The 9th-seeded West Virginia Mountaineers (19-14) battle the 8-seed Maryland Terrapins (21-12) Thursday in the first NCAA Tournament matchup of a 16-game opening-round slate. Tip-off from Birmingham’s Legacy Arena is set for 12:15 p.m. ET (CBS). Below, we analyze Tipico Sportsbook’s lines around the West Virginia vs. Maryland odds, and make our expert college basketball picks, predictions and best bets.
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West Virginia ended the regular season losing 4 of its last 7 games. It beat Texas Tech 78-62 in the Big 12 Tournament as a 4-point favorite before losing to the eventual West Region’s No. 1 seed in Kansas 78-61. Thanks to a late run, the Mountaineers are 17-16 against the spread (ATS) this season. They covered 5 in a row before the loss to Kansas as 3-point underdogs.
Maryland lost as a 2.5-point underdog to the Indiana Hoosiers 70-60 in the Big Ten quarterfinals after beating Minnesota 70-54, slightly covering as a 14-point fave. The Terps lost 3 of their last 4 games, yet did win 8 of their last 12 to close out the regular season. The Terrapins enter the NCAA Tournament with a 21-12 ATS record.
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West Virginia vs. Maryland odds
Provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated Wednesday at 8:41 p.m. ET.
- Moneyline (ML): West Virginia -140 (bet $140 to win $100) | Maryland +110 (bet $100 to win $110)
- Against the spread: West Virginia -2.5 (-105) | Maryland +2.5 (-115)
- Over/Under (O/U): 138.5 (O: -108 | U: -112)
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West Virginia vs. Maryland picks and predictions
Maryland 70, West Virginia 67
I like the Terrapins, and there is clear value as they have plus-money odds here. I would prefer to get a couple of points on the spread and would pass on the (+110) moneyline.
BET MARYLAND +2.5 (-115).
The Terrapins were more impressive down the stretch than the Mountaineers. West Virginia lost 4 of its last 7 games and 3 of its last 4 games on the road. It was also blasted by Kansas.
Maryland has several good wins on the season — taking down tournaments teams like Purdue, Penn State and Northwestern in its last 10 games. The strength-on-weakness should bode well for Maryland, which has an elite defense.
It ranks 24th in opponents’ points per game (63.2), according to NCAA.com. It should be able to heavily limit a West Virginia team that ranks 133rd in field-goal percentage (45.3%). The Terrapins’ defensive dominance should help it prevail.
BACK MARYLAND +2.5 (-115).
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LEAN UNDER 138.5 (-112).
Maryland has gone Under in 3 straight games and is 11-21-1 O/U on the season. It has a defense that is among the best in the nation and should be able to tame West Virginia.
The Mountaineers have gone Under in 2 straight games, both conference tournament games. Maryland ranks 125th in defensive rebounding rate which is in the top half of the nation.
West Virginia is solid on the offensive glass, ranking 90th in the nation in offensive boards per game (11.1). The Terrapins’ strength should neutralize West Virginia, which may result in a slower game and the Under hitting. BACK UNDER 138.5 (-112).
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