NCAAB Odds, Pick for Ohio State vs Iowa: Hawks to Cover?

NCAAB Odds, Pick for Ohio State vs Iowa: Hawks to Cover? article feature image

Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Payton Sandfort (Iowa Hawkeyes)

Ohio State vs Iowa Odds

Friday, Feb 2
7:00pm ET
Fox Sports 1
Ohio State Odds
Point SpreadTotal PointsMoneyline
-120o / +100u
Iowa Odds
Point SpreadTotal PointsMoneyline
-120o / +100u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAB odds here.

Below, we have NCAAB odds and a pick for Ohio State vs Iowa.

The Ohio State Buckeyes appeared to be one of the few teams that could challenge the top teams of the Big Ten before conference play began, but Chris Holtmann's team has sputtered into oblivion as of late, most notably with their recent 12-point home loss to Illinois.

It would take quite the run for the Buckeyes, who are now 3-7 in conference play, to make the NCAA tournament.

Their opponent in Friday's contest, the Iowa Hawkeyes, are in a similar situation, having lost three of their last four games.

Let's break down both of these struggling teams below and uncover the best betting value for their upcoming matchup.

Check out our College Basketball Betting Hub for more NCAAB previews, predictions, news and analysis.

Ohio State Buckeyes

The Buckeyes are officially in do-or-die mode thanks to their lackluster effort over the last month. Their remaining schedule is not the easiest, but they have some winnable games coming up.

If they want to ponder thoughts of playing in the NCAA Tournament, they have to leave Iowa City with a victory. Any positive momentum would do wonders for the team.

There is no question that Ohio State is an offensive-minded basketball team, and they will need plenty of that offensive mindset against the Hawkeyes.

They are an average 3-point shooting team, but they protect the basketball and clean up on the offensive glass. They have the free-throw advantage, and I expect them to get clean shots off most of the contest. The real issues are on the defensive end of the floor.

First, they have been unlucky defending the 3, which explains why they have allowed opposing offenses to score at will lately. They also do not force turnovers.

Their interior defense has been strong, but the frontcourt of Jamison Battle and Felix Okpara will have their hands full against a Hawkeyes offense that loves to attack inside.

I have no concerns about the Buckeyes' offense, but their defense needs to force turnovers. They will lose the contest if the game ends up turning into a track meet.

Iowa Hawkeyes

The Hawkeyes are 4-6 in conference play and have a more realistic shot of climbing the Big Ten standings. Looking at their schedule, all games are winnable except for three.

I'm not sure a 12-9 conference record is enough for an NCAA tournament bid, but this means the matchup with the Buckeyes is a must-win.

They enter the matchup 18th in adjusted offensive efficiency and have a sparkling 77% FT rate as a team. The Hawkeyes also protect the basketball extremely well.

The Buckeyes' perimeter defense has been unlucky, so the Hawkeyes should find some success from beyond the arc. Although they do not shoot 3s too often, they could be a difference-maker in a presumably close contest.

Their defense across the board is mediocre, and they struggle rebounding the basketball. In a conference as physical as the Big Ten, rebound rate is a critical area that has to be efficient.

The Hawkeyes' pace is the polar opposite of the Buckeyes, so I expect them to try and dictate the tempo. If they can do that, I think they have a great shot of turning around their season at home.

Ohio State vs. Iowa

Betting Pick & Prediction

Both of these teams have struggled lately, but the Buckeyes are on a much bigger free-fall. I like the Hawkeyes at home in this spot.

I think both are capable of putting up big numbers offensively. However, I have more faith in the Hawkeyes' frontcourt and do not trust the Buckeyes to keep up in a shootout.

The Hawkeyes are home, and they have a bigger reason to show up with the schedule they have in front of them. Their talented frontcourt of Owen Freeman, Ben Krikke, and Payton Sandfort are superior to the Buckeyes’ forwards.

It is tough to gauge the temperatures of both these reeling teams, but the Hawkeyes have more reason to believe their season is not dead yet. It is scary, but I give the edge to them at home.

Pick: Iowa -5 (Play to -6)

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Nick Sterling
Jun 25, 2024 UTC