The Iowa Hawkeyes will travel to College Park, MD to take on the Maryland Terrapins on Thursday evening. Iowa enters the game as the fifth ranked team in the country behind a 9-2 record overall and a 3-1 mark in Big Ten play. Maryland comes into the game with a 6-5 record after losing five of their last seven games.
The Hawkeyes are 4.5 point road favorites while the total is set at 154.5 points. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 7:00 PM EST.
Iowa looking to keep pace with the top of the league
The Hawkeyes may be the highest ranked team in the Big Ten but they currently don’t sit atop the standings. The Big Ten is easily the premiere conference in the nation this season and every night is a battle.
Iowa is off course led by all-world center Luka Garza (27 ppg, 9 rpg) but it has been the supporting cast that makes this Iowa team a legitimate title contender. Of course, everyone knows about Joe Wiescamp but it has been the return to Jordan Bohannon and the development of CJ Frederick and Keegan Murray that has Iowa looking like one of the scariest teams in the nation.
Bohannon has shaken off some terrible hip injuries over his career to make his final season count. In Iowa’s last two games, Bohannon has averaged 18.5 points while shooting 9-14 from behind the three-point line. Murray, a 6’8 freshman, drilled two clutch free throws in the final moments of Iowa’s win vs Rutgers.
Iowa is 9-1 straight up as the favorite on the season and 7-4 against the spread overall. The Hawkeyes are just 0-2 ATS in true road games this season. The total has gone over in eight of their 11 games this season.
Slow and steady Isn’t Winning the Race
While this Maryland team is certainly talented, what they are doing simply is not working. This Terrapins team has some horses but they rank just 299th in the country in tempo according to Kenpom. Maryland is also ranked as the 13th most efficient offense in the nation, so what is going wrong? Maryland simply does not create live ball turnovers and they don’t defend the three-point line very well, allowing opponents to shoot over 34% from three on the season.
The Terrapins are led by Eric Ayala (14.3 ppg) and Donta Scott (12.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg) but they are currently playing without their defensive stalwart, Darryl Morsell after he suffered a facial fracture recently. Even though they were still able to crank up the defense against Indiana on the road on Monday, they couldn’t muster enough offense to get the road victory, falling 63-55.
Maryland is 1-4 straight up as an underdog this season and just 5-6 against the spread overall this season. At home, they are just 3-4 against the spread with five of their seven home games going over the total.
Iowa (-4.5) at Maryland – Total: 154.5
Bovada has Iowa as the 4.5 point road favorites with the total set at 154.5 points.
Iowa is simply too good on offense for this Maryland team to pull this upset off. The Terrapins don’t have the horses in the front court to stop slow down Luka Garza and if they double him the Hawkeyes have the shooters to make them pay all from all over the court. Look for Iowa to cover this game comfortably with the total going over.
Spooky Express Free Betting Pick: Over 154.5