Indiana vs. Ohio State Odds
|Ohio State Odds||-6.5|
|Moneyline||+240 / -300|
|Time | TV||Saturday, 12 p.m. ET | ESPN|
|Odds as of Friday night and via BetMGM.|
The fourth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes go for their sixth straight win on Saturday when they battle a resurgent Indiana squad.
Indiana survived two overtimes with Northwestern on Wednesday to walk away with a three-point victory. The Hoosiers have had an up-and-down season, from beating Iowa twice to losing at home to Northwestern. At 11-8, Indiana is currently right on the bubble for the NCAA tournament, so a win on the road against a top-five team would be a huge resume-builder for March.
Ohio State has been on a tear over the past month, winning seven of its last eight games, including road wins over Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa. The Buckeyes are a well-oiled machine on the offensive end of the floor and have been giving opposing defenses fits. Ohio State trails Michigan by half a game in the Big Ten standings, so a win on Saturday is vitally important to its chances of winning a regular season conference title.
When Indiana has the ball
The Hoosiers’ offense runs through Trayce Jackson-Davis, who has one of the highest usage rates in the country. The sophomore is averaging 19.4 points and 9.0 rebounds per game on the year. He will be a big matchup problem for Ohio State, who has struggled guarding the paint this season.
Indiana’s offense has been pedestrian during Big Ten play, ranking fifth at 1.03 points per possession. They’ve struggled scoring inside the arc, averaging only 47.7% from 2-point range. That’s going to be a problem, because that is how you beat Ohio State, since the Buckeyes are one of the worst defenses defending inside the arc in the Big Ten.
Indiana does get to the free throw line more than any other team in the conference, at almost 40%. The problem is when they get to the line, they’re only shooting 66.8%. They’ll have to either shoot a high percentage inside the paint or get to the free throw line a lot against Ohio State, since the Hoosiers attempt the least amount of 3-pointers in the Big Ten. Additionally, Ohio State has one of the best perimeter defenses in the conference, so it’s imperative for the Hoosiers to get the ball down low as often as possible.
When Ohio State has the ball
The Buckeyes have one of the best offenses in the country, ranking fourth in terms of efficiency, per KenPom. The reason they are so efficient is because they are solid in just about every offensive category. However, the way they are going to win this game is by shooting threes and lots of them.
Ohio State attempts 3-pointers on 42.9% of its field goal attempts, which is the third-highest rate in the Big Ten. They can justify it because they are hitting over 35% of their attempts from deep in conference play. They’re also likely going to have a ton of good looks from behind the arc because Indiana is the worst team in the Big Ten at defending 3-pointers. The Hoosiers are allowing over 37% from 3-point range, so if they can’t keep the Buckeyes in check, it’s going to be a long afternoon for Indiana.
The Hoosiers have also really struggled defending the paint, allowing over 56% on shot attempts at the rim, while Ohio State is making 59% of those shot attempts, per Hoop-Math. It’s safe to say that Indiana does not match up well defensively against Ohio State’s offense.
Betting Analysis & Pick
This game likely going to be played in the half court, as both teams rank in the bottom half of college basketball in tempo (Indiana 303rd and Ohio State 253rd). Additionally, since Indiana has been average in Big Ten play offensively, I have a hard time seeing how it’s going to score more than 65 points.
I only have 136.21 points projected for this game, so I think there is some value on Under 139.5 points.
Pick: Under 139.5 points or better.