Ohio State has been one of the disappointments of college basketball this year and the Buckeyes won’t be playing in a postseason tournament other than the Big Ten version. They can help decide who the Big Ten regular-season champion is, though. No. 16 Wisconsin visits on Thursday night and the Badgers are tied atop the league with Purdue. Here’s a closer look at the NCAAB odds for the game.
Wisconsin vs Ohio State Odds, Betting Pick & TV Info
- When: Thursday, Feb. 23, 9 PM ET
- Where: Value City Arena, Columbus
- TV: ESPN
- Opening NCAAB Lines: Wisconsin favored by TBA
Why Bet On Wisconsin?
The Badgers (22-5, 11-3) would lose a tiebreaker with Purdue because the Boilermakers won the only regular-season meeting between the two. Wisconsin ended a two-game losing streak on Sunday with a 71-60 home win over No. 23 Maryland. Nigel Hayes scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half, and Ethan Happ had 20 points.
Bronson Koenig scored all nine of his points in the second half, giving the Badgers a lift with his jump shot after the senior missed a game with a nagging left calf injury. Wisconsin shot 51 percent in the second half. Wisconsin pulled away slowly, turning a six-point halftime deficit into a 12-point edge with 3 minutes to go.
The Badgers owned a 44-27 rebounding margin, including 18-5 on the offensive glass. UW’s +17 margin is its largest in Big Ten play and was Maryland’s largest rebounding deficit of the season. UW won its 22nd game of the season, matching last year's mark and equaling the 12th-highest win total in school history. Over the last four seasons, Wisconsin is 34-10 (.773) in regular-season games in the months of February and March.
One of the few things the Badgers didn’t do well in the second half was convert at a decent rate from the free throw line. UW went 9-for- 17 from the line after halftime to finish 21-for- 37 (56.8 percent) for the game. That’s been a problem area for the Badgers (22-5, 11-3 Big Ten) all season. They’re shooting 66.5 percent from the line, which ranks 12th among Big Ten teams and 286th in the nation. It’s really two players dragging down the team’s percentage. Hayes (62.3 percent) and Happ (51.6 percent) have combined for 286 attempts this season, accounting for more than half of the team’s total.
The Badgers are 6-0 when Hayes has attempted at least 10 free throws this season. Hayes was 9-of- 14 against the Terps. The other wins were against Oklahoma (10-of- 13 FT), Green Bay (7-of- 13), the first Rutgers game (10-of- 10), the first Michigan game (4-of- 10) and Nebraska (7-of- 11).
Why Bet On Ohio State?
The Buckeyes (15-13, 5-9) shockingly have the second-worst record in the Big Ten, ahead of only perennial doormat Rutgers. They come off a 58-57 loss to Nebraska at Value City Arena. It was their third-straight defeat, assuring that Ohio State will finish below .500 in league play for the first time in coach Thad Matta’s 13 seasons in Columbus.
The Huskers chipped away in the second half, and Glynn Watson Jr. tied the score at 57 with a layup with 12 seconds left, then went to the line to convert a free-throw for the one-point lead. A desperation shot just before the buzzer by Ohio State’s Jae’Sean Tate was ff the mark as Nebraska won its second straight game. Tate had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Marc Loving and Trevor Thompson both added 13 for Ohio State. The Buckeyes shot 41 percent. Tate has four double-doubles on the season and nine for his career. Loving is now four rebounds away from becoming the 27th Buckeye to record 1,000 points and 500 rebounds.
Nebraska shot 38.3 percent from the field in the contest. Ohio State has held 26 of its 28 opponents to under 50 percent shooting from the field this season. Ohio State is now 13-3 this season when leading at halftime. The Buckeyes are 15-3 this season when leading with five minutes left to play. Ohio State has had eight games decided by two or less points on the season (3-5). OSU is 1-2 in games decided by one point this season.
On Jan. 12, in Madison, the Badgers crushed Ohio State, 89-66, on the strength of 21 offensive rebounds and 28 second-chance points. Koenig was 5-of- 7 from the 3-point line and had 21. UW shot 49 percent from the field and a season-best 55 percent from the 3-point line. JaQuan Lyle led the Buckeyes with 13 points. “We just caved in,” OSU coach Thad Matta said.
Wisconsin last played at Value City Arena in March 2015. Frank Kaminsky had 20 points and Koenig had 15 as the Badgers overwhelmed the Buckeyes, 72-48.
Wisconsin at Ohio State Betting Pick: Wisconsin Badgers
This is the worst Ohio State team in years. Go Badgers on the road.