West Virginia vs. Maryland picks

The first game on Thursday’s schedule in the first round of this year’s NCAA tournament is the 8-on-9 game in the South Region. In this game, the West Virginia Mountaineers will take on the Maryland Terrapins in a game to be played in Birmingham, AL. Before the ball tips on Thursday, read on for our NCAA tournament betting picks for West Virginia vs. Maryland.

West Virginia vs Maryland betting tip

This match will be played at Legacy Arena at BJCC on Thursday, March 16, 2023 at 12:15 PM ET.

Why bet on West Virginia:

✅ West Virginia has been playing better basketball lately, winning three of its last four games, while Maryland has lost three of its last four competitions playing in the tournament.

✅ West Virginia is the superior offensive team coming into this duel. The Mountaineers are ranked 15th in offensive efficiency by Kenpom and will use their superior scoring to advance to the second round.

✅ Stylistically, the Mountaineers will accelerate Maryland with their willingness to take the full seat on defense. Maryland ranks in the 300s in adjusted tempo per kenpom, but they won’t be able to play quite as methodically against WVU.

West Virginia Mountaineers: Hoping to speed up the terps

The West Virginia Mountaineers come into the NCAA tournament with an overall record of 19-14 after finishing third from bottom in the Big 12 this season. But they played solid basketball late in the year, winning three straight games before being kicked out of the Big 12 tournament by Kansas. This is where West Virginia will look to continue playing well as they take on the terps.

West Virginia and its pressure defense will aim to force turnovers in this game. It will also aim to pressure Maryland into playing a faster style of basketball than they would like. If the Mountaineers can do that, they could end up in the second round against Alabama barring shocking upsets for the first overall pick.

Maryland Terrapins: Can Slow and Steady Win the Race?

The Maryland Terrapins stuttered to the finish line of their Big Ten season, losing three of their last four games to wrap up conference competition. The last of those losses was a 10-point loss to Indiana in the Big Ten tournament. Now the Terrapins are hoping to get back on track under the bright lights of the NCAA tournament.

Maryland must prove they can beat College Park to survive this West Virginia vs. Maryland clash. They have gone 2-11 in their last 13 games without an XFINITY Center, with their two wins in that span both coming against lowly Minnesota. But the Terps are 3-2 on neutral sides this season and can’t be tallied here.

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