Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#625 Northwestern 131 vs.
#626 Maryland -13
Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at 8:00pm EST
Written by Benjamin Hayes

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Northwestern takes on No. 7 Maryland on Tuesday night from Xfinity Center in College Park at 8pmET. The Terps have won eight straight games and have moved into first place in the Big 10 with an 11-3 record. The Wildcats are in last place with a 1-13 record.

These teams met on Jan. 21 with the Terps winning 77-66 on the road from Evanston. Maryland has won four straight in this series straight up and against the spread.

Stumbling down the stretch

At least Northwestern has been consistent; consistently bad. While Maryland has won eight straight, they've lost nine straight games. They fell at another Top-10 team on Saturday, losing to Penn State 77-61. After playing two competitive games at Rutgers (77-73ot) and against Purdue (61-58 loss at home), the Wildcats have been crushed by Michigan by 25 at home and to Penn State by 16.

The Wildcats were never really in the game at Penn State, despite shooting 47% from the floor and 52% from the field in the second half. But they also shot just 2-14 from beyond the arc and were pounded on the boards by 12. Boo Buie led Northwestern with 12 points on 5-of-12 shooting. Miller Kopp (6-7, 210) leads the Wildcats with 13.2 points per game on 40.8% shooting (39.8% 3pt).

According to KenPom, Northwestern ranks 126th, 117th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 164th in adjusted defensive efficiency. The Wildcats average just 64.8 points per game (321st) on 41.7% shooting (277th) and 31.7% from long distance. They get outrebounded teams by 3.0 per game.

Cowan helps deliver huge win

Senior guard Anthony Cowan was named Big 10 Player of the Week thanks to an impressive performance in the Terps' 67-60 road win over Michigan State on Saturday. He scored the game's final 11 points to help the Terps rally from down seven with three minutes left. Maryland led by as many as 15 points in the first half, by eight at the half and then lost the league when their offense bogged down in the second half. But their 14-0 run with 3:08 left. The Terps shot just 41% from the field and 36% (9-25) from beyond the arc. The difference was at the three-point line, where the Spartans were held to just 4-of-19 from long distance.

“We just gutted it out," said Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon. "This team fights and the games that we’ve won close in the league, the last three or four minutes defensively, we’ve been exceptional.”

The Terps have won eight straight and it starts on the defensive end, where they allow just 62.2 points per game, 38.5% shooting (19th) and 39.9% from beyond the arc. They also outrebound teams by 4.6 per game.

Maryland is ranked 8th overall by KenPom, 34th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 5th in adjusted defensive efficiency. In the latest Net Rankings, the Terps are 7th overall. Jerry Palm of CBS has the Terps as a No. 2 seed in the South in his latest bracket. Cowan leads the Terps with 16.6 points per game and 4.5 assists, while sophomore forward Jalen "Stix" Smith adds 15.2 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.3 blocks.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

There aren't many teams playing better basketball than Maryland, but this is not a dominating team. Their most impressive wins have usually come because of one really good stretch of basketball. Just like Saturday and the funny thing is that their first road win came at Northwestern, when they were down 14 points at the half. They bounced back to outscore them 51-26 in the second half, but that showed that the Terps can spot a lesser team double digits and still beat them on the road. The Terps don't play 40 or even 30 minutes of great basketball and we're talking about a cover here. Maryland beat Nebraska by two in their last home game giving 17. They will win but won't cover here.

Prediction: Northwestern +15

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:

Rating:

Northwestern plays at the No. 306 pace in the nation. Maryland plays at the 252nd pace. Both teams shoot 41.7% from the field, so they need to win games with defense and rebounding. Maryland has a big edge in both categories. They are also at home, where they hold teams to 36.2% shooting and 59.3 points per game. Northwestern has gone under in two straight and five of their last six. The Terps have gone under in two straight and three of four.

Prediction: Under 131

Half-Time Side Pick

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Rating:

The full game line surprisingly went down from 15 to 13. I do think Maryland will get off to a decent start, because they've been doing that lately. But they usually have a rough patch and that's due their poor shooting. Yet I think they'll have enough to cover in the first half.

Prediction: Maryland -7 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!