Ohio State Buckeyes (10-5; 5-8 ATS; 7-6 O/U) vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers (14-2; 9-5 ATS; 6-8 O/U)
NCAAB: Sunday, January 8, 2017 at 7:30pm EST
Line: Minnesota -6
The Minnesota Golden Gophers will look to continue their hot play when they host the Ohio State Buckeyes in a Big Ten battle Sunday afternoon from the Williams Arena. Ohio State came up short in a 76-75 loss to Purdue in their latest action, and Minnesota is coming off a solid 70-66 road win over Northwestern. Ohio State beat Minnesota 78-63 last season in the lone meeting last season.
Buckeyes Edged by Purdue in Second Conference Loss
The Ohio State Buckeyes came up just short in their comeback attempt, falling 76-75 at home to 20th ranked Purdue on Thursday night. The Buckeyes were down ten points in the second half but Purdue won the game with a free throw with five seconds left to hand Ohio State their fifth defeat of the season. The Buckeyes shot 44% and held Purdue to 43% shooting, but were out-rebounded 44-32 in the loss. Jae’Sean Tate led the way offensively going 8 for 14 from the field, collecting a total of 17 points. The junior forward owns a solid 58.2% field goal percentage, and leads the Buckeyes with 14.1 points per game. Marc Loving added 14 points with eight rebounds in the loss, but turned the ball over 14 times. The 6-foot-8 senior forward is second in team scoring posting 11.7 points per game. The Buckeyes will now be without Keita Bates-Doip for the remainder of the season with a with a fractured shin. The injury is a big loss for the Buckeyes on both ends of the court as Bates-Diop is very strong defensively, and was averaging 9.7 points per game in nine games played. The Buckeyes are now 0-2 in Big Ten play and are currently placed at 48th overall in Ken Pomeroy’s College Basketball Rankings.
Ohio State is scoring an average of 74.7 points per game, ranking them 165th overall, and own a very good 47.8 field goal percentage. The Buckeyes played solid defense, conceding an average of 64.7 points per game, placing them 43rd overall.
Golden Gophers Aim for Third Conference Win
The Minnesota Golden Gophers used a strong second half to edge Northwestern by a 70-66 score on the road on Thursday night. Minnesota shot 43.9% from the field and played great defense, holding Northwestern to a 38% mark from the field. Amir Coffey led the offensive charge, sinking 17 points on 7 for 12 shooting. The freshman guard has been very impressive, averaging 12.3 points per game placing him second in team scoring. Nate Mason was also solid in the win, scoring 12 points which included an 8 for 9 mark from the free throw line. The junior guard is a leader on this young Minnesota squad, leading the Golden Gophers with 14.5 points per game and 5.9 assists per game. Minnesota went winless in conference play on the road last season and have now started this season’s Big Ten play by pulling off two straight conference road wins. The Golden Gophers are playing better than most expected with their young sophomore core showing great improvement from last season. They are currently ranked 34th overall in Ken Pomeroy’s College Basketball Rankings.
Minnesota is averaging 77.3 points per game, placing them 112th overall, and are shooting 44.4% from the field. The Golden Gophers have played strong defense, allowing an average of 66.5 points per game, positioning them 73rd overall.
The Ohio State Buckeyes are:
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games against the Big Ten.
- 5-20-1 ATS in their last 26 road games against a team with a home winning percentage greater than .600.
- 8-24-1 ATS in their last 33 road games.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are:
- home team is 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings between Ohio State and Minnesota.
- the favorite is 13-5 ATS in the last 18 meetings between Ohio State and Minnesota.
I am siding with Minnesota in this contest. Minnesota has been very impressive on both ends of the court while Ohio State has not looked good as of late. The Golden Gophers just beat Northwestern and Purdue and have played the better defense. They are holding opponents to 37.9% shooting and Ohio State has been inconsistent offensively. Minnesota has also been the better rebounding team and I expect them to cover this smaller spread at home.