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Maryland Terrapins vs Penn State Nittany Lions Betting Preview

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The Maryland Terrapins look to follow up their upset of No. 24 Purdue when they visit the Penn State Nittany Lions on Friday night. Maryland knocked off the Boilermakers at home on Tuesday, 61-60, in the last of its four straight games against ranked opponents.

The Terrapins (10-8) went 2-2 in that stretch and now sit at 4-7 in league play, tying Minnesota for ninth in the league standings.

Diamond Stone of theTerrapins drives to basket vs Penn State Nittany Lions. Here's our Maryland Terrapins vs Penn State Nittany Lions picks
Rob Carr/Getty Images/AFP

Just below Maryland is Penn State (6-8), which is 3-7 against Big Ten opponents after a loss at Wisconsin on Tuesday. That setback came just three days after the Nittany Lions upset the Badgers at home.

If you’re betting online on this Maryland Terrapins vs Penn State Nittany Lions contest, Penn State is an online sportsbook 2½-point home favorite, while the over/under is set at 143 in our college basketball odds.

Needing A Run

If the Terrapins are going to make it into NCAA March Madness, they are going to need to put together some wins. The schedule is certainly made for it, with only one game remaining against teams currently ranked in the Top 25 (Ohio State on Monday).

Junior guard Aaron Wiggins has been powering the Terrapins offense of late, averaging 15.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists while shooting 38% from 3-point range over the last eight games. That has raised his season scoring average to 12.8 points, which ranks second on the team.

Junior guard Eric Ayala is the team leader in scoring, averaging 13.8 points, while sophomore forward Donta Scott is contributing 12.7 points, including 45.7% shooting from 3-point range, along with a team-high 6.6 rebounds per game.

Coach Mark Turgeon’s squad will get some wins not just from its offense but from its defense as well. The Terrapins rank fourth in the Big Ten in scoring defense, allowing 66.7 points per game.

Still Fighting

The Nittany Lions have won three of five, with the only two losses during that span being on the road at Ohio State and Wisconsin. Friday night’s game is the first of three straight against non-ranked Big Ten opponents, so coach Jim Ferry hopes his team can start to build some momentum and make some college basketball news with some wins.

Junior guard Myreon Jones is averaging 15.6 points per game to place ninth among conference scoring leaders. Junior guard Izaiah Brockington is 12th with his 14.7 points per contest, giving Penn State the only duo other than Illinois’ Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn to rank in the Big Ten’s top 12.

It will be an interesting contrast between Maryland’s defense and the Penn State offense, which averages 75.6 points per game. The Nittany Lions had scored at least 75 points in four straight games before managing just 56 in Tuesday’s loss to Wisconsin.

Senior guard Jamari Wheeler will have to run the Penn State offense, as he sits three assists from 300 on his career. Wheeler is averaging 3.8 assists per game to go with his 5.1 points and 1.7 steals per contest.

Maryland Terrapins vs Penn State Nittany Lions Betting Pick

Maryland Gets The Road Win

The Terrapins have the better defense in this matchup, and that will end up being the difference. While Penn State’s offense can get hot and put points on the board, so can Maryland’s, and it will be able to outshoot the Nittany Lions in this one.

One big key for the Terrapins will be keeping Penn State off the offensive glass. The Nittany Lions lead the Big Ten with 12.6 offensive rebounds per game, while Maryland is 8-0 when outrebounding its opponent this season.

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