With No. 1 overall seed Alabama likely waiting in the wings in the second round, a pair of power-conference programs square off in a 2023 NCAA Tournament matchup on Thursday afternoon. The No. 8 seed Maryland Terrapins face the No. 9 West Virginia Mountaineers at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Ala. The game also opens the first round in a standalone slot, with top-tier coaches squaring off in West Virginia's Bob Huggins and Maryland's Kevin Willard. WVU is 19-14 overall, with Maryland entering the tournament at 21-12 overall this season.

Caesars Sportsbook lists the Mountaineers as 2.5-point favorites for this 12:15 p.m. ET tip. The total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, or the over/under, is 137 in the latest West Virginia vs. Maryland odds. Before making any Maryland vs. West Virginia picks, you need to see the college basketball predictions and betting advice SportsLine's advanced computer model has to say.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. The model enters the 2023 NCAA Tournament 79-53 on all-top rated college basketball picks this season, returning nearly $1,300 for $100 players. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Maryland vs. WVU and just locked in its picks and CBB predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model's picks. Now, here are several college basketball betting lines and trends for WVU vs. Maryland:

  • Maryland vs. West Virginia spread: WVU -2.5
  • Maryland vs. West Virginia over/under: 137 points 
  • Maryland vs. West Virginia money line: WVU -145, MD +120
  • MARY: The Terrapins are 4-2 against the spread in the last six games 
  • WVU: The Mountaineers are 5-1 against the spread in the last six games
  • Maryland vs. West Virginia picks: See picks here

Why Maryland can cover

Maryland has the stronger projected defense in this matchup when it comes to adjusted defensive efficiency. The Terrapins are notably strong in opponent shooting, holding the opposition to 32.1% shooting from 3-point range and 47.7% from inside the arc. Maryland boasts a 9.9% block rate this season, and the Terrapins also secure nearly 73% of available rebounds on the defensive glass. 

Willard's team is above-average in free throw prevention on a rate basis, and Maryland creates a turnover on 18.4% of defensive possessions. In this matchup, that havoc creation can become magnified due to West Virginia's issues in ball security. The Mountaineers give the ball away on 18.5% of offensive possessions, potentially fueling Maryland's offense in transition.

Why West Virginia can cover

West Virginia's offensive attack is highly prolific, as the Mountaineers rank in the top 15 of the country in adjusted offensive efficiency. Veteran guard Erik Stevenson leads the way for Bob Huggins' team, averaging 15.5 points per game and converting more than 38% of 3-point attempts. West Virginia is in the top 20 nationally in free throw attempts, averaging 22.8 per game, and the Mountaineers are shooting 74.1% at the line this season. 

The Mountaineers are above-average nationally in 2-point shooting (51.3%) and 3-point shooting (34.8%), and led the Big 12 in offensive rebound rate (34.8%) in conference play. On defense, West Virginia is highly aggressive, forcing a turnover on 20.9% of defensive possessions. Maryland is outside the top 300 in the country in assists, averaging only 11.5 per game, and the Terrapins shoot poorly (33.0%) from beyond the 3-point arc.

How to make Maryland vs. West Virginia picks

SportsLine's model is leaning Over on the point total, projecting 141 combined points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in well over 60% of simulations. You can only see the model's pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Maryland vs. West Virginia? And which side of the spread hits in well over 60% of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Maryland vs. West Virginia spread you need to jump on Thursday, all from the model that has crushed its college basketball picks, and find out.