Maryland vs Wisconsin Odds, Picks and Predictions: Defense Paints the Picture

Wisconsin looked to be a lock for the NCAA Tournament, but a rough patch has the Badgers flailing coming into this matchup against the Terps. With both defenses known for playing tough, our college basketball picks expect a slow pace.

Feb 20, 2024 • 12:02 ET • 4 min read
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Jahmir Young Maryland Terrapins NCAAB
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Just a few weeks ago the Wisconsin Badgers were ranked No. 6 in the country and looked like they might be able to push for a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Since then, Greg Gard’s program has gone 1-5 and now has a feisty Maryland Terrapins team coming to the Kohl Center.

The college basketball odds have the Badgers as seven-point home favorites, but this Maryland defense is one of the best Wisconsin has seen all season. This game is going to be a rock fight with the defensive-minded Terps giving the badgers everything they’ve got in a must win game in Madison.

Find out where my best bets lie in my free college basketball picks for Maryland vs. Wisconsin on Tuesday, February 20.

Maryland vs Wisconsin best odds

Maryland vs Wisconsin picks and predictions

It’s been a bit of a letdown of a second season at the helm of the Maryland Terrapins for head coach Kevin Willard. The former Seton Hall bench boss led the Terps to the NCAA Tournament in his first season, but the program is just 14-12 in year two. However, Maryland’s style of basketball has made games against the Big Ten’s best surprisingly competitive.

With one of the best defenses in the country, Maryland has held its own in some of its biggest games of the season. Behind that ferocious defense and slow and methodical offense, the Terps can turn this game into a low-scoring affair, which makes the Under more than appealing.

Maryland is sixth in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency, per KenPom, and is allowing the 22nd fewest points in the country per game (64.6). Maryland is also allowing just 66.4 points per game in Big Ten play and has held conference opponents to 65 points or fewer in seven of 15 games.

The Terps have limited opponents opportunities from deep — allowing just 16.4 threes per game — while holding teams to shooting 40.9% from the floor (42nd), 44.5% from two (15th), and 32.4% from three (116th). It’s a well-rounded defense that swarms shooters on the perimeter and dominates the paint with 4.9 blocks per game.

That should cause problems against a Wisconsin offense that may rank 19th in adjusted offensive efficiency, but leans heavily on scoring inside the arc. The Badgers shoot just 19.7 threes per game, and far prefer going inside to bigs Tyler Wahl and Steven Crowl, or letting lead guard AJ Storr attack the rim.

Over its last five games, Wisconsin is putting up just 68.8 points per game despite averaging 74.3 on the season. With their slow pace, the Badgers have been averaging only 56.5 shots per game and have relied on efficient shooting and clean looks. That will be tough to come by against a Maryland defense that’s first in Big Ten games in both 2-point percentage allowed and 3-point percentage allowed.

While the Terps have played some of the best defense in the country, their offense has been a downfall, and one of the key reasons Willard’s team has been a solid Under bet this season — Maryland is 10-5 betting the Under in the Big Ten.

Maryland is scoring just 69.8 ppg this season and 66.6 in conference games while ranking 168th in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency. While guard Jahmir Young has carried the offense with 21.1 ppg, the Terps are 333rd in college basketball in shooting percentage, 283rd in 2-point percentage, and 350th in 3-point percentage.

Between the inability to shoot and its slow-paced offense, points are going to be hard to come by against a Wisconsin defense that’s allowing 68.6 per game this season. Wisconsin has also been one of the cleanest teams on defense, putting opponents on the free throw line only 16 times per game in Big Ten games — second fewest in the conference.

Overall, both Maryland and Wisconsin want to play slow, and with the Terps defensive prowess and Badgers offensive struggles as of late, that’s going to help keep this one low scoring and ugly.

My best bet: Under 130.5 (-110 at BetMGM)

Maryland vs Wisconsin same-game parlay

Under 130.5

Maryland +7.5

The Terrapins have been a hard out all season with road wins over Illinois and Iowa, and this team matches up well with the Wisconsin Badgers offense. The Terps have the ability to burn the clock on offense and lockdown inside on bigs Tyler Wahl and Steven Crowl.

A win is a big ask, but a cover? Maryland has the hard-nosed defense to do it and Jahmir Young offers enough on offense to keep it close against this struggling Badgers team.

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Maryland vs Wisconsin spread and Over/Under analysis

With the Badgers having home court advantage and seeing far more success this season despite the recent skid, Greg Gard’s team opened as a 6.5-point favorite and the line has shifted up to between seven and 7.5.

The Badgers have struggled to cover ATS this season going just 11-14-1, including 1-8-1 in their last 10 games. The Terrapins have been even worse going 10-16 ATS and 6-9 in the Big Ten.

Playing Maryland is like getting into a bar fight, hence the low game total of 130.5, which hasn’t budged. The Terps are 17-9 betting the Under this season while Wisconsin is 11-15.

Maryland vs Wisconsin betting trend to know

Maryland has hit the game total Under in 22 of its last 34 games (+9.90 Units / 26% ROI). Find more college basketball betting trends for Maryland vs. Wisconsin.

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Maryland vs Wisconsin game info

Location: Kohl Center, Madison, WI
Date: Tuesday, February 20, 2024
Tip-off: 9:00 p.m. ET
TV: Peacock

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