No. 24 Maryland still has an outside shot of sharing the Big Ten regular-season title, but that won’t be the case if the Terps are upset by the conference’s worst team, Rutgers, on Tuesday night. Maryland will be a solid favorite in NCAAB betting, as Rutgers is fairly terrible.
Maryland vs Rutgers Betting Prediction, Pick & TV Info
When: Tuesday, Feb. 28, 6:30 PM ET
Where: Louis Brown Athletic Center, Piscataway, NJ
The Terps (22-7, 10-6) are third in the Big Ten, two games behind first-place Purdue. There are only two games left in the regular season so it’s unlikely that Maryland will catch the Boilers. Finishing second is doable, however, Maryland is trending the wrong way, though, in losing three straight and five of seven.
It was beaten 83-69 at home by a mediocre Iowa team on Saturday. Star Melo Trimble is again struggling to find consistency in his offensive game while trying to lead the Terps out of their first three-game losing streak since the 2011-12 season, Mark Turgeon’s first at Maryland. He shot a combined 4-for- 25 including 2-for- 15 from beyond the arc in the last two losses.
The Hawkeyes, who came into Xfinity Center having made just 16 of 66 3-point shots over their previous three games, made 16 of 26 against the Terps. The Terps entered the game as 9.5-point favorites, and KenPom’s metrics predicted a 78 percent chance of victory for the home team. That didn’t come close to materializing. Maryland led for all of two minutes of game time, and fans rained boos down on them when the deficit ballooned to 22 late.
Kevin Huerter led all Terrapin scorers with 13 points and added a team-high five assists. Anthony Cowan posted 11 points and Trimble chipped in with 10 for his 27th double-figure scoring game this season and his 18th consecutive.
Trimble was named to the Wooden Award Late Season Top 20, announced Feb. 8. Trimble, who is the only player in this year’s group to land on the list three seasons, leads the Terps in scoring (17.4 ppg) and free throw percentage (.804). Maryland junior center Michal Cekovsky fractured his left ankle in the second half at No. 11 Wisconsin Sunday and will miss the remainder of the season. Cekovsky appeared in 17 games for the Terps this season, averaging a career-high 7.6 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.
Why Bet On Rutgers?
The Scarlet Knights (13-16, 2-14) were last in the Big Ten last year and are again this year (and probably will be next season). Rutgers committed a season-low turnovers and held a four-point advantage with under seven minutes to play, but could not complete the upset in a 68-64 loss to Michigan (18-10, 8-7) last Wednesday. The Scarlet Knights made 10-of- 13 free throw attempts in the hard-fought defeat, RU’s ninth single-digit decision in its last 13 contests.
RU overcame a 10-point deficit to take a lead in just its seventh game at the RAC over its past 18 contests. Corey Sanders, Mike Williams and Nigel Johnson scored in double-digits for Rutgers, which shot 40.7 percent (24-of- 59) and 6-of- 16 (37.5 percent) from behind the arc. Sanders posted 17 points, Williams added 14 on 5-of- 10 shooting with eight rebounds and Johnson contributed 12 points on 5-of-10 field goal attempts.
The team is currently ranked 327th or worse in every shooting category KenPom evaluates out of 351 Division I teams. But Rutgers is getting better. Their last five losses include four by single digits and their average margin of defeat is 8.4 points during this streak. Three of the losses came by 6 points or less. In their previous nine conference losses before this current stretch, their average margin of defeat was 14.9 points per game, with just three by single digits. The smallest deficit was their 6 point loss at Iowa, but they also suffered a third of these nine losses by 19 or more points.
Rutgers is third nationally in offensive rebounds-per- game (14.79) and fifth in overall rebounds (41.11) to lead the Big Ten in both categories. RU has out-rebounded its conference foes in 10 of 16 games, after winning the boards in just three of 18 league contests last season. With at least three more games remaining in the season, Rutgers has won six more games than it did during the entire 2015-16 campaign (7-25). The plus-six differential ranks fourth among BCS conference-member programs.
The game will mark the 11th meeting on the collegiate hardwood between Rutgers and Maryland dating back to 1940, with the Terrapins holding a 7-3 advantage. Maryland has won five straight in the series, including a 67-55 decision at the Xfinity Center on Jan. 24, when UM was ranked No. 22
Maryland vs Rutgers Betting Prediction: Maryland Terrapins
As long as the spread is under double digits, take Maryland on NCAA odds.