College Basketball Betting – (4) Terps, (18) Purdue Set for B10 Battle
Sascha P.No comments
In a season defined by parity, the no. 4 Maryland Terrapins (20-3, 9-2 Big Ten) are about the closest thing to an “elite” team. They’ll look to solidify that status today against the no. 18 Purdue Boilermakers (19-4, 7-3 Big Ten) at the XFINITY Center (4:00 PM Eastern).
What makes an elite team? Brushing aside lesser teams, defending your home court, and playing tough on the road against other top squads. Check, check, check for the Terps. Maryland is undefeated at home on the year, and have only lost single-digit games at then-no. 2 UNC, then-no. 11 Michigan State, and Michigan.
They come into tonight’s game on a three-game win-streak, which includes a 74-68 victory over no. 3 Iowa and road wins over Ohio State and Nebraska. Leading-scorer and Player of the Year candidate Melo Trimble has continued his dominant season, putting up 20 points in each of the last two.
But it was freshman Diamond Stone who stole the show last time out against the Huskers. The Canadian big man dropped 16 points, pulled down ten boards, and had a sensational eight blocks.
Stone will have his hands full tonight, though, facing Purdue’s seven-footer AJ Hammons. The 260-pound senior is averaging over 14 points and nearly eight boards per game, while swatting 2.5 per night. He also saved his best for last – or more recent, anyway – with 32 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, and four blocks in an 89-74 win over Nebraska.
The win was the second in a row and fifth in the last six for Purdue. The squad fell 83-71 at Iowa last week, but rebounded with a win at Minnesota, followed by the home rout of the Cornhuskers.
With Iowa and Indiana at 9-1 in the Big Ten race, both teams need a win tonight to keep pace and keep their hopes of a regular season title going strong. The Boilermakers are 11-7 ATS on the year but just 4-4 on the road; that’s still better than the Terps, though, who are 10-11-1 overall against the number and 7-8 at home.
Maryland should be able to edge out another win and stay unbeaten at home, but getting 4.5 with the deep and veteran-laden Boilermakers looks like better value.
Pick: Purdue (+4.5).