Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#601 Maryland -1.5 vs.
#602 Penn State 146.5
Tuesday, December 10, 2019 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Benjamin Hayes

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#601 University of Maryland, College Park
#602 Pennsylvania State University
10-0
7-2
17-15-2
16-15-1
14-19-1
14-18
71
69
65
68

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Maryland is 10-0, yet they dropped in the AP Poll last week from three to four. They'll face 7-2 Penn State in their first true road game on Tuesday night at 7pmET from University Park.

Last season, Penn State upset Maryland at home, 78-61, but the Terps won the first game from College Park, 66-59.

Close call at home

Maryland needed a late Anthony Cowan three-pointer to tie the game at home against Illinois on Saturday. Cowan then drilled a free throw and missed the second on purpose to lead the Terps over the Illinois, 59-58. Maryland found themselves down by 15 points at one point, but clawed their way back, led by Cowan's 20 point, seven rebounds and six assists in 40 minutes. Sophomore forward Jalen Smith added 14 points and 13 boards with three blocks.

Offensively, the Terps are really struggling right now, which could cost them later because their defense is saving them. They shot just 33.3% from the floor and 25.8% from three-point range. Defensively, they held the Illini to just 39% shooting from the field and 3-of-14 from beyond the arc. The Terps outrebounded Illinois by two, despite playing a small-ball lineup that features 6-4 Darryl Morsell at power forward. They also used 10 players, but only one off the bench played double-digits (freshman Donta Scott) and the bench tallied just two points.,

“We were really selfish, again. Over dribbling, taking some bad shots, trying to play hero ball, trying to be the guy who gets us going instead of just [passing],” Turgeon said after the game on Testudotimes.com. “We got a long ways to go offensively.”

Cowan leads the Terps in scoring with 16.6 points and assists with 4.4. Sophomore guard Eric Ayala (10.7ppg) and Aaron Wiggins (10.5ppg) are capable scorers but have struggled from beyond the arc. Ayala is shooting just 25%, while Wiggins is making 31.6% from long range.

No defense in Columbus

While Maryland was playing a tough game at home, Penn State was annihilated by No. 6 Ohio State, 106-74 at Columbus on Saturday. The Nittany Lions couldn't stop Kaleb Wesson, who had 28 points and 10 boards. The Buckeyes scored 43 points in the game's final 12 minutes and wound up shooting 57% from the field and 14-of-26 from beyond the arc.

PSU was led by guard Izaiah Brockington, who had 19 points. But leading scorer Lamar Stevens (6-8, 225) was held to 11 points in 18 minutes due to foul trouble. He averages 16.8 points and 7.3 rebounds to lead the team. Mike Watkins (6-9, 254) adds 10.7 points and 9.1 rebounds with 3.8 blocks per game. He could give a smaller Maryland team trouble in the paint.

The Nittany Lions are averaging 79.9 points per game on 44.9% shooting (31.8% 3pt) and 5.9 blocks (16th). They allow 66.7 points on 40% shooting (34.1% 3pt). Both teams are strong on the glass, as Penn State is outrebounding teams by 7.2 and the Terps are a +8.2 in rebounding margin.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

This should be another tough Big 10 battle. The Illini gave Maryland fits because of their size. That's why I thought they would cover. Penn State has a wide body in Watkins, but he's 6-9. Jalen Smith is 6-10 and is a very difficult cover because of his length and agility. Defensively, the Terps are holding teams to a ridiculously-low 36.9% from the field. At some point, Wiggins, Ayala and Cowan are going to break out offensively. They are just too good and the new three-point line might be bothering them some. But they do have the advantage at the guard spot over Penn State.

Prediction: Maryland -1

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:

Rating:

Yes, Penn State gave up 106 points on Saturday and that's why this line is so high. But they've been pretty good defensively, holding teams to 40% from the field and 34.1% from beyond the arc. Maryland has not been great offensively and it's never easy to play your first road game. The Nittany Lions held Wake Forest to 54 points and Syracuse to 64, so they are certainly capable of playing strong defense. They are also shooting just 31.8% from the three-point line, while the Terps are making just 30.4% of their threes. The pace will be somewhat quick but neither team is shooting the ball well. Expect a score in the high 60's.

Prediction: Under 145.5

Half-Time Side Pick

Insiders Status:

Rating:

Maryland is a notoriously slow starting team. They are on the road for the first time. Playing in front of a hostile crowd. No question you take Penn State in the first half.

Prediction: Penn State +1/2 first half
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Written By Benjamin Hayes

Ben has been a sports writer for over 30 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for over 25 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13!