Line Info: This line opened Maryland-4.5 and has bounced around between 5 and 6 for the last 12-16 hrs, despite Indiana being ranked and Maryland not.
IU will be without FR PG Rob Phinisee (26 mpg) who leads the team in assists per game as well as 3PT %, while playing very well on the defensive end.
This is a huge concern for the Hoosiers, especially in conference play, because IU has essentially become a 2-man team without Phinisee. Juwan Morgan and Romeo Langford have scored 85 of Indiana’s 136 points over the past two games, which were both conference games (a win vs Illinois and a loss @ Michigan). I don’t see this duo having enough fire power on the road to take down a very good defensive team in Maryland.
Indiana averages 82.3 points per game at home and that average drops all the way to 67.8 on the road. Further, they allow their opponents to score an average of 73.4 ppg on the road, compared to 60.4 at home. Their offensive efficiency on the road ranks in the bottom 100 in the country, and their average scoring margin on the road is -5.6 (funny how that works with a spread of currently 5.5 huh?). The Hoosiers allow their opponents to shoot 45.2% on the road, which ranks in the bottom third of the country as well. Plus, IU only shoots 65% from the free throw line, which ranks 309th. I struggle to back teams that shoot free throws so poorly, especially on the road in hostile environments.
One more interesting stat that I found is that Indiana averages -6.4 Extra Scoring Chances per game, ranking in the bottom 50 in the country. This stat is measured by Offensive Rebounds + Opponent Turnovers – Opponent Offensive Rebounds – Turnovers. This is important in this match-up because both of these teams average almost the same amount of possessions per game. Based on the way Indiana has performed on the road not only this season, but last season as well (Coach Miller’s first season at IU), Maryland should gain more true scoring chances through rebounding, ball security, and pressure defense. Indiana really struggles on the road to secure extra scoring chances, as they rank 287th in offensive rebounds, while Maryland ranks 75th.
On the other side, Maryland has been playing very good basketball as of late, winning 4 in a row against teams that are all ranked above 131st by KenPom. The Terps held three of these recent opponents under 68 points, with the fourth team, Nebraska, scoring 72 in a 2 point loss to Maryland in College Park. Maryland is fully healthy as I write this breakdown, and hungry to continue their winning ways against a ranked opponent.
Maryland averages just over 80 points per game at home, while allowing their opponents to score only 69 points per game in those contests. Their offensive efficiency ranks 30th overall, and their average scoring margin at home is +11.7. Maryland ranks 27th in overall field goal percentage, shooting 48.4%, and that percentage jumps up to an even 50% at home for the Terps. They allow their opponents to shoot only 41.7% at home, which ranks in the top third in the nation.
Maryland struggles most with teams that do not turn over the ball. They do not do a great job of forcing turnovers, so when their opponents do not shoot themselves in the foot, the games tend to be closer. Maryland has played five teams that rank in the top 32 in turnover percentage in KenPom’s database. Three of those games resulted in Maryland losses (vs UVA, @Purdue, vs S.Hall). The two wins came against Hofstra at home, as well as Nebraska at home. Maryland did not cover in either of those games (one ATS loss, one push). The good thing is that Indiana ranks 217th in KenPom’s TO% ranking, so I expect Indiana to help Maryland out by turning the ball over and allowing the Terps to get some easy buckets.
1-4 ATS L5 Road Games
1-4 ATS L5 Road vs team with winning home rec
2-5 ATS L7 Following ATS loss
9-16 ATS L25 on the road (7-20 SU)
3-8 SU in 11 Road Games Last Season
5-2-1 ATS L8 as Favorites
7-3 ATS L10 vs Team with winning SU rec
6-2-1 ATS L9 Overall
3-1-1 ATS L5 Following ATS W
14-4 ATS L18 January Games
4-0 ATS L4 vs Conf Opp
6-3 ATS L9 Off SU Win as Dog
Ultimately, I think the banged-up Hoosiers are going to struggle on the road against Maryland tonight. Without point guard Rob Phinisee, the Hoosiers have become a very shallow team, with a vast majority of their production running through only Juwan Morgan and Romeo Langford over the last two games. While Langford is probably the best player on the floor, I expect the Terps defense to successfully hone-in on him and slow down the Hoosier offense as a whole.
The Terps play their home games at the Xfinity Center, which is the 14th largest venue in D-1 college basketball. They ranked in the top 15 in attendance last season, and so far this season, they rank 57th by KenPom in home court advantage. Mix the home crowd in with Maryland’s stingy defense and Indiana’s tendency to struggle on the road, and I expect the Terps to roll in a Friday night conference match-up in the Big Ten.
Pick: Maryland Terrapins -5/5.5
* I see a couple books with 5’s as of 2:45 pm CT (CRIS, Bookmaker), but most have 5.5.
Additional Play Info:
The Hoosiers tend to start slow. In nine games against KenPom’s top 115 ranked teams, Indiana has been outscored in the first 10 minutes seven times. Maryland’s average first half scoring margin is +7.1 at home, while Indiana’s average first half scoring margin on the road is -8.4. Maryland scores 39.4 points per game in the first half at home, compared to Indiana’s 32.2 on the road. Maryland’s defense allows their opponents to score only 32.3 points per first half at home, while Indiana’s defense surrenders 40.6 points per first half to opponents on the road.
Not an “official play,” but Maryland 1H ATS/SU looks very attractive in this one as well.