Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:30 AM EST.
7:00 PM EST. Maryland's road to the NCAA's will have to come by way of the Big Ten tournament, as the Terrapins have not done enough to get an at-large bid. The 'Terps had high hopes of getting in when conference play began after racking up a solid 11-2 record, but they feasted on cupcakes after playing the 314th ranked non-conference schedule as per KenPom. At 18-11, Maryland's win total is totally inflated because of the weak schools they beat up on early in the year, and its sub .500 record in Big Ten play paints a much more accurate picture of where this program is. The Terps have traded wins and losses the last six games, but none of those victories have come on the road, where this team has lost seven straight. It's hard to win on the road in college hoops, especially when motivation is going to be an issue. With just two games remaining, that being this contest tonight and a home date with ranked Michigan on Saturday, this is a problem spot for what figures to be an unmotivated traveler.
'It's not going to be easy to back Northwestern tonight after the Wildcats scored just 11 second-half points on their way to blowing a huge signature win against Michigan State last Saturday. Further lessening NW's appeal is the fact its lost three straight games, including a 16-point beatdown at the hands of these Terrapins just a week and a half ago. The market has a hard time ignoring and often overvalues recent results, but that suits us just fine here, as Northwestern is the superior side despite the discrepancy in the win column between these two. The Wildcat's ticket to the dance will also have to come by way of a Big Ten tournament win, but unlike Maryland, these guys have no delusions of grandeur. Misery loves company and Northwestern has a great shot to take Maryland out behind the barn and put an end to the nonsense. Busting brackets might be more fun than bursting bubbles, but with a chance to do the latter, we expect a solid effort from the home side. The wrong team is favored here.
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NORTHWESTERN -105 (Risking 2.1 units - To Win: 2.00)