Thursday College Basketball Odds, Pick & Prediction: Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Indiana Hoosiers Betting Preview

Thursday College Basketball Odds, Pick & Prediction: Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Indiana Hoosiers Betting Preview article feature image

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Trayce Jackson-Davis.

  • Indiana is a slight favorite on Thursday night in Big Ten play against Ohio State.
  • The Hoosiers' stellar defense faces a tough task against a top-10 Buckeyes offense.
  • Keg breaks down the matchup below and delivers his betting pick.

Ohio State vs. Indiana Odds

Thursday, Jan. 6
7 p.m. ET
Ohio State Odds
-110o / -110u
Indiana Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

After dropping their last two conference games to Wisconsin and Penn State, the Indiana Hoosiers return home looking to get things back on track. That will be easier said than done as they face one of the best teams in the Big Ten in Ohio State.

The Buckeyes have won five games in a row to get to 9-2 on the season and a No. 13 ranking in the country.  They also boast one of the best offenses in the country, which has been led by one of the nation's best players in E.J. Liddell.

Indiana, on the other hand, has excelled on the defensive end of the floor, limiting opponents to just 61.6 points per game this season.

In a battle of strength vs. strength, who will come out on top? And will the challenging environment of Assembly Hall play a factor for the Hoosiers? The Buckeyes have yet to lose in the Big Ten at 3-0, but this will be their toughest challenge yet.

Ohio State Buckeyes

It was clear that Ohio State had not played in 22 days in its last game against Nebraska. The Buckeyes were still able to pull out a win after a dominant showing in overtime, when they outscored the Cornhuskers 15-7.

The Buckeyes left Nebraska with a win, and the layoff absolutely played a factor. That performance brought up a recurring issue for Ohio State this season, though: playing on the road.

Both the Buckeyes' losses this season have come away from Columbus, and they are just 2-3 against the spread (ATS) when away from Value Center Arena. Indiana, meanwhile, is yet to lose a game on its home court and is 7-2 ATS on the season.

But Ohio State's offense has been can't-miss TV regardless of whether it's home or away, as it ranks seventh in adjusted offensive efficiency, according to KenPom. The Buckeyes are shooting 39.7% from 3-point range and 55% from inside the arc. They haven't been awful from the charity stripe, hitting at  73.1% as a team, but they do rank outside the top 100.

Through 11 games, Ohio State are averaging 76.7 points per contest while hitting at a 48.9% mark from the floor.

And while the Buckeyes may not have a top-25 defense, they have been solid on that end. They rank 10th in the nation in allowing assists to their opponents. with just 107 in total allowed this year. Ohio State have also limited opposing teams to a shooting percentage of 40.1% while giving up just 32.6 rebounds per game.

Opposing teams are shooting just 31.8% from outside the arc, and the Buckeyes rank 192nd in the country in points allowed, giving up 68.5 per contest.

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Indiana Hoosiers

The Hoosiers are 10-3 on the season, and all three losses have come against three of the four teams they've faced inside KenPom's top 100. All three were also on the road.

Indiana boasts one of the best defenses in the country, and outside of a two-overtime game against Syracuse, only two teams have scored more than 70 points against the Hoosiers.

Currently ranked 14th per KenPom in adjusted defensive efficiency, IU has been able to limit opponents to an average of just 61.6 points per game this year. The Hoosiers are also the best team in the country at defending 2-point shots at 39.1%. Opponents have also been limited to an effective field goal percentage of just 41.1%, which is the fourth lowest in the country.

Offensively, Mike Woodson's team has had issues from the charity stripe, hitting at just 67.7% this season, but the shooting otherwise has been solid. Indiana ranks 18th in the country at 48.3% from the field.

If the Hoosiers can limit the Buckeyes defensively, they have the offense to not only keep up, but win their biggest game of the season so far.

Ohio State vs. Indiana Betting Pick

Road games have been a challenge so far for Ohio State, and I think that continues in Bloomington.

The Hoosiers defense is the best the Buckeyes will have faced this season, as Ohio State has had issues with every top-30 unit it's faced this season in Xavier, Seton Hall, Florida and Duke.

Indiana is also coming off of a tough loss on the road to Penn State, and I think it can bounce back here and get their biggest win of the season to get its Big Ten record back on track.

I got Indiana at -2 but only placed one unit on it. I think the public will be on Ohio State, so I'll look to get a better line as it moves.

Pick: Indiana -1.5 (-2 or better)

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Doug Ziefel
Jul 19, 2024 UTC