A battle between two of the strongest teams in the Big Ten Conference is on tap Thursday night when the Maryland Terrapins (17-8, 8-6 Big Ten) host the #2 Purdue Boilermakers (23-3, 12-3 Big Ten). Purdue took care of Maryland in their first meeting of the season, beating the Terrapins 58-55 in a low-scoring contest at home.
Tip-off between the two teams is at 6:30 p.m. EST inside the XFINITY Center in College Park, Maryland. Purdue is a two-point favorite, and the over/under total is 132.5 points.
What to Know – #2 Purdue Boilermakers
Purdue won 22 of its first 23 games to climb to no. 1 in the country but have lost two of its last three, both conference games on the road. The Boilermakers own a two-game lead over the nearest competitor in the conference standings with under three weeks remaining in the regular season.
Offensively, the Boilermakers rank fourth in the Big Ten, scoring 73.9 points per game behind 46.3% shooting from the floor and 33.6% shooting from beyond the arc. Purdue’s defense is second in the conference limiting opponents to 61.7 ppg, 41.1% shooting from the field, and 30% shooting from three.
The Boilermakers are 11-14-1 against the spread and 2-5-1 ATS in road contests. Purdue is only 1-7 ATS over its last eight matchups against the Terrapins.
What to Know – Maryland Terrapins
If the regular season ended today, the Terrapins would safely be in the NCAA Tournament, but Maryland has a huge opportunity Thursday night to improve on their seeding heading into the final weeks of the season.
Maryland sits fourth in the conference had have won five of its last six games.
The Terrapins offense is eighth in the conference averaging 70.8 ppg while hitting 44.9% of their shots from the field and 30.4% from the 3-point line. On defense, Maryland ranks fourth in the Big Ten holding opposing teams to 62.8 ppg, 41.7% shooting from the field, and 31.7% from deep.
Maryland comes into the game with an impressive 16-9 record ATS and a 10-4 record inside the XFINITY Center. The Terrapins hold a 3-6 record ATS in their previous nine games played on a Thursday.
The Pick is In
Purdue has struggled on the road recently, but the Boilermakers are too good and too well-coached to continue that trend. Maryland’s lone loss at home this season came in a non-conference defeat to then no. 7 ranked Tennessee.
Even though the Terrapins are a tough opponent to face at home, it feels like Purdue is in the right spot for a turnaround game. Maryland struggles to hit shots from the outside, and the Terrapins won’t get easy baskets inside against the Boilermakers.
Don’t be surprised if Maryland leads this one at halftime, but Purdue steps up in the second half to secure a key conference road win thanks to clutch free throw shooting down the stretch.
The Pick: #2 Purdue Boilermakers -2