Ohio State vs. Penn State Odds, Picks, Betting Predictions: Are Buckeyes Overvalued?
Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images. Pictured: Lamar Stevens
Ohio State at Penn State Odds
- Odds: Ohio State -2
- Total: 137.5
- Time: 12 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPNU
- Location: State College, Pa.
About a month ago, Ohio State rolled Penn State by 32 points in Columbus. But we have to take a closer look at how that game got so out of hand.
Penn State trailed by nine in the second half when star Lamar Stevens fouled out after playing only 18 minutes. Big man Mike Watkins was also in foul trouble and played just 17 minutes.
The Nittany Lions have dropped three straight games after a stellar start to the season, so can they regain their form at home on Saturday? Let’s dive in.
How Odds Have Moved
Betting action is almost dead-even on this game with Penn State getting 51% of the bets and 56% of the money.
Early money did come in on Ohio State, moving the Buckeyes from -1 to -2, but some books have moved the Nittany Lions back to +1.5.
When PSU Has the Ball
Penn State will be seeking revenge after a 106-74 loss on Dec. 7 in Columbus. The Buckeyes were on fire in that game, scoring 46 in the first half with more than a 95% chance to win by halftime. Ohio State doubled Penn State in defensive rebounds, making the glass priority No. 1 for the Nittany Lions on Saturday.
Penn State ranks 276th in shooting percentage from beyond the arc, an area Ohio State has trouble defending, so those struggles should be neutralized for both teams.
In three straight losses, Penn State has shot 30% or less against teams with similar perimeter defense to the Buckeyes.
Look for PSU freshman Seth Lundy to continue putting up shots after getting a career-high 26 minutes and hitting 3 of 6 tries from 3-point range in a loss to Minnesota on Wednesday. He’s shooting 41% from long range this season. — Collin Wilson
When Ohio State Has the Ball
Ohio State snapped a four-game losing streak with a victory over Nebraska on Tuesday. The one sided victory was led by another standout performance from Kaleb Wesson.
The Junior forward has scored double-digits in every game since the opener against Cincinnati, also hitting a 3-pointer in every game since Nov. 18.
The Buckeyes are top 25 in adjusted offensive efficiency with a rank of 16th in the country from deep, thanks in large part to Wesson.
As mentioned above, Penn State was dominated on the glass in the first matchup. This game should have a similar result.
Do not expect the Penn State defense to have many takeaways either, with a steal percentage that ranks 323rd.
The Buckeyes should have plenty of offensive opportunities, especially with the return of key players Luther Muhammad and Duane Washington after a one-game suspension. — Collin Wilson
Our PSU-Ohio State Picks
Mike Randle: Penn State +2
Head coach Pat Chambers is starting to hear the critics doubt the sustainability of Penn State’s strong start to the season. Despite a solid 12-5 overall record, the Nittany Lions have lost three Big Ten games in a row, including a home game to Wisconsin.
Fortunately, they face an Ohio State team that is even in more disarray, having lost four of its past five games. The Buckeyes 80-68 win over Nebraska on Tuesday is more a relief than a positive step forward.
Ohio State should see guards Duane Washington and Luthar Muhammad return after their one-game suspension, but the Buckeyes are still not playing up to their early season expectations.
In that big Ohio State win in their first meeting, the Buckeyes shot a scalding 14 of 26 from 3-point range and Stevens fouled out. From that point on, Ohio State outscored the Nittany Lions 46-24.
Penn State is always tough at home and already has wins over Yale, Alabama, and Maryland at the Bryce Jordan Center. Sophomore guard Myreon Jones (13.9 ppg, 39.4% 3P) will need to support Stevens and streaky guard Izaiah Brockington (10.5 ppg), who was Penn State’s leading scorer in their earlier meeting.
Something’s gotta give in this battle between two teams trying to reverse their recent poor fortune. I’ll go with the home Nittany Lions to gain revenge against an Ohio State team that is still in relative freefall. — Mike Randle
Stuckey: Penn State +2
I’ve had this one circled since the first meeting in early December, when the Buckeyes put up triple digits and rolled the Nittany Lions by 32.
However, if you watched that game, you’d know Penn State didn’t really get a fair whistle in Columbus. Stevens, who almost never fouls out, only played 18 minutes in that contest after fouling out.
And fellow senior forward Mike Watkins only played 17 minutes as a result of foul trouble in a game that really unraveled late. The score was definitely a bit misleading as Ohio State only led by nine when Stevens fouled out with over 13 minutes left.
After dropping three straight in conference, I think a very experienced Penn State team comes out with its hair on fire and gets its revenge in Happy Valley.
Yes, Ohio State also hasn’t been great of late, so I don’t think it will overlook Penn State. The Buckeyes will also get both Luther Muhammad and Duane Washington back for this game but I’m lower than the market on the Buckeyes, who I think were just running very well to start the year.
I will gladly side with the short home dog in a game I make Penn State -0.5. — Stuckey