Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#4795 Northwestern vs.
#4796 Ohio State
Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 7:00pm EST
Written by The Dominator

Wednesday evening on the college hardwood and we will see a pair of teams from the Big 10 Conference square off as the Northwestern Wildcats rumble with the Ohio State Buckeyes at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The Wildcats enter this contest at 6-4 while Ohio State has gone 9-3.

Wildcats Were No Match For The Illini

The Northwestern Wildcats started league play by winning their last three games, but they have hit a bump in the road of late. The Cats enter this game having lost their last three games in a row after falling to Illinois at home by a score of 81-56. They were no match for a strong Illinois squad, especially on offense. The offense has now averaged just 69.7 ppg in league play, compared to putting up 93.3 ppg in their non-league games. Three of their non-conference games have come against teams that Vegas doesn't normally have lines on, while their other non-league game was against Pittsburgh, and they scored just 70 points in that game. That is a bit stunning as the Cats have tried to be more of an uptempo team, and they focused on scoring, but in their more challenging games, that has not been the case.

The Wildcats shot a miserable 33% from the floor overall against the Buckeyes, including just 30% (6/20) from long range. They will have to shoot far better than that if they hope to win this game. Northwestern did win the turnover battle by two, but they were outrebounded by 13. Miller Kopp is the team's leading scorer at 13.8 ppg, but he had just eight points in the loss. Robbie Beran led them with 11 points and is now at 7.6 ppg on the year. The Cats need to get Kopp back on track. They also will need the defense to play much better after allowing Illinois to connect on 49% of their shots overall, including 41% (11/27) of their shots from long range.

Northwestern enters this game ranked 65th in scoring at 79.1 ppg, 110th in shooting (45.9%), 12th in three-point shooting (40.2%), and 61st in free throw shooting at 74.2%. On defense, they are 156th in points allowed, giving up 68.9 ppg, 100th in defensive FG% (41.1%), and 158th in three-point defense (32.4%).

Buckeyes Take Down Rutgers On The Road

The Ohio State Buckeyes are off to a fine start this year as they have gone 9-3 overall, but we note that they are just 3-3 in league play. That makes this a huge game for both teams. The Buckeyes would also like to get revenge for a 71-70 loss to the Wildcats on December 26th. The offense has been key for the Buckeyes in league play as they have averaged just 63.3 ppg in their three losses, compared to 83 ppg in their three wins. Ohio State enters this game off of a 79-68 road win over Rutgers, which gives them a season sweep of that series. They beat Rutgers 80-63 at home back on December 23rd.

The Buckeyes shot 51% from the floor in the latest meeting, including 42% (10/24% from long range. They could have had a more decisive win had Ohio State not missed nine free throws. That was a bit of an anomaly as Ohio State has been one of the nation's best free-throw shooting teams. Leading scorer Duane Washington Jr. (15.1 ppg) led the team in the win with 17 points, while E.J. Liddell (14.0 ppg) had 15 and Kyle Young (7.9 ppg). The defense played well as they allowed the Scarlet Knights to hit just 44% of their shots overall, including 25% (5/20) of their shots from long range. Defending the arc has been an issue for the Buckeyes this year, but they clamped down on Rutgers and will look to do the same here.

Ohio State enters this game ranked 98th in scoring at 76.5 ppg, 184th in shooting (44.1%), 225th in three-point shooting (32.1%), and 34th in free throw shooting at 76.0%. On defense, they are 91st in points allowed, giving up 66.3 ppg, 88th in defensive FG% (40.7%), and 240th in three-point defense (34.4%).

Best Bets for this Game

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Full-Game Side Bet

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The Wildcats started hot this year, but they have lost their last three games in a row, and the offense has taken a leave of absence. The Cats scored 79 points in their Big 10 opener, but the offense has dropped considerably, averaging just 67.8 ppg over their last five games. In their latest contest, they scored just 56 points against a tough Illinois defense, and the Buckeyes have been tough at that end of the floor as well. The Wildcats have also struggled on defense of last as they have allowed 78 ppg over their last five games, and they will be facing an Ohio State team that has averaged 80.3 ppg at home, and 83.0 ppg in their three league wins. I do not see the Wildcats coming up with enough offense to keep this one close, and the clincher is that the favorite is 4-1 ATS the last five games in this series.

Prediction: Ohio State -8

Full-Game Total Pick

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We have an Ohio State team that has averaged 83.0 ppg in their three league wins and 80.3 ppg at home for the year going up against a Northwestern defense that has allowed 78 ppg over their last five games overall and 79.7 ppg on the road. I can see the Buckeyes hitting at least 80 points in this one. the Wildcats have struggled to score of late ut they will not be held to und 60 in this one, as they were against the Illini. Northwestern has averaged 70.7 ppg on the road and 69.7 ppg in league play while the Buckeyes have allowed 67.5 ppg in their league games. They have allowed just 59.7 ppg at home, but Northwestern will not be held below 60 points in this one. They have some good scorers and will also push the tempo. We also note that the Over is 11-3 in Northwestern's last 14 games following a double-digit loss at home and 7-2 in Ohio State's last 9 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.

Prediction: Over 142
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Written By David Hess , "The Dominator"

David has always had a fascination with numbers and sports, so he combined the two to become a handicapper and a writer for us here at Winners & Whiners, along with StatSalt. All the information that David puts in his articles are well-researched and his predictions are well-thought-out. He is a big fan of all the major pro sports and the colleges making David a very versatile and constantly winning handicapper. David has been writing for the past 10 years and has been handicapping for over 20 years. He will help you beat the Man, so be sure and follow along.