Ohio State vs. Oral Roberts Opening Odds, Early Analysis & Pick For NCAA Tournament First Round
Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images. Pictured: Ohio State, Michigan
#2 Ohio State vs. #15 Oral Roberts Odds
|Oral Roberts Odds||+17.5|
|Ohio State Odds||-17.5|
|Time||Friday, 3 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Sunday and via DraftKings|
How Ohio State & Oral Roberts Match Up
|All stats via KenPom.|
Head coach Chris Holtmann has righted the Buckeyes ship, after Ohio State ended the season with four consecutive losses. The Buckeyes had an impressive Big Ten Tournament run, defeating Minnesota, Purdue, and Michigan before losing in overtime to Illinois in the title game.
Their strong finish earned them a No. 2 seed and the right to face the nation’s leading-scorer in Oral Roberts’ Max Abmas (24.2 PPG), who teams up with junior forward Kevin Obanor (18.2 PPG, 9.5 RPG) for a formidable inside-outside duo.
The Golden Eagles earned the automatic bid from the Summit League, and balanced an up-tempo style with an improving defense. Ohio State is the superior team, but with the status of forward Kyle Young (concussion) unknown, Abmas and Obanor should absolutely keep Holtmann’s focus throughout the week. — Mike Randle
What To Know About Ohio State
Ohio State runs beautiful offense thanks to a complex offense in which its bigs can stretch the floor. It’s very difficult to prepare for, and Ohio State executes flawlessly almost on a nightly basis on that end of the floor. There’s a reason the Buckeyes rank fourth in adjusted offensive efficiency headed into Saturday’s semifinal matchup with Michigan — despite not having any one superstar. They can just create so many different mismatches with players like Justice Sueing, EJ Liddell and Kyle Young, while Duane Washington can create his own shot if need be in end-of-shot-clock situations. If you watched Ohio State put up 87 on Michigan, you know how efficient the offense is.
That said, if you watched that game, you also saw Ohio State allow the Wolverines to score 92 in a five-point loss. And that’s where the major questions exist with this team: the defense, specifically on the perimeter. Not only do they struggle to defend outside, but the Buckeyes also don’t force turnovers and are not elite on the defensive glass.
They can simply be exploited at will by elite teams in a variety of ways (pick-and-roll, post play, etc). The offense is elite and they can score with almost anybody, but can they get the critical stops needed to take out a few top teams in a row? The advanced metrics suggest no. One other thing I will say on a posiive note about Ohio State is it boasts a few elite free-throw shooters who handle the ball late, which could really come in handy when trying to close out a short lead late. — Stuckey
What To Know About Oral Roberts
Oral Roberts is not known for its defense. In fact, this is probably the worst defense in the field from an advanced metrics standpoint. The Golden Eagles also are extremely vulnerable on the glass on both ends. However, they have an absolutely explosive offense that ranks in the 98th percentile in the half-court, per Synergy.
ORU prefers to play fast, doesn’t turn it over, takes and makes a lot of 3s (38.8%) and is automatic at the free-throw line (82.6%).
Almost all of that firepower comes from two players who will play professionally in some capacity: Max Abmas and Kevin Obanor. Those two will try their best to put up a combined 70 points in the first round. I’m not sure how they could ever get enough stops to pull off an upset, but it will be fun to watch Abmas and Obanor try. — Stuckey
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