The Maryland Terrapins have looked mostly dominant over their past seven games – but that hot streak will be put to the test Friday night as they tangle with 22nd-ranked Indiana. That marquee matchup kicks off a wild weekend of college hoops action, which includes the Pittsburgh Panthers looking to extend a pair of rock-solid trends vs. N.C. State and the Kansas Jayhawks in great position to reverse their stunning cover struggles against host Baylor. Here are the key games and betting tips to monitor this weekend on the hardcourt:
Taming the Terrapins
There has been no stopping the Maryland Terrapins, who carry a four-game winning streak into Friday's encounter with the visiting Indiana Hoosiers. Maryland has won six of seven overall while finishing above the total six consecutive times, including each of their last four home games. The Hoosiers are a dismal 1-3 SU on the road this season but have done well to limit scoring for the most part, having gone 9-2-1 to the under in their past 12 games away from Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. The teams have also finished below the number in four of their past five meetings.
Combining the quirky with the concrete isn't always a solid approach but doing so this weekend could net bettors a nice payday as the Pittsburgh Panthers visit the N.C. State Wolfpack on Saturday. The Panthers bring two interesting trends into the weekend, having gone an incredible 10-1-1 ATS in their previous 12 games against teams with winning records and a ridiculous 23-5 to the under in their past 28 games played on a Saturday. But if you're thinking about creating a fun parlay here, be aware that the host Wolfpack are 7-2 ATS in their past nine home games.
Reversal of Fortune?
The Kansas Jayhawks have been a less-than-inspiring cover option this season, carrying a 7-8 ATS record into Saturday's Big 12 encounter with the host Baylor Bears. And things have been even worse away from Allen Fieldhouse; their only two losses this season have come on the road, and they're just 1-4 ATS in their past five away games overall. But the Jayhawks are in good shape to turn things around Saturday – they're 10-2 ATS in their previous 12 visits to Ferrell Center, and the road team has successfully covered in 20 of the last 28 meetings between the teams overall (with one push).
- The Jayhawks will have to do without one of their most reliable big men, with center Udoka Azubuike undergoing season-ending surgery on his right hand. Azubuike was a force in the middle for Kansas, averaging 13.4 points and 6.8 rebounds while shooting better than 70 percent from the field. Kansas has lost two of its last three games without him.
- The Oregon Ducks are starting to feel the pressure of having to make do without sensational center Bol Bol, who will miss the remainder of the season with a foot injury. The Ducks are just 3-3 SU and 2-4 ATS with Bol on the sidelines, compared to a 6-3 SU mark and a 5-4 ATS record with Bol – one of the top prospects in the nation – in the lineup.
National Title Odds
- Duke may have fallen to No. 2 in the coaches' poll, but the Blue Devils remain a rock-solid No. 1 option in oddsmakers' eyes. Vegas has the Zion Williamson-led powerhouse as a +150 favorite to capture the national title this spring, well ahead of the runners-up Gonzaga Bulldogs (+1,100) and Michigan Wolverines (+1,100).
- Oddsmakers still have faith in the Kentucky Wildcats despite their stunningly slow start. The Wildcats, who have dropped to No. 18 in both the coaches' poll and the Associated Press rankings, carry the seventh-best odds of winning the national championship at +1,700, sandwiched between the Tennessee Volunteers (+1,400) and Nevada Wolf Pack (+1,800).
- Looking for a good live underdog play? Consider the Iowa State Cyclones, who are listed at +10,000 to win their first NCAA title in program history. The Cyclones were the biggest movers in both polls last week, jumping six spots to 21st in the AP poll and five spots to No. 20 in the coaches' poll after trouncing Kentucky 77-60.
- Road teams have been a slightly better cover option over the past seven days, converting at a 52 percent clip (162-149-2). That has closed the overall gap for the season to the width of a betting slip, with the home team covering 1,236 times and the road team making good on 1,233 occasions (with 49 pushes).
- Totals betting has been a little more one-sided, with the under at 53.7 percent of non-overtime games, and 51.8 percent overall. And those trends have been even more pronounced over the previous 30 days, with 55.1 percent of non-overtime games and 52.9 percent of all contests finishing below the total.
- Oklahoma continues to be the top cover/under parlay option in all of Division I. The Sooners enter the weekend with a sparkling 12-1-2 ATS record to go along with a 4-11 O/U mark. And those records are even more pronounced at Lloyd Noble Center, where Oklahoma is 6-0 ATS and 0-6 O/U entering Saturday's home date with TCU.