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A total of nine ranked teams play in eight games on Tuesday, December 6th, including the No. 1 ranked Houston Cougars, who host the North Florida Ospreys. There’s also a key Big Ten matchup between the Maryland Terrapins and Wisconsin Badgers that takes place before these teams take a hiatus from conference play. Below, I highlight the best bets for those two matchups and detail why the two ranked teams should come away with wins!
When: 8:00 PM EST
North Florida Ospreys
O 134.5 (-115)
U 134.5 (-105)
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Sometimes, the sportsbooks award us lines that just don’t make sense, no matter how much time we spend trying to figure it out. That seems to be the case with the Houston Cougars’ matchup with the North Florida Ospreys. North Florida boasts a measly 2-5 record, but to be fair, it has played a tough schedule that has featured Kentucky, Gonzaga, and Washington.
The easiest comparables to look at heading into this game are the Ospreys’ games against Gonzaga and Kentucky. In both of those games, they lost by 40 or more points. Houston’s defense is far superior to the Bulldogs and Wildcats, and I don’t see the Cougars having any trouble scoring on North Florida, considering they boast a top 20 offense per KenPom. As a matter of fact, North Florida ranks 303rd in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency. On the other hand, Houston ranks second on that end of the floor. I’ll ride with the No. 1 team in the country to cover at home against the Ospreys. Don’t expect North Florida to eclipse 45 points in this spot!
When: 9:00 PM EST
O 129.5 (-110)
U 129.5 (-110)
We love teams that cover like the result of the game depends on it! In this case, that team is the Maryland Terrapins; they have surprised many people (experts and fans alike) with their impressive play and ability to cover the spread. Maryland holds an impressive 7-1 record ATS through its first eight games of the season.
The Terrapins will be put to the test in their second Big Ten game of the season as they travel to Wisconsin to face the Badgers. In their first conference game, Maryland was able to beat the now No. 17 Illinois Fighting Illini at home by five points after a clutch three-point shot from Jahmir Young with just 14 seconds left in the game. His shot extended the lead from one point to four points and ultimately determined the game.
After Maryland’s unlikely 8-0 start to the season behind its four seniors (Jahmir Young, Donta Scott, Hakim Hart, and Don Carey), it has leaped numerous teams to rank 19th in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency margin. Currently, Wisconsin ranks merely 42nd in that same metric. The Terrapins have a top-ten-caliber offense as they rank fourth in offensive efficiency and ninth in two point percentage in the nation, and this should make all the difference in this battle.
One area that concerns me with Maryland long term, and could limit its Big Ten upside, is three-point shooting; it ranks in the bottom third out of all teams in this 3P%. This is something I will keep an eye on throughout the season, but the Terrapins should be able to squeak out a road win against the Badgers regardless of those struggles.
Andrew has always been an avid sports fan and followed his hoop dreams all the way to college. He’s well-versed in everything betting with multiple years of experience and is qualitatively and quantitatively knowledgeable in sports statistics and analytics.More info on Andrew Norton
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