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West Virginia vs. Maryland odds, prediction, betting trends for 2023 March Madness first round matchup

Sporting News 3/13/2023 Jovan Alford
© Provided by Sporting News

The first round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament tips off with No. 9 seed West Virginia taking on No. 8 seed Maryland on Thursday at 12:15 p.m. ET from Legacy Arena at BJCC in Birmingham (CBS).

The Mountaineers (19-14) are back in the NCAA tournament after missing the big dance last season. West Virginia's record this season wasn't much better than last year, but they played better inside the Big 12. The Mountaineers won one game in the Big 12 tournament (a 16-point win over Texas Tech) before losing to Kansas in the quarterfinals. The Mountaineers also played some good teams in non-conference play, which helped them punch their ticket into the tourney. They played Pitt (win), Purdue (loss), Xavier (loss), and Auburn (win). It's rare to see a team finish eighth in a 10-team conference make the tournament, no matter the season, but West Virginia has a chance to defy the odds and make a run.

Meanwhile, the Terrapins (21-12) had a rough end to the season, losing three out of their past four games. However, this team is battle-tested after playing Miami (win), Tennessee (three-point loss), and UCLA (loss) in non-conference play. Maryland went 11-9 in the Big Ten, picking up wins over Penn State, Purdue, Indiana, Illinois, and Northwestern. This team can make it to the Round of 32 and give Alabama a fight. However, they can just as easily lose on Thursday afternoon to an average WVU team.


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Here's everything to know about betting on West Virginia vs. Maryland in the 2023 NCAA Tournament, including updated odds, trends, and our prediction for the first-round matchup.

West Virginia vs. Maryland odds

Odds courtesy of Sports Interaction   

West Virginia is only a two-point favorite over Maryland heading into Thursday's game. The point total is set at 138 points, which makes sense, as the teams averaging 146.7 per game this season.

  • Spread: West Virginia -2
  • Over/under: 138
  • Moneyline: West Virginia (-134), Maryland (+111)

Three betting trends to watch 

— The Mountaineers are 12-7 against the spread this season as a favorite and 16-3 straight up on the moneyline.

—  The total has gone OVER in nine out of 16 West Virginia games on the road or on a neutral court this season.

— Finally, the Terps are 4-7 ATS this season as an underdog but 8-3 ATS after a win.


Odds | Favorites & Sleepers | Props | Round 1 Best Bets

West Virginia key players  

The Mountaineers have four players scoring in double figures, led by Erik Stevenson, who is producing 15.5 points per game and shooting 38.1 percent from the field. The fifth-year senior guard is coming off a rough shooting performance against Kansas (13 points -- 6/14 FG, 1/7 3pt) in the Big 12 tournament. However, Stevenson had an impressive five-game stretch in February, scoring 20 or more points against Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Iowa State, and Kansas State. Along with Stevenson, Maryland will have to watch out for Tre Mitchell (11.6 PPG and 5.5 RPG), Kedrian Johnson (11.2 PPG), and Emmitt Matthews Jr. (10.4 PPG and 4.0 RPG).

MORE: Print your 2023 March Madness bracket here

Maryland key players  

The Terrapins will be led by senior guard Jahmir Young, who was named to the All-Big-Ten second team this season after spending his first three years at Charlotte. Young averaged 16.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game. Maryland also has three other players who are scoring in double figures -- Hakim Hart (11.5 PPG and 4.2 RPG), Donta Scott (11.5 PPG and 5.9 RPG), and Julian Reese (11.2 PPG and 7.3 RPG). Maryland does not shoot the ball well (44.9 percent from the field), but they will crash the boards (33.8 rebounds per game).


15 vs. 2 | 14 vs. 3 | 13 vs. 4 | 12 vs. 5

Best individual matchup: Erik Stevenson vs. Jahmir Young

We have another game in the first round that will come down to which guard can play better between Stevenson and Young. In the Mountaineers' wins over Kansas State, Iowa State (twice), and Auburn, Stevenson averaged 22.3 points per game. He must have another 20-point effort on Thursday, especially if WVU has any plans to advance to the second round. As for Young, he's coming off back-to-back rough shooting performances against Indiana and Minnesota in the Big Ten tournament. However, we just saw the senior guard put up 26 points (9/17 FG, 3/6 3pt) and eight rebounds in the regular season finale against Penn State. This 8/9 guard matchup will go under the radar, but it could be one of the best in the first round.

West Virginia vs. Maryland stat to know

As we previously mentioned, the Mountaineers have one of the better-scoring offenses in the tournament (76.3 points per game). However, West Virginia will play one of the best-scoring defenses in Maryland (63.2 points per game -- 26th in the nation). Even though the Terps lost four out of five games to end the season, they only allowed 67.4 points per game. If they keep West Virginia under 75 points, Maryland has a good shot of sneaking away with a win.


DeCourcy (Alabama) | Bender (Kansas) | Fagan (Marquette) | Pohnl (Kansas)

West Virginia vs. Maryland prediction  

Neither team is excellent at shooting the ball from beyond the arc, but they get contributions from multiple players. We know that West Virginia can score points, but it will be tougher against a good defense that gave teams in the Big Ten fits this season. Therefore, we like Maryland to come away with a tight win thanks to the play of Young and the Terps to win the battle on the boards.

Prediction: Maryland 70, West Virginia 66. Maryland (+2) covers the spread with the game going UNDER the total (138).

See what BetQL is projecting for Maryland vs. West Virginia, along with sharp picks, value bets, and more for every March Madness game!

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