Big Ten Tournament Second Round Best Bets: Going Under in Chicago – Again

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Justice Sueing #14 of the Ohio State Buckeyes drives the ball against the defense of Kris Murray #24 of the Iowa Hawkeyes on January 21, 2023. Kirk Irwin/Getty Images/AFP.

NCAAB Pick: Ohio St./Iowa Under 154 (-110) at Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review)

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Under 154 (-110)
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Follow the money, they said. And they were right; the sharp action was on the Under for Wednesday’s Big Ten Tournament opener between the No. 13 Ohio State Buckeyes and No. 12 Wisconsin Badgers.

The total for this matchup was driven all the way down from 132.5 to 130.5 by the time the NCAAB odds board closed shop. And sure enough, Ohio State won 65-57 in what turned out to be a less competitive game than advertised.

Alas, the second first-round game didn’t go as planned, despite the early action on the Under. The No. 14 Minnesota Golden Gophers had an unusually strong night on offense, shooting 10-of-24 from downtown to upset the No. 11 Nebraska Cornhuskers 78-75 (Over 137.5).

That sets up what should be a strong batch of second-round games this Thursday at the United Center. What are we putting in our college basketball picks? More Unders, of course. It’s just the right thing to do.

Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Iowa Hawkeyes

Thursday, March 9, 2023 – 02:30 PM EST at United Center

Once again, the point spread for this matchup is too tight – but the Under feels so right, even if the No. 5 Hawkeyes (Over 19-12) and Ohio State (Over 16-13-2) were both Over teams during the regular season. That fat 154-point total at Bookmaker is just betting for a contrarian wager.

Why Bet the Under?

Same reason as yesterday’s OSU-Wisconsin tilt: this is where the gold is at. The range of projections we’re following here at the ranch has Iowa winning 77-75, which adds up to… let’s see, carry the one… 152 points. We’re getting two full points of clearance here, although overtime is certainly possible with the Hawkeyes favored by two.

You can see why this total is so much bigger today now that Iowa is supplying the opposition instead of Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes are incredibly lopsided towards offense at No. 3 on Ken Pomeroy’s efficiency charts, compared to No. 168 on defense and Iowa ranks No. 53 in Adjusted Tempo at 69.9 possessions per game. They’re basically the anti-Badgers.

Having said that, the Over did cash in both times these two clubs faced each other during the regular season – and neither game was close, with Iowa winning 92-75 (Over 153.5) at home and losing 93-77 (Over 154) on the road. Maybe the neutral court will help keep things in check for the rubber match.

For Buckeyes fans looking to bet on this game, you can do it at our top Ohio betting sites.

NCAAB Pick: Under 154 (-110) at Bookmaker

Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Illinois Fighting Illini

Thursday, March 09, 2023 – 06:30 PM EST at United Center

We’re still waiting for the odds for Minnesota-Maryland at press time, but the best bet for the remaining two games is Under 141 at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review) for the tilt between No. 10 Penn State (Over 17-13-1) and No. 7 Illinois (Under 16-14-1), with the Fightin’ Illini projected to win 71-69.

Why Bet the Under?

It’s a closer call than our first pick but only because the sharps jumped on this right away when the total opened at 145. The Lions are No. 17 on offense and No. 123 on defense, but very slow up the court at 64.4 possessions per game (No. 325); the Illini are fast at 69.5 possessions per game (No. 73), but they rank No. 63 on offense and No. 23 on defense.

These two teams also split their totals during the regular season, so yes, it’s a close call. Make this bet smaller than the Under for Ohio State-Iowa, and may the sphere be with you.

NCAAB Pick: Under 141 (-110) at Bovada

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Under 141 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.