College Basketball Pick
Maryland was the Big Ten preseason favorite, while Iowa wasn’t expected to do much with a mediocre squad. The Terrapins can still win the conference, but unexpectedly have two undefeated teams above them in the standings, one of them the Hawkeyes.
Be sure to check the latest line for this Game at betonline sportsbook.
After a few early season losses, Iowa has taken pretty much everyone by surprise with its 7-0 Conference record and sweeps of Michigan State and Purdue. The Hawkeyes are rolling, but winning a Game at Maryland will be difficult to say the least.
The Terrapins are coming off a loss, and the last time they dropped a Game, returned with a 100-65 home win over Ohio State. They already have a couple Conference losses, although both have been on the road. Still, this team hasn’t dominated Conference play as expected with close home wins over Penn State and Northwestern showing some issues. Nevertheless, this may be the hungriest the Terps have been all year, back at home off a loss, facing the conference-leading Hawkeyes.
The two players to watch in this Game are Melo Trimble and Jarrod Uthoff, but the reason both of these teams are good are because of stocked, deep rosters.
Starting with the home team, Maryland has five guys that average double figures with Trimble leading the way, although only at 14.5 points per Game. Trimble is a point guard that can go for 20-plus on any given night, but has focused on helping his teammates more this season. Also, Maryland has two big playmakers on the team that weren’t there a year ago in Robert Carter and Diamond Stone. Both can do work in the paint with an array of moves, but also are solid shooters.
Iowa will match those two with Uthoff (on Carter) and Adam Woodbury (on Stone and Damonte Dodd). Uthoff presents deceiving ability on the defensive end as he’s averaging 3.1 blocks per Game and will give Carter a good fight. The question will be what Woodbury can do against Stone. Elsewhere, Iowa will probably use defensive specialist Anthony Clemmons on Trimble and it wouldn’t be surprising if Trimble struggled a bit.
OUtside of Uthoff, the Hawkeyes rely on Peter Jok and Mike Gesell for scoring, and those two will be counted upon on the road. Jok will draw Jake LAyman, while Gesell will get either Trimble or Rasheed Sulaimon.
The Hawkeyes are playing better at the moment, but it’s hard to argue that they have a better roster than the Terps. Maryland’s skill in the paint could end up deciding the Game, but that’s not to say Uthoff won’t give problems to the Terps on the other end.
Trimble has struggled with his shot in the last couple weeks and is only shooting 35% from distance on the season, which is well below last year’s rate. For Maryland to have a shot of winning the Big Ten, he’ll need to pick it up and that starts with a Game against the undefeated Hawkeyes. If Maryland wants a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, this is close to a must-win.
Iowa is playing unbelievably well at the moment, but Maryland could be their kryptonite. The Terrapins can match up at every position and they have better scorers at almost every position. Expect a fun Game with the edge going to the home team, unsurprisingly. (though Our model predicts an upset – see below)
Predicted Score- Iowa 77 Maryland 75