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College Basketball Free Picks: North Carolina Tar Heels at Maryland Terrapins

Free College Basketball Pick  

North Carolina Tar Heels at Maryland Terrapins

North Carolina looks to continue their winning ways on Wednesday night. Maryland is squarely on the NCAA Tournament bubble and is in a must-win situation. The Tar Heels travel to snowy College Park, Md., to take on Maryland at the Comcast Center at 7pmET (ESPN).

Most Recent Games:

North Carolina (21-8 SU, 18-9 ATS) has won five straight games including a 79-58 victory over Florida State on Sunday giving 12. They are also 1-4 last 5 matchups on the under bet overall.

Maryland (20-9 SU, 10-11-1 ATS) is 8-8 in the ACC. They are coming off a 67-57 road win over Wake Forest giving 2 on Saturday. Maryland is 16-2 straight up at home and is 3-1 against the spread in their last four home games.

Betting Odds:

The game opened as a pick-em and moved to North Carolina and remained there in most books. The total bet started at 145.5 and remained there in most books.

Recent Matchups:

Last game (1/19/13) North Carolina (-5.5) beat Maryland at home, 62-52. North Carolina has won five straight in the series and has covered four of the last five. They are 18-5 last 23 matchups on the over bet.

Maryland's rebounding edge will be the key:

In the first game, Maryland outrebounded the Tar Heels 39-33 on the road. North Carolina was playing their bigger lineup at the time with Desmond Hubert (6-9, 220) at power forward. That was on January 19, but head coach Roy Williams decided to go with a smaller lineup, moving P.J. Hairston (6-5, 220) to replace Hubert. That puts more pressure on Reggie Bullock (6-7, 205) to rebound with bigger post players.

Maryland could counter with a smaller lineup as they have the versatility to do so. But they beat Wake Forest with Alex Len (7-1, 250) at center and senior James Padgett (6-8, 225) at power forward. Len had just five points but added 10 rebounds and two blocks. North Carolina will try and pull him away from the basket on defense, which will be tough. When Len comes out, coach Mark Turgeon can counter with freshmen Shaquille Cleare (6-9, 270) and Charles Mitchell (6-8, 260). Both are rugged players who really crash the boards. Mitchell had 11 rebounds against North Carolina in the first game.

Key betting trends

North Carolina is:
  • 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a SU win of more than 20 points.
  • Home team is 16-5 ATS in the last 21 meetings.
  • 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings in Maryland.

Maryland has the motivation and the home court advantage

Maryland looks to get closer to earning an NCAA Tournament berth against a red-hot North Carolina team.. Barring something strange, UNC is in the field of 68. Maryland is a must-win situation with Virginia coming up on the road on Sunday night. The Terrapins sit sixth in the ACC, two games behind Virginia and a game ahead of Florida State.

Maryland came up with a big win over Wake Forest on the road on Saturday. That's the same Wake Forest team that upset Miami-Florida the previous week. Sophomore Dez Wells erupted with 23 points against Wake Forest and has scored 38 points in his past two games on 17-for-22 shooting. Maryland leads the ACC and rank 10th in the nation in field-goal percentage defense (37.7 percent).  

Maryland held the Demon Deacons to 32.7 percent shooting from the field and forcing them into 18 turnovers. The Terps held a 37-29 edge in the rebounding battle and connected on 47.5 percent of their field-goal tries as Nick Faust and Logan Aronhalt contributed nine points apiece in the win. 

The Terps were able to beat top ACC foes in NC State and Duke at home so with more on the line, expect them to come through on Wednesday night against North Carolina.

Wednesday College Basketball Picks: Maryland Terrapins over North Carolina Tar Heels

(ATS' Free Picks are strong this season, hitting close to 57%. But for our top selections, check out ATSwins.com's Lock Club, which has now won nearly 50 units the last two weeks. Click here for more information)
Posted in: NCAAB

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