Even though Friday’s NCAA basketball schedule lacks a single ranked team in action, there’s an intriguing situational spot in the Big 10. Let’s break down my college basketball best bets for Maryland at Nebraska.
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Maryland Terrapins at Nebraska Cornhuskers
Although the Terps have four more wins than the Cornhuskers this season, these programs are headed in opposite directions. Nebraska is still playing with motivation — especially with potential lottery pick Trey McGowens looking to improve his NBA draft stock — while Maryland has struggled to get up for some conference games with its March Madness odds all but dead.
Moreover, Terrapins leading-scorer Eric Ayala could miss his second-straight game with a wrist injury.
Fred Hoiberg’s attack runs plenty of isolation sets for McGowens and his teammates, which Maryland struggles to guard. Within that action comes off-the-dribble 3s, and Danny Manning’s crew is surrendering the Big Ten’s fifth-highest open 3-point rate (via ShotQuality).
Keep in mind, ShotQuality also notes that Nebraska is underperforming its shooting metrics by four wins.
At the other end, the lone positive attribute of the Cornhuskers’ defense is their ball pressure. They’re tallying takeaways at the fourth-highest rate in the conference while the Terps have struggled to limit their turnovers. They occur most often when Ayala isn’t on-ball, as fellow guard Fatts Russell can be a little reckless via dribble penetration.
Unless Maryland finds unanticipated success playing through its center, Qudus Wahab, Nebraska’s defensive set-up is in prime position. Let’s back the undervalued Cornhuskers to at least hang within a possession at home.
Eli’s College Basketball Best Bets: Nebraska +2 (-110)
Best Available Line: Nebraska