Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#601 Ohio State -1.5 vs.
#602 Penn State 138.5
Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 12:00pm EST
Written by Adam Rauzino

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#601 Ohio State University
#602 Pennsylvania State University
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The Penn State Nittany Lions will host the #21 Ohio State Buckeyes in a Big Ten battle Saturday afternoon from the Bryce Jordan Center. The Buckeyes posted an 80-68 home win over Nebraska last time out, and the Nittany Lions dropped a 75-69 decision to Minnesota on Wednesday night. The Buckeyes tallied a 106-74 home win against the Nittany Lions last month.

Ohio State Snaps Losing Streak with Easy Win

The #21 Ohio State Buckeyes enter this tough matchup with confidence. They thwarted a rough four-game losing streak with a much-needed 80-68 home win over Nebraska on Tuesday night in a tilt that had the Buckeyes favored by 18 points. Ohio State’s offensive production has been an issue in their 2-4 mark in Big Ten play.

Kaleb Wesson has been inconsistent and has scored 15 or fewer points in three straight games. The junior forward now has seven double-doubles on the season and he is averaging 14.4 PPG and 9.6 RPG. Duane Washington Jr. sat out of Tuesday’s win against Nebraska due to a team suspension. The sophomore guard is averaging 10.7 points on 43% shooting. Washington Jr. is expected to return for this game. D.J. Carton has scored at least 10 points in each of his last three games. The freshman guard is a threat from three-point range where he owns a 39% efficiency, and he is averaging 10.2 PPG.

The Buckeyes fell 10 spots to #21 in the AP Top 25 rankings due to their recent losing streak, and Ken Pomeroy has them at 9th in the country in his ratings. Ohio State is 1-3 on the road, and they are scoring an average of 73.8 points, ranking them 123rd overall. They are limiting opponents to 59.9 points, good for 15th in DI.

Penn State's Slide Extended to Three Games

The Penn State Nittany Lions are in need of a win. They find themselves near the bottom of the Big Ten standings due to a three-game losing streak. Penn State was 2-1 in conference play but have fallen to 2-4 due to a stumbling offense. Their issues resumed in a 75-69 road loss to Minnesota on Wednesday night in a tilt that had the Nittany Lions labeled as two-point dogs.

Lamar Stevens has not been nearly as sharp recently, connecting below 42% of his field goals in each game during the losing streak. The senior forward is having a solid season overall, logging an average of 16.1 PPG and 7.1 RPG. Myreon Jones is playing well and tallied 21 points in a recent defeat to Wisconsin. The sophomore guard is excelling from beyond the arc where he owns a 39% efficiency and he is averaging 13.9 PPG. Izaiah Brockington has been limited to six or fewer points in two out of his last three games. The sophomore guard holds an average of 10.5 PPG.

The Lions dropped out of the AP Top 25 last week, and are placed 37th overall in Ken Pomeroy’s ratings. Penn State is 9-1 at home and they are still averaging a terrific 77.2 points on the season, ranking them 51st in the country. They are holding opponents to 67.5 points, positioning them 142nd in DI.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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I am going with Penn State in this one. This is almost a must-win for Penn State after losing three straight games and I expect them to come up big. While they have lost three straight, two of those losses were on the road. The Nittany Lions have only lost one home game all season and the Buckeyes have struggled on the road where they have dropped three consecutive games.

Furthermore, the Buckeyes have also lost four out of their last five games overall and they are having trouble offensively, netting 59 or fewer points in four out of their last five games.

Prediction: Penn State Nittany Lions

Full-Game Total Pick

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I expect this total to go over. These two squads played to a high-scoring 106-74 decision in the first meeting last season. The Buckeyes shot 57% from the field in that game. While I don’t expect a 57% clip, they have the confidence they can excel offensively against Penn State. Also, the over is  5-1 in the Buckeyes’ last six Saturday games.

In addition, the Nittany Lions were able to sink 10 three’s against the Buckeyes last month. Penn State plays at a quick pace of 74 possessions per game and they are overdue for a breakout game. The over is 6-1 in the Nittany Lions’ last seven games following an ATS loss.

Prediction: Over

Full-Game Prop Bet

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The over on the Penn State team total offered on PointsBet is worth a look. While Penn State has had some trouble offensively recently, make no mistake this is a potent team that can pile on the points. They are back at home and they put up 85 points against Syracuse, 76 against Maryland, and 89 against Iowa.

Prediction: Penn State Team Total Over

Half-Time Total Bet

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I am selecting the under on the halftime total. Both teams have not fared well offensively in the first half recently. Penn State has averaged 33.7 points in their last three which is well below their season average of 37 points. Ohio State has scored an average of only 31.3 points in the opening half in their last three contests.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Adam Rauzino

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball and football. Adam enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about various sports as well as personal finance and has brought his talents to us here at Winners and Whiners. He graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance.