- Penn State vs Maryland odds favor the Terps by 2.5-points at home Monday, February 21
- Maryland is 1-5 straight up over the past six games
- The Nittany Lions are 3-3 SU in their last six games
Two struggling Big Ten schools hit the hardwood on Monday as the Maryland Terrapins play host to the Penn State Nittany Lions.
Maryland as 12-14 overall and 4-11 in conference play. Penn State is 11-12 overall and 6-9 in the Big Ten.
However, both teams come into this matchup on winning highs. The Terrapins won 90-74 at Nebraska, ending their five-game losing streak. As for the Nittany Lions, they’ve won two in a row. A 67-46 win over Minnesota followed on the heels of a 62-58 takedown of #19 Michigan State.
Both of those Penn State wins came at home. The Nittany Lions are 0-5 SU in their past five road games, which may explain why Maryland is a 2.5-point favorite in this game.
Penn State vs Maryland Odds
|Penn State Nittany Lions||+125||+2.5 (-110)||O 129.5 (-110)|
|Maryland Terrapins||-145||-2.5 (-110)||U 129.5 (-110)|
Odds as of February 18th at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Tipoff for this tilt at the Xfinity Center is set for 7pm ET. ESPN2 is carrying the broadcast.
With the favorite’s moneyline of -145, the Terps are given an implied probability of victory of 59.18%. Penn State, the +125 underdog, are showing an IP of victory at 44.44%.
Neither team made it into the most-recent March Madness bracket projection. Penn State has a slightly better resume, sitting 83rd in the NET rankings compared to Maryland at 95th. But there Final Four odds of +15000 are indicative of the fact that they are a longshot to make the field.
The total has gone under in four of Penn State’s last five games. As well, the total went under in four of the past five times that the Nittany Lions played on the road against the Terrapins.
Nittany Lions Roar On Defense
Penn State is far from a Big Ten power but the Nittany Lions stand tall when the other team has the basketball. They rate third in the Big Ten in scoring defense, allowing just 64,7 points per game. That’s just 0.48 ppg behind the top-ranked defense of Indiana.
Their last three losses were by a combined total of nine points. This season, Penn State has held three teams under 50 points and 10 to less than 60 points.
— Penn State Men’s Basketball (@PennStateMBB) February 18, 2022
The Nittany Lions are also strong on the defensive boards. Penn State pulls down on average 26.7 defensive rebounds per game. The Nittany Lions have won or tied the rebounding battle in 11 of 15 Big Ten games. This despite suiting up on average the smallest team in the Big Ten according to KenPom.
Four Penn State players are averaging double digits in points. Senior guard Jalen Pickett (13.0 points per game) leads the team in scoring. Junior forward Seth Lundy (12.6 ppg), Senior guard Sam Sessoms (11.3 ppg) and senior forward John Harrar (10.5 ppg) are the the others. Harrar is also grabbing 9.7 rebounds per game.
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Free Throws Falling For Terrapins
Maryland is currently second in the Big Ten in both free throws made (392) and attempted (521). The Terrapins are converting from the line at a 75% rate, which is third in the Big Ten.
Graduate student guard Fatts Russell (88) and senior guard Eric Ayala (63) both rank among the top 15 in the conference in free throws made. Russell is the only active player in NCAA Division I men’s basketball with 1,900 points, 500 assists and 225 steals. Ayala returned from a wrist injury to play in the win at Nebraska.
It was the best night, never would forget how we moved.
Red (Maryland’s Version) > Red (Nebraska’s Version) pic.twitter.com/M8Bsj9w4GB
— Maryland Men’s Basketball (@TerrapinHoops) February 20, 2022
Three Terrapins are averaging double-digit points, led by Ayala’s 14.6 ppg. Russell (14.0 ppg) and junior forward Donta Scott (12.7 ppg) are the others. Russell leads the Terps with 99 assists. Scott is grabbing a team-leading 6.2 rebounds per game.
Maryland vs Penn State Prediction
This will be the only meeting of the season between the Nittany Lions and Terrapins. Penn State has won four in a row over Maryland.
However, the Pennsylvania sports betting public can attest to the fact that winning on the road simply isn’t Penn State’s forte. The Nittany Lions have just two wins away from Happy Valley and only one in a true road setting. That was a 74-70 victory Jan. 5 at Northwestern.
— Penn State Men’s Basketball (@PennStateMBB) February 20, 2022
At 7-8, Maryland isn’t exactly dominant at home. The Terps have lost three in a row on their home court. However, their last home win was a decisive 81-65 verdict over #12 Illinois. Maryland is 4-1 SU all-time at the Xfinity Center against Penn State.
Pick: Maryland Terrapins -2.5 (-110)
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