A pair of 4-4 teams will be getting together Wednesday when Penn State plays its Big Ten opener and Maryland looks to rebound from a 12-point loss to Indiana. Maryland is the favorite according to the college basketball lines.
Penn State is looking to snap its four-game losing streak while Maryland had won three games in a row before the loss to the Hoosiers.
Penn State has won five of the last seven meetings and that included a 65-64 win on March 5, 2023. Each of the last six meetings have been decided by single digits with four of the last five finishing under the total. The home team has won 10 of the previous 11 games.
The college basketball odds list Maryland as a 7-point favorite. This is the 10th time in the last 11 meetings that the home team has been favored with the line the second-highest in the last 10 matchups.
Guard Jameel Brown (5.3 points per game) and forward Demetrius Lilley (3.5 points per game) are questionable for Penn State while forward Favour Aire is out.
For Maryland, center Braden Pierce and guard Jahmir Young are questionable while guard Chance Stephens is expected to miss the 2023-24 season.
Maryland (+750) came into the season with the third-best odds of winning the Big Ten title with only Minnesota having longer odds than Penn State’s +6000 in the Big Ten championship odds.
While six Big Ten teams are receiving votes in the national polls, neither Penn State nor Maryland are among those teams listed on ballots.
Penn State Needs To Get Defensive
Penn State hasn’t done well as the degree of difficulty has increased.
Beginning with a loss to Texas A&M, the Nittany Lions have lost games by 12, 10, 12 and 9 points.
The last time out versus Bucknell, Penn State allowed its opponent to shoot 58% from the field and go 10-for-21 from 3-point range.
Virginia Commonwealth shot 53.8% from the field and 53.3% on 3-pointers and the Nittany Lions aren’t good enough offensively to overcome that.
Penn State has covered against the Vegas odds in just one of its last seven games.
All Eyes on Top Scorer for Terps
The availability of Maryland’s leading scorer Jahmir Young could be determined by how this matchup goes.
The senior guard leads Maryland in both scoring (16.4 points per game) and assists. He has scored at least 20 points in three of the last four games. In the last two games played by Maryland, he had seven assists, four steals and just two turnovers.
Last Jahmir Young update of the day:
He’s practicing as a full participant so far. Right ankle is taped up, but he said he is “feeling good” and just tweaked it. pic.twitter.com/SK3e7Euokn
— Emmett Siegel (@EmmettSiegel_) December 5, 2023
Young averaged 22 points per game and had five 3-pointers in the two matchups against Penn State last season.
Maryland’s offense is in the middle of the pack in the Big Ten with Young and it is hard to imagine how much of a struggle it would be to score without him. He was able to practice on Tuesday.
Maryland is 2-7 against the college basketball spread in its last nine games.
Total of 137 Rather Tempting
Assuming that Young is good to go as he claims, it is hard to pick against Maryland in this matchup even if the Terrapins have not been impressive early in the season.
Among Wednesday’s games involving at least one team from a Power-5 conference, only the Washington State game against Cal Riverside has a lower total than the 138½-point total for this matchup. Even though that number is higher than the total in each of the last four matchups between the Nittany Lions and Terrapins, going with this game to finish over seems like a pretty good way to proceed even if the recent trend has been for this series to land under the total.
Penn State’s defense is rather generous and while these are far from the two most explosive offensive teams in the Big Ten, when making NCAAB picks today that total seems attainable.
College Basketball Pick: Over 137 (-110)
Penn State vs Maryland Game Information
- Game: Penn State 4-4 (0-0 Big Ten) vs Maryland 4-4 (1-0 Big Ten)
- Location: Xfinity Center, College Park, MD
- Date/Time: Wednesday, Dec. 6, 7 p.m. ET
- Penn State vs Maryland Live Stream: TBS.com
Penn State vs Maryland Betting Lines
Questions of the Day
Are Penn State and Maryland rivals?
This isn’t the most compelling rivalry in the Big Ten but the recent games have been competitive.
What are the betting odds between Penn State and Maryland?
Maryland is favored by 7 points with a Moneyline of -315. The total is set at 138½,
The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.