It’s been a frustrating season in many ways for No. 8 Maryland and No. 9 West Virginia, two college basketball teams with double-digit losses after grueling slates in the Big Ten and Big-12, respectively.
Those teams’ Quad 1 wins helped them earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament, and they’ll face off Thursday in a neutral-site game that will test both teams’ ability to succeed away from friendly confines.
Here’s how we’re betting Thursday’s contest, which tips off at 12:15 p.m. ET on CBS.
Maryland vs. West Virginia pick
Maryland vs. West Virginia prediction and analysis
For all its signature wins and narrow losses through the regular season, Maryland is best known for a Jekyll-and-Hyde routine that has borne two identities for this team: “home Maryland” and “road Maryland.”
The former has been one of the best bets in the country and a worthy adversary in this field.
The Terrapins finished a stellar 16-1 at home (13-4 against the spread), outscoring teams by 13 points behind one of the most experienced lineups in the country – posting the nation’s 13th-best offensive efficiency at home and 26th-best efficiency overall.
On the road? It’s been a different story.
“Road Maryland” is far less proficient offensively, dropping to 123rd on that end with a seriously elevated turnover rate (17.7%) and a lousy 3-point percentage (31.9%).
It’s no surprise that this team is just 5-11 away from home, which includes a brutal 2-9 record in true road games (4-7 ATS).
The “road Maryland” phenomenon is a key reason why we’ve seen this line flip in favor of West Virginia, which opened as a short underdog before bettors pounced on the Mountaineers ahead of the first game on Thursday’s busy slate.
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Yes, West Virginia has its own issues in road and neutral-site games (6-10), but the Mountaineers faced the fifth-toughest schedule in the country and still managed to score big wins against Pittsburgh, Iowa State and Texas Tech away from Morgantown.
They also ranked 20th nationally in T-Rank’s power rating in those 16 games off-site – the best mark by any team with a losing record in that spot.
Expect Bob Huggins’ group to take advantage of Maryland’s turnover issues in hostile environments and relentlessly attack the Terrapins’ uneven frontcourt to score a date with Alabama in the second round.
Maryland vs. West Virginia odds (via BetMGM)
- West Virginia -2.5 (-105), moneyline -140
- Maryland +2.5 (-115), moneyline +115
- O/U 137.5 (-110)
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