The Maryland Terrapins head to Michigan to face the Spartans on Saturday, a contest between two Big-Ten teams that is sure to be entertaining.
The Michigan State Spartans are coming off a close win on the road against Illinois and will be looking to take down the No.1 team in the Big-Ten when they face the Terrapins.
The Maryland Terrapins are looking to hold tight to their No.1 rank in the Big-Ten when they head to face the Spartans. With Penn State hot on their tails, the Terrapins will need to keep winning in order to distance themselves from the pack.
Spartans looking to usurp Terrapins
The Spartans are only 1.5 games behind the Terrapins and if they can pull off a big win at home they’ll inch closer to taking the top spot. The Spartans were able to pull off a close win against Illinois which was much needed considering they were on a three-game skid. After narrowly escaping a win on the road, the Spartans will have to play much cleaner against the 9th ranked Terrapins.
I wouldn’t say the Spartans can’t play great against ranked teams though, they were able to upset Seton Hall and Michigan earlier in the season, but up until their win over Illinois, Michigan State looked about as awful as can be. Most of those three losses stayed close though, the largest losing margin was 9-points, it seems like the win against Illinois could be exactly what the Spartans needed to get back on track.
For the Spartans to come out on top in this one they’ll need a big game from Cassius Winston, their leading scorer, but if they’re going to cover they’ll need to up the output on defense. The Terrapins aren’t a great scoring team and if the Spartans can slow them down, even more, it bodes well for the spread.
Recently the Spartans haven’t done well against the spread, going 1-4 ATS in their last five games. Their overall record against the spread isn’t convincing either at 11-14, however, when playing at home their ATS record is much better at 9-3, with most of their games trending UNDER.
Terrapins looking to hold top spot in Big-Ten
The Terrapins have looked great this year, but ‘ ‘experts’ ‘ haven’t quite bought in on the 9th ranked NCAAB team. It doesn’t seem to bother Maryland too much though as they’ve gone on a 7-game win streak and will look to make it eight against their Big-Ten rival, the Michigan State Spartans.
Maryland has been able to beat every ranked opponent they’ve faced and although they haven’t had the hardest schedule in the NCAA, going 3-0 against ranked teams is an achievement all on its own. They’ll be facing a tough unranked team when they play the Spartans and ESPN is giving the Terrapins a 26.4% chance of winning, strange considering that Maryland beat Illinois on the road 75-66, while Michigan State narrowly escaped Illinois with a 1-point victory.
The Terrapins have done well against the spread lately, going 6-2 in their last eight games, most of which have gone over. The Terrapins also do great on the road against the spread, going 4-1 in their last five. An interesting trend to note is 1-4-1 ATS in their last six games against Michigan State.
Pick and Prediction: Maryland Terrapins +7 (138.5 ), UNDER
There are some redeemable qualities about the Michigan State Spartans, one of which is being resilient. Unfortunately, their inconsistent play against ranked teams is what deters me from picking them in this match. Even the way they performed against Illinois was lackluster and although it was great for them to get a strike back in the win column, I don’t see them being able to cover against a strong visiting Maryland team. Look for Maryland to put up a strong defensive game against Michigan State, cover the spread and go UNDER 138.8.. Maryland +7 and UNDER is our bet.