College Basketball Betting – Ohio State Buckeyes at Maryland Terrapins

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

A clash of Big Ten titans heading in opposite directions takes place on Tuesday when the No. 12 Maryland Terrapins host the No. 11 Ohio State Buckeyes. Rising as high as No. 2 in the AP rankings, OSU has plummeted after losing its last two games and three of five. A two-game losing streak last month dropped the Terps from the top-5, but they bounced back with a pair of victories and look to add to that number while defining new roles for new players following the departure of the Mitchell brothers.

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Ohio State Buckeyes at Maryland Terrapins

Date and Time: Tuesday, January 7, 2020, 7 p.m. ET

Location: XFINITY Center, College Park, MD

Opening College Basketball: Maryland -2.5, O/U 134.5

Ohio State at Maryland TV Coverage: ESPN

Odds Analysis

After blistering starts by both clubs they’ve each sputtered, though Maryland was able to get a handle on things to win two straight. The Terps surfaced as a 2-point favorite thanks in part to their perfect 9-0 home record. Overall they are 12-2 SU and just 6-8 ATS. The Buckeyes opened with nine consecutive wins knocking off top-10 Villanova and North Carolina in that stretch. They have two losses to unranked Big Ten teams and win over No. 6 Kentucky going 2-3 since. Overall the Buckeyes are 11-3 SU and 10-4 ATS with a 1-1 SU record in true road games.

Ohio State Buckeyes

Raise your hand if you’ve seen something similar to what the Buckeyes are currently going through before. If you were around last season you’ll remember the 12-1 start before OSU dropped five in a row at the turn of the New Year. Well, the Buckeyes are hoping to nip that sequence in the bud before it becomes a bigger deal. However, with a number of players back from that team, it’s certainly something that has crept into their heads.

A bigger concern right now for OSU is their sudden inability to close out games. They certainly have the talent and are better equipped this year for a sustained run through league play then they were last season. However, turnovers and a lack of clutch scoring in crunch time plagued them in losses to West Virginia and Wisconsin. The Buckeyes led in the last five minutes in both games but coughed the ball up 22 times to WVU and 14 times to the Badgers. And it looks as though Chris Holtmann has lost confidence in his reserves with just eight players taking the floor against Wisconsin.

The Buckeyes play a stifling brand of defense, but it doesn’t matter how good you are on that end of the floor if you can’t score. And the recent woes have a lot to do with the offense. They failed to score 60 points in the last two games, which happened to be their two lowest scoring outings of the year, shooting a combined 35.8 percent from the field with 35 total turnovers.

Maryland Terrapins

Their 12 wins at this point match the most of any team in the conference. But the Terps are one of two Big Ten clubs yet to play a ranked opponent. The other is six-win Nebraska. You could say Maryland has taken advantage of a light schedule, and you wouldn’t be wrong. However, the Terps still have to win the games. They lost their first two of the season to Penn State and Seton Hall just before the Christmas break, but responded by beating Bryant and a decent Indiana club in the last two.

The win over the Hoosiers may have been the highlight of the season defensively. The Terps held Indiana to 36.1 percent shooting and scored 25 points off 14 turnovers in the 75-59 rout. “What a great day for us. We’ve been a good defensive team all year,” Mark Turgeon said.

Anthony Cowan will be the front man in cracking the defensive code. The team leader in scoring (16.4) and assists (4.2) will be tasked with breaking down the Buckeyes, who allow a Big Ten-low 58.4 points per outing. At 6-10, Jalen Smith gives the Terps a versatile weapon. He had 19 points and eight boards against the Hoosiers, and drained a couple of triples to show off his range. Clearing out the lane will allow cleaner looks and the likelihood for more points.

Bet Ohio State at Maryland at BookMaker.eu

Both teams have turned up the defense a notch giving some value to the under in this one. It’s hard to imagine the Buckeyes slumping like they did last season with a more complete roster and wins over three top-10 teams. OSU will be fine defensively and they will figure out their accuracy issues leading to big road upset.

College Basketball Score Prediction: Ohio State 67, Maryland 62

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- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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