#7 Ohio State vs #8 Iowa

#7 Ohio State vs #8 Iowa | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on February 4, 2021

Huge game in the Big Ten on Thursday and the only ranked matchup of the night nationally as No. 7 Ohio State visits No. 8 Iowa with the Hawkeyes favored on the NCAAB odds in a quick turnaround game.

How to Bet Ohio State at Iowa NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

  • When: Thursday, 7 PM ET
  • Where: Carver-Hawkeye Arena
  • TV: ESPN
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: Iowa -5.5 (total 158.5)

Last Meeting

The schools met once last season and Iowa won 85-76 at home when it was ranked No. 20 and Ohio State No. 25. The Hawkeyes opened the game with a 27-8 run in the first 10 minutes. Ohio State closed to within 43-35 with 41 seconds left in the first half, and was within nine points on three occasions early in the second half before Iowa went on an 18-8 run to lead 69-50 with 6:43 to play. “We could never climb back after the first five minutes,” OSU coach Chris Holtmann said. Superstar Luka Garza led Iowa with 24 points. The Hawkeyes lead the overall series 79-76. Iowa is 51-25 in Iowa City and 21-10 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Why Bet on Ohio State? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

OSU (14-4) beat Michigan State 79-62 on Sunday for a third straight win. The Buckeyes led by 12 at the half behind nine points from EJ Liddell and seven from Justin Ahrens. Five Spartans picked up two fouls each in the opening frame and that caused some shuffling of the lineup. The Spartans got within nine with 4:20 left, but their shooting just got worse as they missed nine of their last 10 shots from the floor. They hit just 25% in the second half. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes shot 45%, including 33% (6 for 18) from 3-point range.

“Our plan was to come out and set the rules early, be the more aggressive team, the tougher team,” said Kyle Young, who finished with six points and seven rebounds. “I think we were able to do that offensively and defensively early on, which kind of helped carry us throughout the rest of the game.”

Liddell had a game-high 20 points and he has now scored 20 or more points in three-consecutive games. He got support on offense from Justice Sueing (17 points) and CJ Walker (10 points).  Walker entered the game No. 2 nationally in free throw percentage (97.8%) with 45 makes in 46 attempts from the stripe. He made 4 of 4 vs. the Spartans to improve to 98% (49-50). He has made his last 45 from the line over the last 10 games.

The Buckeyes are 69-4 overall and 37-2 vs. Big Ten foes during the Chris Holtmann era when securing at least a 10-point lead at any point in a game.

When ranked among the Top 25 in the Associated Press poll, Ohio State is 24-14 vs. the Hawkeyes. Iowa is 19-14 as a ranked team vs. Ohio State. The Buckeyes are 5-4 in series when both teams are ranked. Junior Justin Ahrens leads the Buckeyes vs. Iowa with 12.7 points per game over three career meetings.

Both teams have been ranked in the Top 10 in the same game just once, a 62-61 OSU win at Iowa Feb. 18, 1961. The No. 1 Buckeyes downed the No. 9 Hawkeyes.

Why Bet on Iowa? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Iowa (13-4) didn’t play great on Tuesday but beat Michigan State 84-78. Iowa got 39 bench points — sophomore forward Jack Nunge had 12 points, and Joe Toussaint added 11. The Hawkeyes went 11 deep in the game, and got more than 89 minutes from their reserves, more than 46 in the second half.

“I don’t know how many times I’ve looked at a stat sheet and seen 39 bench points,” Coach Fran McCaffery said. “That’s incredible.”

Iowa pushed its lead to eight points early in the second half, but the Spartans battled back to tie the game at 57, 59, 61, and 63 with 10 minutes to play. The Hawkeye reserves took over. Hawkeyes superstar Luka Garza had a game-high 27 points on 9-of-18 shooting and 12 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season.

Garza surpassed the 2,000-career point mark, becoming the second Hawkeye all-time to reach the mark. Garza now has 2,009 points, 107 points behind Roy Marble’s school record. Garza reached 2,000 points in 113 games, faster than any other Big Ten player over the last 25 years (Indiana’s A.J. Guyton, 122; Wisconsin’s Alando Tucker, 124; Penn State’s Talor Battle, 124; Penn State’s Lamar Stevens, 125; Northwestern’s John Shurna, 129; Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ, 130).

Garza is the first player in Big Ten history to accumulate 2,000 points, 800 rebounds, 125 blocked shots, and 100 3-pointers. He is the only player from a major conference with those numbers dating back to the 1992-93 season.

The Hawkeyes have won nine straight home games against AP ranked opponents. That’s the longest such streak in program history during the AP Poll era (since 1948-49). Ten of Iowa’s 13 victories this season have come by 15 points or more. Iowa has won 23 of its last 25 games inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena, dating back to last season.

Game Trends

  • Buckeyes are 4-9-1 ATS in their last 14 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
  • Buckeyes are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games following a ATS win.
  • Favorite is 6-0 ATS in the last 6 meetings.
  • Expert Prediction
  • Iowa 80, Ohio State 72
 
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