Ohio State Buckeyes (25) vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers CBB (21) Betting Odds, Picks, and Predictions

January 1, 2021

Date:Sunday, January 3rd
Time:5:30 PM ET
Network:Big Ten Network
Venue:Williams Arena
Spread:Pick ‘Em
O/U:147.5

The 8-2 Ohio State Buckeyes will go on the road Sunday afternoon to face off with the 9-2 Minnesota Golden Gophers at 5:30 PM ET in Williams Arena. These are teams with very similar strengths and weaknesses, so it will be interesting to see who prevails. The Buckeyes open as one-point favorites, but the line has since moved to a pick ’em. We’re expecting plenty of points with a 147.5 over/under and this one is setting up to be a thriller. Let’s dive into how this game will go down and who will end up covering the spread. Make sure to check out the rest of our CBB Picks and Predictions as we will have every big game covered. 

Trends

  • Buckeyes are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
  • Buckeyes are 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
  • Buckeyes are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.
  • Buckeyes are 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.

When The Ohio State Buckeyes Have The Ball

The Buckeyes have lost two of their last five games and they’ve gone down to unranked opponents. They also beat 11th-ranked Rutgers, so they’ve made it clear that the talent and ability is there when everything clicks. This is a veteran team that takes excellent care of the ball, ranking 7th in the country with just 9.5 turnovers per game. They play fast while doing it and average 77.9 points per game in the process. 

Offensively, everything revolves around F E.J. Liddell (14.4 pts, 6.4 reb, 1.5 blk) and G Duane Washington Jr. (14.3 pts, 3.4 reb, 2.7 ast). Either can score 25 in a game and defenses must respect them. Washington s You then have Justice Sueing and C.J. Walker, who are willing to do the dirty work and are all over the floor it seems. Kyle Young rounds out the starting five as a guy that can hit the corner three and defend. 

There isn’t a ton of depth on the Buckeyes bench, but Zed Key and Musa Jallow have at least shown flashes. If Jallow can get hot, he gives the Buckeyes a decent scoring threat off the bench that they didn’t expect to have. Defensively, Ohio State has been strong down low and not so much on the wing. They must lock down one of the best guards in the entire nation here as he can beat Ohio State on his own.

When The Minnesota Golden Gophers Have The Ball

After stunning Iowa and Michigan State in back to back games, the Minnesota Golden Gophers were beaten handily by the Wisconsin Badgers in a game that was never close. Marcus Carr was never fully able to find his rhythm and the Badgers bullied Minnesota in the paint. They must bounce back in this game as the Buckeyes will be looking to keep their momentum going after a few big wins. When Minnesota is playing well, they are running the floor and getting open shots. They thrive in the open floor and won’t have fun in this game when it turns into a half-court affair.

PG Marcus Carr is one of the best scorers in the entire country and he’s averaged 22 points per game on top of 6.2 assists and 3.9 rebounds. Center Liam Robbins and SF Both Gach are the only two others that average double-figures, so a lot of this offense leans on those three guys alone. Robbins can step up at times, but it’s only been for short stints and he’s been unable to sustain the punch. If Carr is hot, Minnesota can stay with anyone in the country. He can score from anywhere on the floor and has the pieces around him when defenses pay too much attention to the superstar guard.  

Spread Prediction

The Pick: Ohio State to win

This is going to be a phenomenal game to watch as both teams have enough talent to make noise come March. There’s a reason this game is a pick ‘em. With that being said, Ohio State is the more well-rounded team in my eyes at this point. They aren’t reliant on a single player having a big night and not a single player on the team is close to selfish. Duane Washington and E.J. Liddell are bona fide superstars that are going to make a big difference at the next level. The Golden Gophers are a lot more volatile in general as the offense lives and dies with Marcus Carr. I like Ohio State to win this game and I’m willing to lay two units on it. 

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Total Prediction

The Pick: Under 147.5
Final Score Prediction: Ohio State 75, Minnesota 71

This number opened at 149 and is already down to 147.5 before long. I’ll keep with the trend and take the under as I expect both of these offenses to struggle at times. Ohio State will undoubtedly focus on Marcus Carr and we’ve seen the Gophers offense stumble when he’s taken out of a game. On the Buckeyes side, they aren’t the most efficient team in general. Both of these squads rank in the bottom-half of college basketball in terms of FG% and both like to wind down the clock in the half court offense. Give me the under all the way down to 145, which is when I would have some interest on the flip side. 

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