In what is potentially the biggest college basketball game of the week, two Top-10 Big Ten teams do battle Thursday night when the No. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes (14-4), head to Iowa City to take on the No. 8 Iowa Hawkeyes (13-4).
Ohio State enters on a three-game winning streak, winning five of their last six. The Buckeyes allow just 67 points per contest, and are scoring nearly 80 each time out. OSU has three players averaging double figures, but are built on the production they get from E.J. Liddell and Duane Washington Jr., who are scoring 15.3 and 14.5 points per game respectively. According to KenPom, they have the sixth-best offense in the nation in terms of scoring efficiency.
Iowa has been struggling lately, with two of their four total losses come in the last two weeks. Over that span they’re averaging 76 points per game, down significantly from their season average of 90. The Hawkeyes are heavily reliant on center Luka Garza, a 6-foot 11-inch senior. He’s averaging over 25 points per contest and the team only has one other player scoring in double figures. So much of the offense goes through the big man, who is a heavy favorite to win the Wooden Award this season.
KenPom says that the Hawkeyes have a 64% chance to come away with a huge win in this one, which would keep them squarely in the hunt for a Big Ten title.
Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming
You can watch Ohio State vs. Iowa on Thursday, February 4th at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN, or you can stream it via the ESPN app with a cable or streaming service login. If you don’t have a cable login to access the ESPN app, you can get a free trial from YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, AT&T TV Now, FuboTV, or Sling TV to stream it.
Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends
Point spread: Iowa -5.5
Point Total: 156.5
Money line: Ohio State +195, Iowa -245
- Ohio State is 10-7-1 this season ATS, while Iowa is 10-7
- The over is 11-6 in Iowa games, and 10-8 in Buckeyes contests.
The Best Bet
These are two of the best offenses in America with Iowa coming in first in the NCAA in adjusted efficiency, and the Buckeyes fourth in the same category. These are two teams with multiple players that can score as drivers, post-ups, and shooters, and Garza is as good offensively as he is questionable defensively. The losing team getting 80 is very possible, so we’ll root for points and a track meet.
Pick: Over 156.5
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