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Picks, predictions for Northwestern vs. Ohio State on Thursday, February 9

The struggling Buckeyes are home favorites over the Wildcats on Thursday night.

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Ohio State Buckeyes return home for a matchup with the Northwestern Wildcats on Thursday night from Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The game will get started at 8:00 p.m. ET and can be seen on FS1. Let’s take a look at the odds and lines on DraftKings Sportsbook and make some picks.

Northwestern vs. Ohio State odds

Spread: Ohio State -5
Over/Under: 137
Moneyline: Ohio State -230, Northwestern +195

Northwestern (16-7, 7-5 Big Ten) snapped a two-game losing skid when it beat the Wisconsin Badgers 54-52 on the road Sunday with Boo Buie leading the way with 13 points. Julian Roper re-injured his ankle and could be out after missing Sunday’s contest. The Wildcats’ strength is on defense where they rate 32nd in KenPom adjusted efficiency, and they’re 98th on the offensive end.

Ohio State (11-12, 3-9 Big Ten) has lost nine of its last 10 games, including four in a row including Sunday’s 77-69 road defeat against the Michigan Wolverines despite Bruce Thornton scoring 22 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the floor. The Buckeyes rate 16th in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency, but they check in at 87th defensively.

The Pick: Ohio State -5

Eventually, things are going to start turning in the Buckeyes’ direction, and this feels like a good time for that to happen. Ohio State rates 34th overall in KenPom, and the Buckeyes are the only team rated inside the top 60 with a losing record. Ohio State beat Northwestern by 16 points on New Year’s Day, and I expect something similar on Thursday night as this could not be more of a must-win situation as the Buckeyes return home.