Bowling Green vs. Ohio State Odds & Picks: Betting Guide to This Non-Conference College Basketball Game
Emilee Chinn/Getty Images. Pictured: Jamari Wheeler.
Bowling Green vs. Ohio State Odds
|Bowling Green Odds
-110o / -110u
|Ohio State Odds
-110o / -110u
The Bowling Green Falcons will make the short trip down to Columbus to take on The Ohio State Buckeyes on Monday night. The Falcons are still trying to find their identity. They are currently 1-1 in the young season after winning handily against a Division III opponent but losing outright as a 9.5-point favorite in their first game.
The Buckeyes find themselves in a similar situation, ranked as a top-25 team in preseason. They are 2-0, but in my opinion, they may be the worst 2-0 team in college basketball.
After a disappointing end to the last season, the Buckeyes came into this year returning four starters and an impressive group of transfers. However, they are still struggling to gel as a team and to perform at the level many expected them to.
Will the Buckeyes continue to struggle against another inferior opponent? Or will they finally look like the team most projected them to be before the season started?
The Falcons return four starters from last year's squad; over the previous three years, they are 32-20. In 2019, they reached the MAC tournament title game and secured the No. 2 seed in the 2020 MAC tournament that was halted because of COVID.
However, one significant change from the last three years is that now the Falcons will be without Justin "Juice" Turner, the first three-time All-MAC honoree for the Falcons who set the program scoring record with 2,077 points. While they are losing their best player, they return their number-two scorer and best rebounder in Daeqwon Plowden (13.4 ppg, 7.8 rpg), along with Trey Diggs (11.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg), who I expect to take a giant leap forward this year.
Altogether, the Falcons returned seven of eight of last season's top scorers, while five of six open scholarships have also been used to bring in Division I transfers.
The most critical Division I transfer will likely be Samari Curtis (10.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg, .456 FG). He returns to his home state of Ohio, where he was the 2019 Ohio Mr. Basketball. He previously played at Evansville last year and Nebraska the year prior.
Returning for the Falcons will be Kaden Metheny (10.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.1 spg), who started every game during his rookie year and became the Falcons' fourth double-figure scorer. Head coach Michael Huger compared Metheny to Trae Young when coming out of high school. While Methany couldn't put up numbers like Young, he did enough to receive All-Freshman honors in the MAC.
Bowling Green currently ranks 328th per KenPom after two games in effective FG%. If that continues against Ohio State, it could get out of hand quickly for the Falcons.
For head coach Chris Holtmann, last week likely brought back some bad memories. Last year their season ended at the hands of Oral Roberts, and in the second game of this young season, the Buckeyes found themselves down three points to a Niagara team ranked 222nd by Kenpom.
Thankfully Ohio State was able to find its composure and beat the Purple Eagles by 10 points. But I'm in no rush to discount the Buckeyes' struggles. In their first game, they beat Akron by just one point. Ranked 17th by the AP poll, the Buckeyes have failed to cover 19.5-, and 16.5-point spreads this season. Can they finally get a convincing win against an inferior team?
This year, joining the team and likely to be an essential factor for the Buckeyes defensively, Jamari Wheeler (6.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.8 spg) transfers in from Big Ten foe Penn State. At Penn State, he appeared in 127 games over the last four years, starting the last 72. He also earned honors as a member of the league's All-Defensive team in 2019-20 and 2020-21.
The Buckeyes' issues have mostly been on defense, ranked 11th after two games by Kenpom in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency. One key area I expect to improve for Ohio State as the season goes on is its defense against the three.
Opponents have just shot the lights out against the Buckeyes from beyond the arc, as they rank 299th defensively in three-point percentage so far. The good news this week is that Bowling Green ranks as one of the worst from three – 337th per KenPom at 14.7% from the three-point range.
Bowling Green vs. Ohio State Betting Pick
I think the lack of three-point shooting from the Falcons will be a huge benefit for Ohio State. I think the Buckeyes will establish themselves this week and get things on track after a rough start to the season. I'm taking Ohio State -15 and would bet it to -17