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No. 16 Ohio State at Iowa
When and Where: Saturday, Jan. 12, Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City, Iowa, 2:30 p.m. EST.
Trying to avoid a third consecutive loss that would likely knock it out of the AP Top 25, 16th-ranked Ohio State faces an Iowa team looking for a way back into the national poll as the Big Ten rivals square off Saturday.
Buckeyes try to end road woes after loss at Rutgers
Ohio State (12-3, 2-2 Big Ten) has not lost three in a row since Feb. 11-18, 2017, but is in danger of doing so after a 64-61 setback at Rutgers on Wednesday night.
Kaleb Wesson, freshman Luther Muhammad and C.J. Jackson accounted for 41 points for the Buckeyes, who were held under 40 percent shooting for just the second time this season. Muhammad and Jackson were a combined 5 for 14 from 3-point range, part of another subpar effort from beyond the arc as Ohio State finished 8 for 26 that ended when Jackson’s potential game-tying 3 bounced off the rim and capped a scoreless last 2:37.
Kyle Young has young bunnies. 🐰
— Ohio State on BTN (@OhioStateOnBTN) January 10, 2019
“I’ve been saying for weeks that we’ve got a long ways to go and I’m not sure if that ranking means anything,” coach Chris Holtmann told the Columbus Dispatch. “We have to, as coaches and players, accept responsibility for this loss and figure out how to get better and move forward. I don’t really worry about the optics of it or what it means beyond just figuring out a way to coach our guys better.”
Wesson, who finished with 18 points, leads Ohio State in scoring at 17.1 points per game while Jackson is averaging 13.1 points and shooting 39.5 percent from deep. Ohio State is more than a two-man offense though as five other players are averaging between 7.3 and 9.7 points.
If there was a positive for Holtmann, it is that the Buckeyes’ defense appeared to bounce back after being torched for season worsts of 86 points and 54.3 percent shooting by Michigan State. They limited the Scarlet Knights to 41.5 percent shooting, including 5 of 16 from 3-point range.
Iowa seeks third straight conference win after 0-3 Big Ten start
The Hawkeyes (13-3, 2-3) fell out of the AP Top 25 despite a 93-84 win over then-No. 24 Nebraska last Sunday, but began their push to get back into the national spotlight with a 73-63 victory at Northwestern on Wednesday.
How ‘bout #SelloutSaturday vs. Ohio State??
— Iowa Basketball (@IowaHoops) January 10, 2019
Freshman Joe Wieskamp scored 19 points and Luka Garza added 16 off the bench as Iowa won without top scorer and rebounder Tyler Cook, who sat out with a knee injury but is expected to play in this game and be a counterweight to the 6-foot-9, 270-pound Wesson.
“He’s a big guy,” said Cook, who averages 17.3 points and 8.3 rebounds, to the school’s official website. “That is a challenge in itself. He is skilled and he knows how to get his. He can shoot outside and he’s surrounded by a lot of good players. We have to lock into our defensive keys and be ready to guard a lot of action. It’s another day in the office.”
Weiskamp is third on the team in scoring at 11.4 points per game, 7 for 15 from beyond the arc in his last three games and shooting 43.8 percent from deep. He and Jordan Bohanon (11.1 ppg) have combined for 63 of Iowa’s 131 treys.
The 6-11 Garza has totaled 24 points and seven rebounds in two games since coach Fran McCaffrey inserted Ryan Kreiner into the starting lineup. Kreiner had 14 points in his first start but just two on 1-of-6 shooting versus Northwestern.
- 5-1 ATS in its last six games as a home favorite between 0.5-6.5 points.
- 4-1 ATS in its last five games as a favorite between 0.5-6.5 points.
- The favorite is 4-1 ATS in the last five games between the teams.
- The over is 11-3 in its last 14 home games vs. teams with an above-.500 road record.
- The over is 7-2-1 in its last 10 games vs. Big Ten opponents.
- The over is 4-0 in its last four home games vs. Ohio State.
Ohio State is:
- 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games following a straight up loss.
- 3-11 ATS in its last 14 games vs. above-.500 teams.
- 1-5 ATS in its last six road games vs. teams with an above-.600 home winning percentage.
- The over is 13-5 in its last 18 games vs. above-.500 teams.
- The over is 3-1-1 in its last five games following a straight up loss.
- The over is 5-2-1 in its last eight games vs. Big Ten opponents.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Hawkeyes have won seven of eight since starting 0-2 in the Big Ten, and that loss at Purdue can be forgiven since they were walking into an emotional hurricane on the West Lafayette campus following the death of super fan Tyler Trent.
Getting to .500 after an 0-3 beginning to conference play is a huge motivational factor here for Iowa, and getting Cook back to battle Wesson is a plus. Iowa has more scoring options than Ohio State, and with the Buckeyes struggling from the perimeter at the moment, the home team should deliver against a one-possession spread.
Prediction: Pick: Iowa -2.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Iowa has cleared 156 points in three of its five Big Ten games and should be able to drag Ohio State into enough of an up-tempo game to make it four of six. The Hawkeyes have averaged 86.1 points at home and cleared 75 in seven of 10 games at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The belief is they’ll get there again.
Prediction: Pick: OVER 147
Half-Time Side Pick
These are the type of games Iowa seems to thrive on, close spreads at home against ranked teams when the Hawkeyes themselves are a Top 40 team. They did it to Nebraska last weekend and will repeat the feat versus Ohio State.
Prediction: Pick: Iowa -1.5
Half-Time Total Bet
In three of its four home games against high major opponents, Iowa has combined for 83 or more first-half points. The outlier was, as one would expect, Wisconsin. While the Buckeyes are a solid defensive unit, the low number gives a margin of error to take advantage of since 70 will win the day here.
Prediction: Pick: OVER 69 points