Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:00 PM EST.
Maryland +6 -105 over NORTHWESTERN
9:00 PM EST. Maryland’s stock has hit rock bottom after opening up conference play 0-4. Northwestern’s stock is higher although the Wildcats are just 1-3 in conference play but their lone victory came against Maryland, in Maryland by six and now the venue switches to Evanston, Illinois. It’s also worth noting that the Purple Cats opened as a -3½-point choice before the efficient market grabbed a hold of it and hammered it up to the price you see here.
We’re not sure why Maryland is struggling but what we know for sure is that they’re talented. The Terps were pegged by many early this offseason to be a top 10 team heading into 2021-22 season, but Aaron Wiggins opted to turn pro and Darryl Morsell strangely decided to transfer to Marquette. Despite those departures, Maryland was still projected to be a fringe top 25 team all season and a threat to win the Big Ten but instead it is looking to win its first Big-10 game of the year.
Maryland has actually performed well in conference play under Mark Turgeon, finishing in the top five of the Big Ten five times in the past seven years so don’t count the Terps out just yet. Furthermore, Maryland’s Strength of Schedule (SOS) ranks 43rd in the country. The Terps just lost by one point to #23 Wisconsin and by five points at Iowa. They also have a victory over then #20 Florida.
Northwestern’s non-conference SOS ranked 352nd in the country out of 358 teams. After four games against Big-10 opponents their overall SOS ranks 178th, which is still 135 positions worse than Maryland’s overall SOS. While Northwestern has been worthy of a look when taking back points, the role of the favorite is not one NW figures to thrive in. They may sneak up on a few teams that take them lightly but Maryland is in no position to take anyone lightly. The Big Ten will once again be a bloodbath. NW can conceivably be among the teams clawing and scrapping in the middle, but it still seems to be at most a bottom-half group with a good frontcourt but too many flaws to be favored by this much over the superior squad. Recent results loomed large in influencing the price here and so we are the beneficiaries of taking back some inflated points.
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Maryland +6 -105 (Risking 2.10 units - To Win: 2.00)