NCAA Basketball Predictions: Maryland Terrapins vs. Northwestern Wildcats

Maryland Terrapins at Northwestern Wildcats
Tuesday, 11/27/12, 9:15 PM EST, TV:  ESPN2
Opening Point Spread:  Northwestern -5.5
Current Betting Line:  Northwestern -4
Opening Total:  131.5
Current Total:  129.5
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The Northwestern Wildcats have won 21 consecutive games in November

Maryland hits the road for the first time in the 2012-13 season when it takes on Northwestern as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, as the program has won four consecutive games since a 72-69 season-opening loss to the Kentucky Wildcats.  The Terrapins are 9-4 all-time in this event, but they did have their six-game win streak in the Challenge snapped in a 71-62 setback to Illinois last year.  Maryland is 0-2 ATS on the road with a total of 120 to 129.5 since 2010, which can’t be ignored when making your college basketball picks against the spread on Tuesday night.

The Terrapins have displayed an incredible amount of depth this season, with nine players averaging double-figure minutes, while five players have scored in double figures in each of the last two games.  Maryland is led by sophomore center Alex Len, who is averaging 15.6 points and 8.2 rebounds, while pacing the ACC with 2.6 blocks per contest.  The team has made more free throws than its opponent has attempted this year.

Northwestern seeks its fifth-straight win in this event and its 22nd consecutive victory in the month of November, entering off a 72-69 overtime win over Illinois State as 2.5-point neutral-site underdogs.  The Wildcats have four probable starters averaging double figures in scoring, with seniors Drew Crawford and Reggie Hearn both scoring 13.7 points per game.  The team is outscoring opponents by 19.3 points per game, which has been made possible by a plus-2.5 turnover margin.  Northwestern is 4-2 ATS as a home favorite of 3.5 to 6 points the last two-plus seasons.

The Wildcats are getting tremendous production out of sophomore point guard Dave Sobolewski, who is averaging 5.0 assists per game, which ranks third in the Big Ten in that particular category.  He led the conference and paced all of college basketball’s freshmen with a 2.63 assist-to-turnover ratio last year.  Northwestern has a 53-5 home record against unranked opponents over the last five seasons.

Sports bettors will likely back the Wildcats due to their 5-0 ATS mark versus ACC opponents, while the Terrapins are 1-5 ATS on the road.

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