When I saw that the Washington Huskies were ten-point favorites last night, my jaw dropped. This was a Huskies team that had won just one game since January and three games since December and was in dead last in the Pac-12.
Throw in the fact that it was senior night and a rivalry game against their biggest rivals, I felt emotions would be running high, and that seeing the Huskies as double-digit favorites over anybody right now was laughable. Let alone a team that just beat them by thirteen points a couple weeks ago. So, I snatched up all of those points and expected to collect some free money.
— WSU Men's Basketball (@WSUCougarMBB) February 29, 2020
The Cougars came out of the gate strong and finished the first half on a 10-0 run to take a thirteen-point lead into halftime. The Huskies saved some face by starting the second half on a big run to get back into the game, but at the end of the day, they ran out of gas and lost on their home floor yet again. The Huskies disappointing season continues as they are now just 3-13 in conference play.
For WSU, the Cougars won’t be dancing in March, but the season sweep over their biggest rival has to feel good, and if CJ Elleby stays in Pullman for another year, this team is going to compete at the top of the Pac-12 next season. For today’s daily betting pick, we will head to the Big 10, where Maryland hosts Michigan State.
- Michigan State Spartans (19-9) at Maryland Terrapins (23-5)
- Xfinity Center, College Park
- 5:00 PM PST
- TV: ESPN
The Maryland Terrapins face a major hurdle tonight in their quest for an outright Big 10 regular-season title as they host the Michigan State Spartans. The Terrapins hold a two-game lead over four teams for first place in the league with just three games left on the schedule. If Maryland wins tonight, they will lock up at least a share of the conference championship.
— Maryland Basketball (@TerrapinHoops) February 29, 2020
For Michigan State, the Spartans are one of those four teams chasing Maryland, and a win tonight opens the door for Sparty to claim a piece of the league title. It has been a turbulent season in East Lansing, but Michigan State seems to have things moving in the right direction now as they have won three out of their last four games. This run comes on the heels of an eight games stretch that saw the Spartans lost five games.
Michigan State Spartans
The Michigan State Spartans have run the gamut this season from being the best team in the nation to a team closing in on the bubble, and everywhere in between. So, just how good is this Spartans team? Are they a top ten school, or should they be a double-digit seed in the tournament? As is almost always the case, the answer is somewhere in the middle.
The Spartans are as talented and well-coached as any team in the country. Tom Izzo can take a group of bums to the Final Four, and this team is certainly not a group of bums. But their lack of consistency at times has been shocking. Particularly on the road, this team just hasn’t been able to give a consistent effort.
The road losses to Michigan and Wisconsin were at least somewhat understandable, but losing at Purdue and Indiana, two teams that won’t be making the NCAA tournament this year, were head-scratchers. But, even after all of the ups and downs this year, Tom Izzo has this team in a position to win tonight and give themselves a real shot at the Big 10 regular-season title.
There is no doubt about how good of a team Maryland is right now. They have been in the top-10 for much of the season, and they are a Final Four threat. The Terps have won ten out of their last eleven games, and at home this year, Maryland has been outstanding. Maryland is undefeated at home, with wins over quality opposition like Rutgers, Iowa, Ohio State, Illinois, Notre Dame, and Rhode Island.
Maryland has one of the best one-two punches in the Big 10 with the dynamic duo of Anthony Cowan Jr and Jalen Smith. Both guys are scoring over fifteen points a game and fill up the stat sheet. Cowan Jr averages four rebounds and five assists, and Smith is averaging a double-double with ten and a half boards a game. Cowan’s running mate in the backcourt, Aaron Wiggins, joins Smith and Cowan in double-digits scoring as he scores eleven a game as well. This team is balanced and loaded.
Who Do I Like?
If you read my picks daily, you probably didn’t even have to open this article to know who I was backing. I have been fading Michigan State all season long. And I promise I am not a Sparty hater, but they are just being valued far too highly in the betting market this year.
People remember that Michigan State started the season out ranked number one in the preseason, but they seem to forget that this team has nine losses and will almost certainly have double-digit losses heading into the tournament.
And on the flip side, I have been backing Maryland profitably for much of the Big 10 season. The Terps just seem to find a way to win games. And in crunch time, there is no team better in the country. I love Maryland to take care of business tonight at home.
Michigan State is 3-9 against the spread on the road. That alone is shocking. To see a team as talented as this one is to struggle like that is hard to imagine. But what is even more shocking is that in basically every one of those road games, they have attracted significant public action. The public just fires on State no matter what the number is and causes the lines to move towards them in nearly every game.
That was the case in this game as well, as Maryland opened up at -2.5-points, and the early betting action has moved the number towards Sparty, to where it stands now, at Maryland -2-points. And when you look at how close many of the home games have been for Maryland, that extra half a point is going to matter.
Maryland beat Nebraska by two, Minnesota by one, Indiana by one, Illinois by one, and Rutgers by five. So, I will back the Terrapins tonight, laying just -2, and high five the public for opening up some additional value for me! Give me the Maryland Terrapins tonight, laying -2-points, in what should be another thriller of a game!