February 19, 2018
There is one pick today.
Take Northwestern -1 spread (buy the half point) against Maryland for 3% of the bankroll.
The Northwestern Wildcats will come limping into this matchup with the Maryland Terrapins tonight. They have lost three straight games, with their most recent being a heartbreaking loss to #2 Michigan State. After holding as much as a 27-point lead at one point in the contest, the Wildcats were held to just 11 points in the second half to ultimately fall 65-60 against the Spartans. It was a crushing loss for a team that had such high hopes this season. It's fair to say that the stock of the Wildcats is (arguably) at the lowest point it's been all season, however, this is not as bad of a team as they are currently perceived, and we believe they hold much more value than the oddsmakers are giving them credit for.
In their matchup with Michigan State, they proved that they cannot only hang with one of the best teams in the nation, but they can dominate (albeit for a single half). There is no question that this team and the entire coaching staff has reviewed the tape of that matchup multiple times over the last few days, pointing out what they did right, and ultimately what they did wrong. They will use that performance as a learning tool and we expect a bounce back performance from the team in this contest.
IT was the Terrapins who started Northwestern on their 3-game losing streak and now they have a chance to atone from the performance in their first meeting on the road and issue a bit of payback tonight on their home court. Given their struggles, this is the ideal matchup for the Wildcats to get back in the win column, as the Terrapins have been nothing short of awful on the road this season. Maryland is just 1-8 in true road games this season and offensively, they average 12 less points per game on the highway than their seasonal average. Northwestern on the other hand, plays much better at home, in front of their fans, than they do themselves on the highway. This is a team that has proven to be dangerous offensively, especially from beyond the arc and if their 3-ball is falling, they are incredibly tough to best.
There is no question that the betting public is going to stay away from Northwestern, given their most recent performances, however, we believe this is an ideal opportunity to back them. They still have an outside hope of making the NCAA Tournament this season, however, they must ultimately win these types of games and cannot suffer any other 'bad' losses. A loss tonight would essentially end their hopes of a tournament bid, so with that in mind, we expect to see an extra-motivated Northwestern team tonight and when they get a lead, we don't expect them to squander it again.
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