Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#733 Penn State 132 vs.
#734 Ohio State -7.5
Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 12:00pm EST
Written by Chris Kubala

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#733 Pennsylvania State University
#734 Ohio State University
7-1
8-0
16-15-1
15-20
14-18
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69
69
68
66

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A pair of Big Ten teams take the hardwood to open up conference play in the Buckeye State. The Penn State Nittany Lions are on the road as they face the #6 Ohio State Buckeyes Saturday afternoon. Penn State comes in off a 76-54 home win over Wake Forest in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge Wednesday night. Ohio State knocked off #7 North Carolina 74-49 on the road in their ACC/Big Ten Challenge contest Wednesday night. The Buckeyes lead the all-time series between the teams 38-18, including a 74-70 win in the most recent matchup on February 7, 2019. That victory snapped a three-game Penn State win streak.

Penn State Nittany Lions Seeking Third Straight Win

Penn State earned their second straight win since their lone loss of the season as they rolled over Wake Forest in their game in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Nittany Lions look to make it three straight wins and to upset the Buckeyes in this contest. Penn State rode a 14-4 start to the game to take control and kept the Demon Deacons at arm’s length the rest of the way. The Nittany Lions didn’t let Wake Forest closer than four the rest of the way. A 22-5 run spanning the end of the first half and the start of the second half gave Penn State a 44-23 lead en route to the rout. Penn State shot 44.1 percent from the field, including five of 28 from three-point range, and dominated the glass 52-33 while forcing 20 Wake Forest turnovers. Myreon Jones scored a career-high 22 points to lead the Nittany Lions in the victory.

The Nittany Lions are putting up 80.6 points per game this season, which has them tied for 43rd in scoring offense. Penn State collects 43.8 rebounds per game (tied for 11th) while dishing out 16.1 assists (tied for 58th) a night. The Nittany Lions have been solid defensively, ranking 50th by allowing 61.8 points per game. Lamar Stevens leads the team with 17.5 points and 7.9 rebounds per contest. Myreon Jones contributes 13.6 points plus 3.4 assists a night while Mike Watkins puts up 11.3 points and 10 boards a game. Myles Dread, Izaiah Brockington, Curtis Jones, Jamari Wheeler, Seth Lundy and John Harrar are all averaging double-figure minutes. Penn State shoots 45.2 percent from the field as a team this season. The Nittany Lions sink 8.3 triples a night while shooting 31.4 percent from beyond the arc this season. Penn State is struggling at the free throw line as they hit 66.9 percent as a team.

Ohio State Buckeyes Look to Maintain Perfect Record

Ohio State went on the road for the first time all season and earned a signature win by handing #7 North Carolina their worst home loss under Roy Williams. The Buckeyes now return home and hope to avoid a letdown to maintain their perfect record. Ohio State led by just two at the half and by three with 16 minutes to play before going on a 9-0 run to take a 12-point lead. The Buckeyes limited the Tar Heels to only two points over the final 7:16 of the game to turn things into a rout. Ohio State shot 46.4 percent from the field, including 10 of 26 from three-point range, while holding North Carolina to 27.4 percent shooting. Duane Washington Jr. led the Buckeyes with 18 points and five rebounds in the victory.

The Buckeyes are putting up an average of 77.8 points per game on the year, putting them 86th in the nation in scoring offense. Ohio State pulls down 42.4 rebounds a night (tied for 23rd) while handing out 15.6 assists (tied for 73rd) per game. The Buckeyes are stellar defensively, ranking 4th in the nation in scoring defense as they allow 52.3 points per game. Kaleb Wesson leads the team with 12.4 points plus 9.3 rebounds per contest. D.J. Carton chips in 10.1 points per game while Duane Washington Jr. adds 11.1 points a night. Kyle Young, Andre Wesson, Luther Muhammad, CJ Walker and E.J. Liddell each put up at least 7.3 points a game for the Buckeyes. Ohio State shoots 48.3 percent from the field as a team on the year. The Buckeyes knock down nine triples a night while sinking 39.6 percent from beyond the arc. Ohio State is below average at the free throw line, converting 70.7 percent of their attempts this season.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Penn State is a solid offensive team but they’re going to have a tough task here. We saw North Carolina come in as a high-flying offensive attack and they were at home for Wednesday’s game. Instead, the Tar Heels were pounded into oblivion as the Buckeyes’ defense did the job limiting them. Ohio State is suffocating on the defensive end of the floor and they have solid depth to work with as well. Penn State has a deep rotation but the fact remains that they don’t have the chops to hang on the road quite yet. Give the Buckeyes the upper hand in this contest.

Prediction: Ohio State Buckeyes -8.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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This one is going to be a clash of capable defensive teams that have combined to lose just once in their 16 games this season. Penn State has a deeper rotation than they've had in quite some time but they still have things to prove on the road. Ohio State showed a ton of grit by completely stifling North Carolina on the road, limiting the Tar Heels to just 49 points. The Buckeyes are holding opposing teams to 32.2 percent shooting from the floor, including 28.4 percent from three-point range, on the season. Will Penn State find a way to come up with the win here?

The under is 22-10 in the Nittany Lions' last 32 Saturday games. Ohio State has seen the under go 6-1 in their last 7 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points, 6-2 in their last 8 overall and 5-2 in their last seven overall. Given the way the Buckeyes just shut down North Carolina, you have to think that they can handle Penn State's attack here. This one falls short of the mark.

Prediction: Under 131

Half-Time Side Pick

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Ohio State has been rolling along this season and their defense is a major reason why. The Buckeyes own a +13.8 ppg differential in the opening half of games this season. Penn State has been decent, posting a +8.6 ppg differential in the opening half of their contests. The Nittany Lions have to show that they can handle playing on the road, much like we challenged Ohio State the other day. In this one, the Buckeyes' defense is too much for the Nittany Lions as they hold the lead at the half.

Prediction: Ohio State Buckeyes

Half-Time Total Bet

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Penn State has scored an average of 37.5 ppg in the opening half this season while allowing 28.9 points per game in the first half. The Nittany Lions are tied for 54th in the nation in first-half scoring defense. That's an average of 66.4 points per game in the first half this season for their games. Ohio State scores an average of 36.3 ppg in the first half while ranking third in the nation by allowing 22.5 ppg this season. That puts the average first half of the Buckeyes at 58.8 ppg this season. Look for this one to fall short of the total.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.