NCAA March Madness: Maryland vs. West Virginia betting preview, odds and predictions

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NCAA March Madness: Maryland Terrapins vs. West Virginia Mountaineers betting preview, odds and predictions

In the 8 vs. 9 matchup in the South region of the 2023 NCAA tournament, the Maryland Terrapins face the West Virginia Mountaineers with a spot in the Round of 32 on the line. All tournament long, VSiN will be providing you with March Madness betting odds, in-depth team analysis and expert college basketball picks. Make us your one-stop shop for all of your betting needs. 

 

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How to watch Maryland vs. West Virginia

When: Thursday, 12:15 p.m. ET

Where: Birmingham, Alabama

Watch: CBS

Odds for Maryland vs. West Virginia

Spread: West Virginia -2.5

Total: 140

(Odds accurate as of Sunday, March 12th at 11:00 p.m. ET) 

Real-time betting splits at DraftKings Sportsbook

South Region No. 8 Seed Maryland Terrapins

Maryland might not be elite on either end of the floor, but the Terrapins are incredibly balanced. This was nearly a top-30 team on both ends of the floor when it came to offensive and defensive efficiency during the regular season, according to our VSiN Team Power Ratings. And the Terps do have a player that can put them on his back and lead them on a run, as Jahmir Young had nine games with 20 or more points during the regular season. This is very much a Kevin Willard basketball team, as the former Seton Hall Pirates head coach didn’t take long to install his culture in College Park. The Terps might not have championship upside, but they’re going to give their opponents hell in March.

South Region No. 9 Seed West Virginia Mountaineers

West Virginia’s record might not be all that impressive, but the Mountaineers have the ability to make a little noise this March. For starters, Bob Huggins is as good of a coach as there is in college basketball. Teams simply do not want to see him on the other sideline at this point in the year. The Mountaineers also happen to be absurdly hard to stop on the offensive end, where they have been a borderline top-15 team in the nation. West Virginia is led by guard Erik Stevenson, who transferred over from South Carolina before this year. But the Mountaineers also have three other players that average double figures, and that type of balance can be difficult for defenses to deal with.

Maryland vs. West Virginia matchup analysis

The best two-day stretch of the year for college basketball fans begins in Birmingham, Alabama in a matchup between West Virginia and Maryland. If this season’s past results are any indication, not playing in College Park, Maryland could be a really bad thing for the Terrapins. Maryland went 21-12 for the season, but 11 of the Terps’ 12 losses came away from home (road or neutral). What stands out the most about those 16 games is that Maryland’s defense traveled, but the offense did not.

In the 16 road/neutral games to this point, Maryland shot 31.9% from 3 and just 48.3% on 2s. The Terrapins won one game on the road in Big Ten play. They also won one game in the Big Ten Tournament in Chicago. They beat Minnesota in both cases. Among “high-major conferences” (SEC, ACC, Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12, AAC, Big East), the Golden Gophers were the sixth-worst team per Bart Torvik. One of Maryland’s other non-home wins was against Louisville, the second-worst team from those conferences.

In other words, Maryland’s dramatic home/not home splits are a huge factor in the handicap of this game against West Virginia. The Mountaineers had a bad record, but they played 19 Quadrant I games and went 6-13. They played one of the five hardest schedules in the country, which is going to happen in the rough-and-tumble Big 12.

West Virginia can be a tough matchup because the Mountaineers play a very aggressive style of defense and are very physical at the rim. Maryland head coach Kevin Willard got a firsthand look when he was at Seton Hall in 2011-12, when Bob Huggins and WVU were still in the Big East prior to moving to the Big 12. The Mountaineers forced a turnover on nearly 21% of opponents’ possessions, but Maryland’s top offensive strength was taking care of the ball. However, most teams in the Big Ten fail to force turnovers, so that is likely a misleading stat.

Your opinion on this game may be defined by your view of the Big 12 vs. the Big Ten and many would say that one is clearly better than the other and it is the favored team’s conference that would win that straw poll.

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