It’s tough to say who needs the win more at this point between these struggling teams. On one hand, Danny Manning has literally been coaching for his job at Maryland ever since Mark Turgeon’s resignation made him the man in charge for the 2021-22 season.
On the other, Fred Hoiberg hasn’t seen much success at all with Nebraska, and even though he’s got a hefty buyout attached to his contract, the Cornhuskers have to start seeing wins at some point to keep him around.
That means this game between two weak squads holds more meaning than it otherwise might, and that means there’s value to be had when comparing these squads.
Nebraska has tended to be a trap game for most of the Big Ten, as the Huskers have played seven league opponents in Lincoln and are 6-1 ATS in Big Ten games at Pinnacle Bank Arena. The frustrating part for the Huskers was that up until beating Minnesota on Feb. 9, they hadn’t won any of those games where they’d also covered.
Maryland, meanwhile, comes off one of its best efforts of the season, but a game that still resulted in its fifth straight loss. The Terrapins had Purdue down double digits on the road, but they couldn’t hold on and fell by a point against the Boilermakers. The big question with Maryland now is this: was that a sign of improvement from the Terrapins, or a last gasp in a lost season?
Maryland vs. Nebraska Betting Analysis
Opening Betting Odds and Lines
|Colorado State Rams
||New Mexico Lobos
|(11-14 SU, 10-15 ATS)
||(7-18 SU, 13-12 ATS)
When: 9 p.m, Friday, February 18th
Where: Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln, Neb.
Betting the Total
Whether it’s at home or away, Nebraska still gives up quite a few points. The Huskers have gone over in nine of 14 league games this year, and it’s almost always been in part because Nebraska can’t really stop any talented opponents. Against Indiana and Illinois, the Huskers were able to hang around with their foes, but they ended up allowing both teams to top 75 points because their defense doesn’t deny good shots.
Maryland tends to play a bit slower than most teams, but Nebraska really likes to push it, ranking 10th in the nation in tempo. With the Terrapins averaging an assist-to-turnover ratio lower than 1, this is a team that can get sped up, leading to easy baskets for the Huskers. If the game plays to their pace, the over is the likely play.
I recommend backing the total to go Over 145.5 at (-115) at PointsBet.
Backing the Spread
Nebraska didn’t respond well to coming off a win over Minnesota, but the Huskers were also facing Iowa in a game where the Hawkeyes really wanted to send a message. Maryland has struggled all season long to string momentum together, and the Terrapins are running low on momentum entirely right now.
They probably won’t have Eric Ayala because of a wrist injury, and not having your best player on the floor when you’re in an evenly-matched game is often a recipe for disaster.
With Nebraska playing so much better at home than on the road and Maryland likely at less than full strength, this looks like the kind of trap game that Nebraska picks up as a sign that it’s making slow progress.
I think the Huskers have more at stake here and will play Nebraska +2 at (-110) Caesars