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Ohio State vs. Nebraska Odds, Picks: Buckeyes Own Size Advantage

Ohio State vs. Nebraska Odds, Picks: Buckeyes Own Size Advantage article feature image
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Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images. Pictured: Felix Okpara (Ohio State)

Ohio State vs. Nebraska Odds

Wednesday, Jan. 18
7 p.m. ET
Big Ten Network
Ohio State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-6
-110
137
-110o / -110u
-245
Nebraska Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+6
-110
137
-110o / -110u
+205
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Ohio State needs to rebound, and outside of matching up with Minnesota at home — whom it lost to — Nebraska is the next best bet for an “easy” win.

That said, Lincoln, Nebraska is not the easiest place to play, and the Cornhuskers carry a pretty strong defensive squad.

Unfortunately, the Cornhuskers are only good when it comes to not fouling. Teams are shooting well against them, so OSU will probably come out on fire.

In addition, the Buckeyes have a top-four offense because they are sound when it comes to taking care of the ball and crashing the glass offensively.

Since Nebraska struggles in these areas, the Buckeyes should take advantage and notch a win and a cover.


Ohio State Buckeyes

Ohio State could not be in a worse spot after losing its fourth-straight Big Ten game in overtime to Rutgers on Sunday.

This looked like the basketball gods handing one to Rutgers, since the Scarlet Knights should have won the first matchup between the two.

Either way, the market is underrating OSU in this game.

The Buckeyes rank 20th in offensive rebounding rate (35.4%) while Nebraska allows a rate of 29.4% defensively. Having Zed Key back is huge for the Buckeyes, as he ranks 25th in offensive rebounding.

In addition, Sam Griesel probably returns for the Cornhuskers, but Juwan Gary is out and Blaise Keita is questionable with an ankle injury. Even if Keita is somewhat hobbled, this removes another post to help Derrick Walker with the handful of Key, Justice Sueing and Felix Okpara.

OSU is not the tallest team, but it should carry a massive rebounding edge in this game.

Ohio State ranks 282nd in turnover rate on defense, but there’s a distinguishable difference between how these two programs control the ball.

Nebraska comes into this game with a 19.2% turnover rate offensively. OSU’s is only 16.5%. Expect the Buckeyes to have an edge here, as well.

Finally, the Buckeyes are just a much better shooting team. They hit 38.7% of their 3s and 51.3% on 2-pointers. The Cornhuskers shoot 30.1% from deep and 51.6% on 2s.

The discrepancy here is that Nebraska is allowing teams to shoot 49% on 2s and 32.5% from 3. OSU is holding opponents to 29.1% from 3 and 46.6% from 2.

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Nebraska Cornhuskers

Now, this matters in this game because the Buckeyes rank in the top 25, per Shot Quality, in shots attacking the rim and on efficient 3s. They also rank 11th in posting up, which they should take full advantage of with no Gary and perhaps no Keita for Nebraska.

Building off of that, Nebraska ranks 19th in shots allowed attacking the rim. It also allows a 42.5% 3-point attempt percentage.

Basically put, the Buckeyes will have open shots inside and out, and given how poorly the Cornhuskers defend, their offense will not be able to keep up with Ohio State’s efficiency.

Nebraska also ranks eighth in defensive free throw percentage. This indicates some luck.


Ohio State vs. Nebraska Betting Pick

Nebraska will not be able to defend the Buckeyes. It has trouble when teams attack the hole, and it also struggles with defending a cut towards the hoop.

The Buckeyes do both.

Look for Key and Sueing to excel inside while Brice Sensabaugh and Sean McNeil nail some open 3s.

Yes, the Buckeyes are on the road in this game, but Nebraska does not have the personnel to deal with OSU, especially inside.

Take the Buckeyes at -4.5 (-110), and play them to -6 (-110). The lack of paint presences for Nebraska will be a problem. With Keita out or hobbled, OSU gets a little more of a boost.

Pick: Ohio State -4.5 (Play to -6)

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