Rutgers vs Ohio State Odds, Picks | Thursday NCAAB Betting Guide

Rutgers vs Ohio State Odds, Picks | Thursday NCAAB Betting Guide article feature image

Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Image. Pictured: Clifford Omoruyi (Rutgers)

  • Rutgers and Ohio State go head-to-head in a Big Ten clash from Columbus.
  • The Scarlet Knights are coming off of a massive win over Indiana at home while Ohio State pounded St. Francis (BKN)
  • D.J. James breaks down the matchup and explains why he's backing the road underdog.

Rutgers vs. Ohio State Odds

Thursday, Dec. 8
7 p.m. ET
Rutgers Odds
-108o / -112u
Ohio State Odds
-108o / -112u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are coming off of a major home victory over the Indiana Hoosiers to begin Big Ten play. Now they take to the road to Columbus, Ohio to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes.

OSU has notched wins over Cincinnati and Texas Tech, but has lost to both Duke and San Diego State.

Expect this game to come down to the wire, even though the Buckeyes are at home.

This game is between two completely different schemes.

OSU is dominant on offense, ranking third in the NCAA in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, per KenPom. The Buckeyes slump a bit on the defensive end, ranking 72nd in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency.

Rutgers is nearly the complete opposite, ranking 108th and sixth in those two metrics, respectively.

That said, Rutgers has the ability to force turnovers and can get to the free-throw line.

Expect this game to come down to the last possession.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

The Scarlet Knights are elite when defending the arc. They rank first in the NCAA in opponent 3-point percentage (20.5%).

They haven't played the greatest 3-point shooting teams, but they should limit OSU because Brice Sensabaugh, Bruce Thornton and Sean McNeil will have limited open looks.

OSU does not necessarily turn the ball over much, but it did have double-digit turnovers against Texas Tech and Duke. Rutgers has a better defense than both, so expect the Scarlet Knights to get opportunities to get out in transition.

Cam Spencer averages three steals per game, with Aundre Hyatt, Paul Mulcahy, Caleb McConnell, Derek Simpson, Clifford Omoruyi and Mawot Mag all averaging at least one.

With so many threats to force a turnover, even a team that only turns it over about 17% of the time will have some issues.

Reigning BIG10 DPOY Caleb McConnell (@caleb_mcco) of @RutgersMBB is set for big 5th szn 📈

Left a big imprint in the team’s tough loss to ND in the tournament – 23p 11r 2a 1s 1b on 10-12 shooting (83%)

Big time competitor at 6’7 200lbs. Can get it done on both sides of the ball

— Hoop Herald (@TheHoopHerald) August 24, 2022

Rutgers goes to the free-throw line around 36% of the time. Meanwhile, Ohio State ranks 93rd in sending opponents to the line, so the Knights should have plenty of chances to even out the scoring by drawing fouls.

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Ohio State Buckeyes

The hindrance to a Rutgers cover will come from OSU getting the ball inside. OSU shoots 54.3% inside the arc, with 54.3% of its scoring distribution coming off of 2-pointers.

Rutgers does force opponents to shoot around 45%, though, so this will negate the offensive attack from the Buckeyes.

Omoruyi will match up with Zed Key and the Buckeyes' posts. He ranks 95th in the NCAA in block percentage, so the extra three inches on Key should limit his impact on the outcome of the game.

The Scarlet Knights have length on the wings and in the backcourt, as well.

Photo by CBB Analytics

Otherwise, OSU can draw fouls on its own, and Rutgers will send it to the strike somewhat often. Justice Sueing, Sensabaugh, and Key are the usual suspects at the line, but Omoruyi has only fouled out once this season (on Saturday against Indiana).

Rutgers should still score more points from the line overall in this one.

Rutgers vs. Ohio State Betting Pick

Since the Scarlet Knights can essentially remove the 3-point game from the equation, a few players become obsolete offensively.

Omoruyi is such a strong defender in the post that the Buckeyes' big men will have some trouble down low, unless he gets into unusual foul trouble.

Given these issues and how both teams can crash the glass offensively, expect Rutgers to keep this game tight. Take it at +5.5, and I would play it to +4.

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