- #14 Wisconsin (12-4, 6-3 Big Ten) battles Maryland (9-7, 3-6 Big Ten) on Wednesday, Jan. 27, at 9pm ET
- The Badgers have a stronger 2020-21 resume, but the Terrapins won the season’s first meeting between these two
- The odds for the game, as well as matchup analysis and a pick, can be found in the article below
When considering a game between #14 Wisconsin and Maryland, there is a case to be made in favor of either side winning: Wisconsin, with a top-10 defense and stringently mistake-proof offense, is the better team on paper; but Maryland has a more impressive win and has bragging rights from their meeting in December.
The amount of stock you put into those traits will likely determine who you think will win Wednesday’s rematch at 9pm ET. Here’s how the oddsmakers are viewing it:
Wisconsin vs Maryland Odds
|Wisconsin||-175||-3.5 (-110)||Over 130.5 (-108)|
|Maryland||+144||+3.5 (-110)||Under 130.5 (-112)|
Odds as of Jan. 26th, 2020 at FanDuel.
How They’ve Fared Recently
We’ll dive into Dec. 28th’s Wisconsin/Maryland game in a little bit, but for now let’s take a look at what these teams have done since then.
The Badgers have won four of six (three KenPom top-40 wins, plus a win over Northwestern, 71st). Their recent losses have come against #4 Michigan and #13 Ohio State. If you’re going to lose, those aren’t the worst teams to come up short against.
…yep, it's T-Wahl Time ⏰
— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) January 21, 2021
What makes the Badgers so impressive is their mistake-free offense (second in NCAA Division I with a 12.6% turnover rate) and their stout defense (seventh in D-I in adjusted defensive efficiency). Credit their senior-laden group — their five highest usage players are seniors — for that.
Maryland followed its big win over the Badgers with a three-game losing streak — against #4 Michigan, Indiana and #7 Iowa. They later lost to Michigan again, but the Terrapins have won three of their past four, including a defeat of #19 Illinois.
The Terrapins appear to be a good matchup for Wisconsin, given that they don’t generate many turnovers (16.3% of defensive possessions, 307th in D-I). But they are a respectable offensive team (30th in D-I in adjusted efficiency).
Neither team has a winning record against the spread, as Wisconsin is 7-8-1 ATS and Maryland is 7-8.
The Badgers are 5-5 ATS in their past 10 and are 2-2 ATS on the road. The Terrapins are 4-5 ATS in their past 10 (one game was an exhibition against a non-D-I school and didn’t have odds) and are 4-5 ATS at home.
— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) January 24, 2021
In other words, neither team presents a very desirable season-long trend from an ATS standpoint — nor from the over/under side of things, as they’ve combined to see the over hit in 18 of 31 games (58%).
That means we’d be wise to pay particular attention to their head-to-head breakdown.
Okay, here’s where we can put a microscope on that Dec. 28 meeting, in which Maryland nabbed a 70-64 road win over Wisconsin. The Badgers’ lead was as large as eight in the second half, but this was a tightly contested game throughout.
Wisconsin’s downfall came at the free throw line, where the Badgers made just 8-of-21 attempts (38.1%). Their season average is 75.3%, which would’ve resulted in 15 made free throws and, theoretically, won them the game.
Is it that simple? Of course not. And even a straight up win in that scenario wouldn’t have been enough to cover the game’s 10-point spread. But oddsmakers have adjusted accordingly, and now the spread is in a very manageable place for the Badgers.
Pick: Wisconsin -3.5 (-110)
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