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College Basketball Odds & Pick for Ohio State vs. Michigan State: Thursday’s Betting Value on Buckeyes

College Basketball Odds & Pick for Ohio State vs. Michigan State: Thursday’s Betting Value on Buckeyes article feature image

G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images. Pictured: Duane Washington Jr.

  • Chris Holtmann and the Ohio State Buckeyes will face Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans in Big Ten action on Thursday night.
  • Izzo's squad has ratcheted up its level of play of late, making this spread tighter than it would have been before.
  • Andrew Norton breaks down the game below and shares a betting pick based on his analysis.

Ohio State vs. Michigan State Odds

Ohio State Odds -4
Michigan State Odds +4
Moneyline -182 / +155
Over/Under 145.5
Time | TV Thursday, 9 p.m. ET | ESPN
Odds as of Thursday afternoon and via DraftKings.

The Ohio State Buckeyes and the Michigan State Spartans face off Thursday in what will be their second matchup this year.

The Buckeyes claimed rights to the first game with a 79-62 victory. In that game, Ohio State actually had its fewest number of assists in a game for the whole season thus far.

Michigan State is on a bit of a roll lately as it bashed Indiana on the road and thumped fifth-ranked Illinois at home. This has certainly turned a few heads, as it seems Tom Izzo might be at it again with another edition of the “late-season run” he seems to author.

The line has certainly been tightened because of Michigan State’s last two games. It has shown a lot of promise recently that many expected to see throughout the whole year.

Still, Michigan State has a chance for a last-minute recovery and the potential to preserve the season and sneak into the NCAA Tournament.

Ohio State Buckeyes | 18-5 (12-5 Big Ten)

Ohio State’s high-powered offense is led by its two leading scorers: E.J. Liddell and Duane Washington, who are each averaging over 15 points per game.

The general and senior guard C.J. Walker runs the show at the point. Walker has played in pivotal games, especially when he was playing for Florida State during its Elite Eight run.

This is a team that ranks third in adjusted offensive efficiency (per KenPom) in the nation, only behind Iowa and Gonzaga, so as always, expect fireworks on that end of the floor.

The Buckeyes give up an average of 69.6 points per game, which at face value may feel substantial, but once you conclude that the Big Ten is the best conference in the nation, that number has much more context.

Since they score 78.5 points per game, their defensive points allowed per game could be deemed inconsequential.

Michigan State Spartans | 12-9 (6-9 Big Ten)

Michigan State is a very interesting case study.

To start the year, this team ranked as high as fourth in the nation through Dec. 14.

Before their last two games, the Spartans were undoubtedly the third- or fourth-worst team in the Big Ten. But what we have to remind ourselves of is who coaches this team.

Tom Izzo’s teams are notorious for finding their momentum in February and March, so this should recent surge should come as no surprise to anyone.

Aaron Henry, Michigan State’s junior forward, is a terrific basketball player. The questions surrounding this team were everywhere else. Joshua Langford and Joey Hauser round out the Spartans’ double-digit scorers, each averaging right around 10 points per game.

What To Expect

If we look at these teams’ respective histories against the spread as a potential gauge for the game’s direction, we should gaze at Michigan State’s abysmal 6-15 record against the spread, and Ohio State’s forceful 14-8-1 record this year.

Here’s the hitch with Ohio State, though: it will be without Kyle Young.

Young does a little bit of everything on the court, much of which is undervalued. He is also one of its tallest players and second-leading rebounder.

This is a massive loss for an OSU team that really needs a win because of its strength of schedule from now until the end of the year. The Buckeyes still  have to face ninth-ranked Iowa and fifth-ranked Illinois again.

The potential implications of conference tournament seeding, and even NCAA Tournament seeding, should play a factor into their intensity and should match Michigan State’s, although the Spartans, in theory, have their tournament lives to play for.

Betting Analysis & Pick

In the end, Ohio State at -4 is simply too much value to pass up.

Its healthy numbers against the spread, proven high-powered offense, and undeniable chemistry are huge reasons why I think it should cover on the road with comfort.

I certainly understand and acknowledge that Michigan State has ratcheted up its urgency over the last few games, but Ohio State hasn’t lost back-to-back games all season, and it won’t start now to an unranked Spartan team.

Pick: Ohio State -4 (up to -6).

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