#8 Ohio State Buckeyes (22-6; 14-12 ATS; 6-20 O/U) vs. #22 Michigan Wolverines (21-7; 16-10-1 ATS; 11-16 O/U)
The Michigan Wolverines will host the Ohio State Buckeyes in a Big Ten showdown Sunday afternoon from the Crisler Center. The Buckeyes were thumped 79-56 by Penn State on Thursday night, and the Wolverines crushed Iowa 74-59 in their latest contest. Ohio State notched a 71-62 home win against Michigan at the start of conference play.
Buckeyes Pummeled by Penn State
The Ohio State Buckeyes were outplayed in both ends of the court in their 79-56 blowout road loss to Penn State on Thursday night to bring their Big Ten record to 13-2. The Buckeyes shot a poor 39% on the night, while Penn State was able to sink 48% of their shots. Buckeyes’ leading scorer Keita Bates-Diop was quiet in the loss, going 4 for 11 from the field for only 10 points. The junior forward has slowed up slightly in his last two games, however overall he is having a superb season, averaging 19.6 points on 50% shooting. Jae’ Sean Tate was also kept in check in Wednesday’s loss, netting only six points. The senior forward tallied 11 or fewer points in four straight games, and is now posting an average of 12.4 points on a stellar 55% field goal efficiency.
The Buckeyes had their four game winning streak come to a halt in Thursday’s loss, and they are now tied for first with the Spartans in the Big Ten standings heading into Saturday’s action. They now feature a 2-2 record against ranked teams this season, and they have won five of their six conference road games. Ohio State is scoring an average of 76.3 points per game, ranking them 107th overall. They are holding opponents to 66.5 points, good for 42nd in the country.
Wolverines Defense Shines in Easy Home Win
The Michigan Wolverines did as expected and tallied a convincing 74-59 home win over Iowa on Wednesday to improve to 10-5 in Big Ten play. The Wolverines only shot 41.8% on the night, however they did sink 12 three-pointers and only committed six turnovers. Muhammad-Ali Abdur Rahkman led the way offensively with 18 points along with seven assists. The senior guard has scored at least 15 points in three out of his last four games, and is currently averaging 11.7 points on 42.5% shooting. Wolverines’ top scorer Mortitz Wagner chipped in with 14 points on a 6 for 14 mark from the field in Wednesday’s win. The junior forward is a solid two-way player, and is posting an average of 14.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.
The Wolverines have collected a win in four out of their last five games, with their lone loss in that span coming to Northwestern. They are sitting in fifth place in the Big Ten standings, and feature a 7-1 home record in conference play. Michigan has lost three of their four games against ranked opposition this season, and they are averaging 74 points per game, ranking them 182nd overall. They continue to shine on defense, limiting opponents to 63.5 points, good for 10th in the country.
The Ohio State Buckeyes are:
- 6-13 ATS in their last 19 Sunday games.
The Michigan Wolverines are:
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games against a team with a road winning percentage above .600.
- 6-0 ATS in their last 6 Sunday games.
- 9-3-1 ATS in their last 13 home games.
- the home team is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings between Ohio State and Michigan.
I am taking Michigan in this battle. Ohio State was awful in their 79-56 road loss to Penn State on Thursday, and they are up against another stifling defensive team in this one. Michigan is allowing an average of only 60.9 points in their eight conference home games, and their lone conference home loss was a narrow 79-69 defeat to sixth-ranked Purdue. Furthermore, Buckeyes’ leading scorer Keita Bates-Doip has slowed up in his last two games, and overall I am not confident in the Buckeyes on the road against this defense.
Pick: Michigan Wolverines
This showdown features two outstanding defensive teams colliding. The Buckeyes are holding opponents to 41% shooting, and they played strong defense in their win against Michigan earlier this season, plus the under is 5-0 in their last five road games. The Wolverines defense has been outstanding, especially on their home court, and the Buckeyes were awful in their road loss to Penn State on Thursday night, plus the under is 4-1 in the last five meetings between these two teams.