The Maryland Terrapins (8-5) will travel to Illinois to take on the Fighting Illini (10-3) this Thursday afternoon. Maryland lost at Iowa 80-75 in their most recent game, and Illinois is coming off a 23 point hammering on the road at Minnesota in their last game on Tuesday. First, let’s analyze this Terrapin team. Obviously it’s been a difficult season with former Head Coach Mark Turgeon stepping down. However, they do have an experienced interim in Danny Manning. The Terps are led by Eric Ayala (15.2 PPG), and Fatts Russell (12.6 PPG).
Additionally, they have 3 other guys scoring over 9.5 PPG. Despite a decent variety of scoring options, the problems arise when we look at this team’s shooting percentages. They are 266th in the country in FG% at only 42.6%, and they are only 30.7% from 3, which ranks them at an abysmal 291st in the country. On the other side, we have an Illinois team that’s proven to be one of the best in the country.
They are led by the monster inside- Kofi Coburn at 22.5 PPG. However, their biggest addition this year has been in the lefty sniper- Alfonso Plummer, averaging nearly 17 PPG, and shooting a staggering 43% from 3! Oh, and 97% from the FT line isn’t too shabby either. As a team they average about 81 PPG, which ranks 25th in the country! Thanks in large part to Plummer, they are 11th in the country shooting the 3 ball at nearly 40%! Illinois is 7-6 ATS this season, however they are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 as a favorite.
Maryland is 5-8 ATS overall. Illinois smacked a very good Minnesota team by 23 on the road in their last game, and this Maryland team is not as good as Minnesota. Maryland is playing their second game on this road trip, and they are 1-2 overall away. Another noteworthy game to look at was their game at Louisville. They lost this one by 8, and did not cover ATS. Illinois is a way better team across the board than Louisville.
While Minnesota tried to play Coburn straight up inside, I would bet that Maryland saw how unsuccessful Minnesota was, and I’d assume they will double Coburn inside. This will lead to rotations, and wide open threes for the snipper Plummer! Home court advantage, a dominant big, and a pure shooter outside will overwhelm this Maryland team, and I think Illinois covers this spread fairly easily.
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