Tuesday’s Big 10/ACC Tips
By David Schwab
This week’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge in men’s college basketball continues tonight with six matchups on the schedule highlighted by a huge showdown between No. 2 Maryland on the road against its former ACC rivals, the No. 9 North Carolina Tar Heels.
No. 2 Maryland Terrapins at No. 9 North Carolina Tar Heels (9:30 p.m. ESPN)
Betting Point Spread: North Carolina -6
Maryland’s second season in the Big Ten since leaving the ACC is off to a solid start with six-straight wins, but the Terrapins have been tough on bettors so far with a costly 2-4 record against the spread. This past Saturday they rolled over Cleveland State 80-63, but they could not cover as heavy 21 ½ -point favorites at home. The total went OVER the closing 134 ½-point line and it has now gone OVER in their last three games.
The Terps feature four players scoring in double-figures led by sophomore guard Melo Trimble, who is averaging of 14.8 points per game. He is hitting 50.9 percent of his shots from the field and 77.8 percent from the free-throw line. Junior forward Robert Carter leads the team in rebounds with seven per game and he is the team’s second leading scorer with 13 PPG.
North Carolina is off to a SU 5-1 start after getting tripped-up by Northern Iowa in a 71-67 loss on Nov. 21 as a 6 ½-point road favorite. The Tar Heels have failed to cover in their last three games along with a PUSH to fall to 2-3-1 ATS overall. Their last time out on Nov. 24, they beat Kansas State 80-70, but they could not cover as 10 ½-point favorites. The total went OVER the 148 ½-point closing line after staying UNDER in their previous three games.
The big news in Chapel Hill for Tuesday night is the highly anticipated return of senior point guard Marcus Paige, who sat out the first six games while recovering from a broken hand. In his place, sophomore forward Justin Jackson and junior forward Kennedy Meeks have helped fill the scoring void with a combined 29 points a game. Jackson is shooting 50.7 percent from the field and Meeks is adding 7.5 rebounds to the mix. Last season for the Tar Heels, Paige averaged 14.1 PPG while shooting 41.3 percent from the field and 39.5 percent from three-point range.
The Terrapins are 2-4-1 ATS in their last seven road games and the total has stayed UNDER in 12 of their last 18 road games.
The Tar Heels are 5-10-2 ATS in their last 17 games at home and the total has gone OVER in four of their last five home games.
Head-to-head in this matchup, North Carolina has won the last five games SU and it has covered in five of the last six meetings on its home court. The total has gone OVER in 10 of the last 13 meetings.
No. 10 Virginia Cavaliers (-8) at Ohio State Buckeyes (7:30 p.m. ESPN)
The 5-1 Cavaliers return to action following an 80-54 pasting of Lehigh in a game that had no posted betting line. In games with a point-spread they have gone an even 2-2 with the total going OVER in all four contests. Virginia comes into this game with a 10-4 record ATS in its last 14 road games. Look for another big night from senior guard Malcolm Brogdon, who leads the team in scoring with 16.7 PPG.
The Buckeyes’ current SU losing streak reached three games with last Friday’s 81-76 loss in overtime to the Memphis Tigers as one-point favorites in the HoopHall Miami Invitational. They have now failed to cover in their last four games to fall to 1-4 ATS on the year. Junior guard Marc Loving scored 17 points in the losing effort to the Tigers and on the year he is averaging a team-high 16.6 points.
No. 11 Purdue Boilermakers (-1) at Pittsburgh Panthers (9 p.m. ESPN2)
Purdue is off to a solid 6-0 SU start and it has covered in the two games with a posted point-spread including an 85-70 victory against Florida on Nov. 22 as a 6 ½-point neutral-site favorite. The Boilermakers are 7-1 ATS in their last eight road games and the total has stayed UNDER in nine of their last 12 games against a team from the ACC.
The Panthers have won their first four games with a 1-2 record ATS in games with a posted betting line. The total went OVER in two of those three contests and coming into this game it has gone OVER in 38 of their last 53 home games. Junior forward Michael Young has been a force for Pittsburgh so far with a team-high 18 PPG while hitting 64.4 percent of his shots from the field.
No. 21 Miami Hurricanes (-6) at Nebraska Cornhuskers (9 p.m. ESPNU)
Miami slipped to No. 21 in the latest AP Top 25 from No. 15 following last Friday’s stunning 78-77 loss to Northeastern as a heavy 16-point home favorite. The Hurricanes are now 5-1 SU out of the gate and still a healthy 4-1 ATS. The total went OVER the 143.5-point closing line in that loss and it has now gone OVER in all five games this year with a posted line. The total has gone OVER in 14 of their last 21 road games.
The Cornhuskers’ 82-71 victory against the Tennessee Volunteers this past Saturday in the Barclays Center Classic as two-point underdogs raised their SU record on the year to 5-2. They are 3-1 ATS in games with point-spreads and the total has gone OVER in three of those four contests. Junior guard Tai Webster came up big against the Volunteers with 18 points, but another junior guard Andrew White is Nebraska’s leading scorer this season with 14.9 PPG.