Minnesota vs Ohio State Odds, Picks: How to Bet This Big Ten Tilt

Minnesota vs Ohio State Odds, Picks: How to Bet This Big Ten Tilt article feature image

Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images. Pictured: Sean McNeil (Ohio State)

Minnesota vs Ohio State Odds

Thursday, Jan. 12
6:30 p.m. ET
Minnesota Odds
-110o / -110u
Ohio State Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Minnesota and Ohio State will meet on Thursday night in a game in which two teams will be looking to build momentum. Both squads have lost their last two, and Minnesota is still looking for its first conference win.

The Buckeyes have been reeling since the loss of Zed Key, who left their game against Purdue with a shoulder injury and has missed the last two matchups. There's no update on his return date.

For Minnesota, its best win came against Cal Baptist on November 21, which displays the struggles head coach Ben Johnson has had in his second year.

Even with the absence of Key, Thursday presents a great opportunity for the Buckeyes — who have Big Ten title hopes — to get back on track.

Let's take a look at the odds and make a pick and prediction for the Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Minnesota Golden Gophers

Minnesota has failed to find consistent success with a roster that saw significant turnover from last year. The Gophers returned just 15.5% of their minutes from a team that went 15-17 a season ago.

The Gophers have particularly struggled on the offensive end, ranking 205th in adjusted efficiency (101.0) by scoring just 64.3 points per game.

Minnesota turns the ball over on 20.3% of its offensive possessions (274th nationally). This turnover percentage becomes especially dangerous given that the Gophers only average 65.1 possessions per game (306th nationally).

For the Gophers to have success on Thursday, they will need to take advantage of Ohio State's weakness on the glass. In their last two losses, the Buckeyes were out-rebounded by double-digits.

This is an area that I do not foresee Minnesota being able to take advantage of. The Gophers rank outside the top 200 in offensive rebounding percentage.

Without these second-chance opportunities, Minnesota is going to have difficulty keeping up with the Buckeyes.

Ohio State Buckeyes

The Buckeyes have been impressive on the offensive end, ranking first in adjusted efficiency (119.0) by scoring just under 80 points per game.

This impressive offense has been hurt by the absence of Key, who was averaging 12.4 points per game before his injury. Key's injury has highlighted the Buckeyes' depth issues in the frontcourt.

Since Key's absence, Ohio State has started 6-foot-11 freshman Felix Okpara, who is averaging just 3.5 points in those two games.

Through Key's play in the frontcourt, the Buckeyes have scored 55.6% of their total points from 2-point range (61st nationally). Defending the interior has been an area Minnesota has struggled, allowing its opponents to score 55% of their points from this range.

This emphasis on interior scoring is important to note given Key's expected absence on Thursday night.

Defensively, the Buckeyes have been solid, ranking inside the top 65 in effective field-goal percentage, 3-point percentage and 2-point percentage.

This level of defensive production has been the Achilles heel for a Minnesota team that is still looking for its first marquee win of the season.

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Minnesota vs. Ohio State Betting Pick

Since the injury of Key, this Buckeyes offense has taken a step back, and as a result, OSU has lost its last two.

I believe this is a perfect opportunity to get back on track, even if Key is unable to go once again.

Minnesota has been unable to match the play of any of the teams it has played inside the top 100. And I expect that trend to continue.

In order to keep pace with the Buckeyes' offense, the Gophers will need to create second-chance opportunities on the offensive glass. Minnesota has struggled in this area all season.

I'm happy to pick the Buckeyes up to 17-point favorites.

Pick: Ohio State -17 or Better

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