Northwestern vs. Ohio State NCAA Basketball Preview and Best Bet

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Pete Nance #22 of the Northwestern Wildcats blocks a shot. Rich Schultz/Getty Images/AFP.

Can the Northwestern Wildcats earn a win before the two-game losing streak gets out of hand? Keep on reading for BMR’s betting analysis and free pick.

Northwestern Wildcats vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

Sunday, January 09, 2022 – 05:30 PM EST at Value City Arena

The Ohio State Buckeyes are 9-3 on the year but are coming off a loss against Indiana, on the road, 67-51. The Buckeyes can be very inconsistent but with wins over teams like Duke and Wisconsin, Ohio State is also capable of beating basically any team in the nation. Now they’ll take on Northwestern, at home, as solid favorites.

The Wildcats are coming into this game with two straight losses in Big Ten play to Michigan State and Penn State. Both of those games for the Wildcats were at home. That won’t bode well for a Northwestern team that always seems to have massive losing streaks in Big Ten play. The Wildcats have been a solid team all around. However, it’s not going to be easy against Ohio State.

Northwestern is limiting turnovers to 12.4 percent this season but continues to struggle on the glass, earning just 25.2 percent offensive rebounds on the season. Northwestern also doesn’t get to the line very often but the Wildcats are capable of hitting shots, as they’ve hit 35.7 percent from long range this season. Northwestern is also 48.9 percent from inside the arc and continues to dominate at the foul line, hitting 76.2 percent. However, Ohio State’s defense has been very good.

While the Buckeyes won’t force many turnovers, the Buckeyes will hold opponents from the floor. Opponents have an effective field goal percentage of 45.4 percent, holding teams to 30.6 percent from three and 45.1 percent from inside the arc. On offense is really where Ohio State gets out in front. The Buckeyes are shooting an effective field goal percentage of 55.8 percent while hitting 55.8 percent from deep and 54.1 percent from inside. Ohio State, along with Northwestern, does very well at the line and gets there way more often.

Second chances won’t be easy to come by as Northwestern has limited opponents to 22.4 percent offensive rebounds. Northwestern could also earn more turnovers in this game, but in reality, Northwestern has struggled to defend the three, which could hurt them in the long run. Opponents are hitting nearly 34 percent from downtown against Northwestern and Ohio State doesn’t shy away from shooting from long distances. The Wildcats are fantastic defensively inside, holding opponents to just 41.2 percent on the season. So that’s where Northwestern is going to have to shut down Ohio State if the Wildcats want to win this game.

Prediction

I’ll roll with Northwestern for my college basketball pick, even on the road. This line is a bit tricky, sitting at -7.5. Of course, I think Ohio State wins this game but Northwestern has ultimately been sticking around in every game they’ve played. Against Michigan State, Northwestern lost by six and to Penn State, the deficit was four in the loss. I understand that those were home games and this is on the road, but ultimately, Northwestern should be able to hang tough throughout this game.

NCAAB Pick: Northwestern +7.5 at (-110) via BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Northwestern +7.5 (-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.