Melo Trimble is the star of a Maryland squad that has struggled recently.

Illinois vs Maryland College Basketball Lines Preview

Written by on March 2, 2016

The 12th-ranked Maryland Terrapins are playing some of their worst basketball of the season, but they’ll have a great chance to pick up a victory when they host the inconsistent Illinois Fighting Illini on Thursday night. Maryland wants to improve its chances of getting a favorable seed in the quickly approaching March Madness championship tournament while Illinois is simply playing out the string in what looks a season that will end with a berth in the NIT. Now, let’s find out which team is the right NCAA hoops odds pick for this Big Ten battle.

How to Bet the Illinois vs. Maryland NCAAB Odds & TV Info

When: Thursday March 3, 7:00 PM ET Where: Xfinity Center, College Park, Maryland TV: ESPN, ESPN3 NCAAB Odds: TBA

Why Bet The Illinois Fighting Illini

Illinois (13-16 SU, 12-12-3 ATS) looks like great bet in this contest because Maryland is really struggling right now. The Fighting Illini snapped a two-game losing streak by beating Minnesota 84-71 on Monday night to improve to an impressive 5-2 ATS over its last seven games. Guard Kendrick Dunn scored a team-high 25 points and backcourt mate Malcolm Hill added 22 points and seven rebounds to lead Illinois to victory. Just prior to the game, Minnesota suspended guards Nate Mason, Dupree McBrayer and Kevin Dorsey for “violating team rules.” The Fighting Illini average 72.7 points per game but give up a whopping 74.8 points per contest defensively.

Why Bet The Maryland Terrapins

The Terps (23-6 SU, 12-15-1 ATS) look like a great wager because they’re completely desperate! Maryland has lost three of its last four games including its humbling 83-79 road loss against Purdue on Sunday. Point guard Melo Trimble led the Terrapins with 19 while center Diamond Stone added 18 points in the loss. “The difference in the game was that we couldn’t rebound, and they could,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said, noting that Purdue out rebounded the Terrapins, 41-22, including 19-9 on the offensive end. “I thought our first-shot defense was good enough to win. You never like losing, but Purdue is really good in this building.” The Terrapins average 76.2 points per game while limiting the opposition to 65.6 points per game defensively.

Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction

I know Maryland isn’t playing its best basketball right now, but I still like them to get the much-needed win against an Illinois team that has lost two of its last three games, four of six and six of its last nine games overall. I know the Fighting Illini are a perfect 4-0 ATS in their last four road games, but the Illini are also just 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games against a team with a winning SU record and just 1-4-1 ATS in their last six games following an SU win. The Terrapins are an uninspiring 1-6 ATS in their last seven games against a team with a losing straight up record and 0-3-1 ATS in their last four games overall, but let’s not forget, this team was once ranked inside the top 5 and has a boatload of talent, even if they are struggling mightily right now. My final score prediction: Maryland 75 Illinois 70