106-74 road loss. Before that, the Nittany Lions had won back-to-back games against Syracuse and Wake Forest by margins of 21 and 22 points.
Maryland is led offensively by senior point guard Anthony Cowan Jr., who averages 16.6 points and 4.4 assists per game. The Maryland native has 20 or more points in four of hist last five games. Sophomore forward Jalen Smith, another homegrown talent from Baltimore, averages a double-double (13.6 points and 10.1 rebounds). Lamar Stevens, a senior forward, leads Penn State with 17.6 ppg. Another senior forward, Mike Watkins, brings in 10.7 points and 9.2 rebounds per game.
Penn State looks to pull off signature winThe Penn State Nittany Lions received a reality check of sorts with a 106-74 loss to Ohio State on Saturday. The Buckeyes gave Penn State a test of what it can expect on Tuesday: an opponent who can shoot lights out and size up well down low. For the Nittany Lions to earn a better result against Maryland, they'll have to do a much better job on the glass, where they were out-rebounded 37-25 by the Buckeyes. Leading scorer Lamar Stevens fouled out which didn't help matters either.
One bright spot from Penn State's loss to Ohio State was the play of sophomore guard Izaiah Brockington off the bench. Brockington scored 19 points including two 3-pointers and also recorded three steals. Freshman forward Seth Lundy provided 10 points off the bench as well. Mike Watkins is a guy to watch out for defensively as he averages 2.4 blocks per game. The Nittany Lions rank 24th nationally in defensive efficiency according to KenPom.
Maryland goes for 11th straight winThe Maryland Terrapins are one of the most well-rounded teams in college basketball. They can beat you from the perimeter with shooters like Anthony Cowan Jr. and Aaron Wiggins or can attack the paint primarily by way of Jalen Smith. Wiggins, a former top recruit out of high school, has emerged as a reliable 3-pointer shooter. He made 41.3% of shots from the perimeter as a freshman. Smith, meanwhile, has three double-doubles in his last four games including a 15 point, 16 rebound performance against Notre Dame.
Cowan Jr., Smith, Wiggins and sophomore Eric Ayala all average double figures in points. Ayala is an athletic six-foot-five guard who occasionally finds his touch from the 3-point line. Maryland's one-point win came down to a couple of plays by Cowan, who made a game-tying 3-pointer with 19 seconds to go and then made a game-winning free throw in the final two seconds. The Terrapins were down 14 points at half.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on covers.com, are:
- Terrapins are 4-1 ATS in their last five games following an ATS loss.
- Terrapins are 11-5-1 ATS in their last 17 Tuesday games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Vegas bookies are all but tempting bettors to take Penn State for the win here. I'm not buying it. Maryland's 14 point halftime deficit to Illinois on Saturday likely brought some urgency to a team that had coasted by on its talent through the first month of non-conference play. I expect the Terrapins to be up for the challenge on the road Tuesday in what should be a hostile environment. Penn State's 32-point loss to Ohio State over the weekend doesn't inspire much confidence either.
Prediction: Maryland Terrapins -1
Full-Game Total Pick
This one is trending under. The under is 9-3 in the Nittany Lions' last 12 home games vs. a team with a winning road record, while the under is 8-3 in the Terrapins' last 11 games following a straight up win. I expect a typical hard-nosed Big Ten matchup that should be low scoring. Maryland and Penn State both have defenses ranked in the top 10 nationally. Maryland's last game against Illinois (whose defensive efficiency) is only 62nd according to KenPom resulted in 59 points for the Terrapins.
Prediction: Under 144