College Basketball Odds & Picks for Ohio State vs. Michigan: Betting Duel to Big Ten Duel
Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images. Pictured: Ian Burns & Hunter Dickinson (Michigan)
- Ohio State meets Michigan in a rivalry clash on the hardwood.
- The Wolverines have turned their season around, but can they defeat Ohio State?
- Tanner McGrath has this game covered with a preview and a top selection.
Ohio State vs. Michigan Odds
|Ohio State Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The most intense rivalry in college football will hit the hardwood on Saturday, as Chris Holtmann’s Buckeyes will match up with Juwan Howard’s Wolverines Saturday at the Crisler Center.
Michigan is coming off of its most baffling victory of the season Thursday while Ohio State is coming off of its most baffling defeat.
It could be a buy-low spot for Ohio State and a sell-high spot for Michigan. But, has Michigan finally figured it out?
Ohio State has won and covered in six of its last 10 games against the rival Wolverines.
The Buckeyes have had no real “bad” losses this season. But losing to Rutgers comes close.
Generally, the Ohio State defense is weak on the perimeter. The Buckeyes’ defense is way below average in spot-up (.929 PPP allowed, 35th percentile) and pick-and-roll (.81 PPP allowed, 23rd percentile) situations.
But the interior defense — led by E.J. Liddell, Kyle Young and Zed Key — has been solid. The Buckeyes are top-50 nationally in 2-point defense and rank above the 70th percentile in post-up situations (.78 PPP allowed).
But the script flipped against Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights sliced right through Holtmann’s interior defense and drained over 62% of their 2-point opportunities, including 9-of-11 shots at the rim.
That’s concerning. However, strange things happen at the RAC, so I’m not putting too much weight into it.
Besides, Ohio State is an offensive-minded team. The Buckeyes are sixth nationally in offensive efficiency and 16th in eFG%.
Liddell has been a stud this season, obviously, but I’d rather point out Malaki Branham. The freshman is scoring 11 points per game — with an ORtg above 110 — and has become the Buckeyes’ main perimeter creator.
🔥 @MalakiBranham can't miss!
He has 19 points and four 3-pointers for @OhioStateHoops pic.twitter.com/0JHsiuPg8X
— FOX College Hoops (@CBBonFOX) February 10, 2022
Branham’s play has created a dangerous inside-out duo in Columbus, something that should be key come March.
What just happened?
Michigan was dead. It had fallen out of bubble contention in almost every major expert’s bracket. The Wolverines were sub-50 in both KenPom and the NET.
It then blew out No. 3 Purdue by 24 points, pulling its best and most complete performance out of thin air.
The Wolverines posted their highest PPP number of the season (1.33) while also posting its lowest PPP allowed number (.92) — against the best offense in college hoops, no less.
Michigan jumped 21 spots in KenPom yesterday and is now in the Next Four Out on BracketWAG.com.
So, is this a one-off? Or, is Michigan back in bubble contention?
It’s tough to say. Michigan shot 12-for-21 from 3 while Purdue shot 4-for-18, so there’s likely some regression coming there. But it was still a massive win.
Hunter Dickinson is going to be the key for Michigan down the stretch. He’s now fully developed a right hand and a perimeter shot — he’s making over 40% of his 3s this season. Plus, he’s a monster on the offensive boards.
He’s also looked unstoppable in February, averaging 24 points per game over his last five games.
He’s carrying the Michigan offense, and things go sour when he’s off of the floor.
He’ll have to play like an All-American for Michigan to get back into at-large contention.
That’s not just possible, but probable.
Ohio State vs. Michigan Betting Pick
Michigan may not be 100% fixed, but the offense should continue to cook.
Dickinson should fire on all cylinders, and DeVante’ Jones will have his opportunities to pick apart the Ohio State defense on the perimeter.
Meanwhile, the Michigan defense has been a mess all season, and we may see some negative shooting regression on that end — i.e., I’m expecting Ohio State to shoot better than 4-for-18 from deep.
Meanwhile, I’ll never bet against Liddell and the Buckeyes’ offense.
This feels like it’s shaping up to be similar to the 92-87 firecracker of a game we had between these two in February of last season.
So, I’ll take the over, which we’re getting at a relatively low 141. Two of the last three games between Ohio State and Michigan have gone over, so I’ll bet it to happen one more time.
Pick: Over 141 (Play to 142)
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