Ohio St. Buckeyes vs. Northwestern Wildcats
Ohio State and Northwestern battle on Thursday Night in Columbus. The Buckeyes are -16 point favorites over the Wildcats with an over/under point total set at 124.
The Ohio State Buckeyes have lost their last two games in a row and they have slipped to fifth place in the Big 10 despite being ranked 13th in the nation. OSU is 7-4 in the Big Ten, 12-1 at home this season, and they have played the 20th ranked schedule in the nation. As a team Ohio State is averaging 71.7 points, 13.8 assists, and they are shooting 46 percent while defensively they are allowing 59.1 points, 9.6 assists, and their opponents shoot 38.9 percent. Deshaun Thomas is averaging 20.1 points and 6.1 rebounds, Lenzelle Smith Jr. is averaging 10.3 points and 5.3 rebounds, and Aaron Craft is averaging 9.9 points. Ohio State looks like a sure thing for the NCAA Tournament but they have momentum moving against them right now.
The Northwestern Wildcats have lost three of their last four games and they are playing their fourth game in their last five on the road. Northwestern is 4-7 in the Big Ten, 3-4 on the road this season, and they are 1-5 against teams ranked in the top 25. Reggie Hearn is averaging 14.2 points, Dave Sobolewski is averaging 11 points, and Jared Swopshire is averaging 9.7 points and 6.7 rebounds. It’s clearly a rebuilding ear for Northwestern and the earlier injury to Drew Crawford has taken its toll.
Ohio State is 8-3 against the spread following a loss, 4-0 against the spread following a game which they didn’t cover, and 4-1 against the spread in their last five Thursday games. Northwestern is 4-1 against the spread following a loss and 5-2 against the spread in their last seven games against Ohio State. The home team has covered the spread in four of the last five meetings of these two.
The line here is simply too big and while I like Ohio State to win, this is too many points to not take in this spot with Northwestern.
Northwestern Wildcats +16 Ohio St. Buckeyes