The NCAA will provide us with another elite Big Ten matchup for Thursday night! It's time to continue our college basketball odds series with an Ohio State-Minnesota prediction and pick.
The No. 16 Ohio State Buckeyes are (12-4) on the season and are coming off a massacre of a win last time out. They defeated IUPUI who is just (1-17) on the season. Not sure how they managed to get Ohio State on their schedule because losing 83-37 doesn't make much sense. Either way, the Buckeyes quickly took care of business and now look to face Minnesota in what should be a good matchup.
Minnesota is (11-5) on the year and are coming off a close win over Rutgers 68-65 last time out. That was a huge win for them because they had previously lost four in a row. Two of their five losses came from No. 10 Michigan State. Ohio State is (5-2) in conference play and the Golden Gophers are (2-5) in the conference. It's safe to say that Minnesota enjoyed their non-conference play this season, not losing a single matchup.
Here are the Ohio State-Minnesota college basketball odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
College Basketball Odds: Ohio State-Minnesota Odds
Ohio State: -6.5 (-102)
Minnesota: +6.5 (-120)
Over: 134 (-114)
Under: 134 (-106)
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Why Ohio State Could Cover The Spread
The Buckeyes have a tough test here on the road. They are the favorites coming in and that is the right call, but this is a large spread against a solid squad. If Ohio State is going to cover, E.J Liddell will need to be on his game and lead the Buckeyes in offensive efficiency. He's shooting over 51% on the season which is very good, so that shows how elite of an offensive player he is. Ohio State is the better offensive team but Minnesota allows fewer points per game than they do. The Buckeyes will need to make sure that they aren't rattled by their defense which averages six steals per game. Ohio State needs to make sure they limit their turnovers and if they do, they should win this game by a comfortable margin and cover this spread.
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Why Minnesota Could Cover The Spread
Minnesota is being given about six points at home here. That is favorable for them to cover because they are 6-3 at home this season. Ohio State is just 2-3 on the road and struggled this season playing away from home. The biggest issue for Minnesota is that they haven't elevated their play against the Big Ten. They are just (2-5) in conference play as mentioned early which currently puts them 12th in the conference. This is also a pretty good offensive team. They have three players who average double-digits with Jamison Battle leading the way. He averages 18 points and 6.3 rebounds per game and shoots 48% from the floor. If Battle is on his game alongside Payton Willis and E.J Stephens then the Golden Gophers should be in a position to cover this spread. On the defensive end, they need to contain Liddell and force turnovers.
Final Ohio State-Minnesota Prediction & Pick
I think this has the makings to be a close game. Minnesota is capable of covering at home but because they haven't played well against the conference, I'm picking Ohio State to cover this spread.
Final Ohio State-Minnesota Prediction & Pick: Ohio State -6.5 (-102)