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Ohio State Buckeyes Betting – Buckeyes Have What It Takes To Win It All

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/6/2014 9:50:36 PM

Ohio State’s online betting odds should stay the same all season, although they’ll have some tough non-conference games early on to test their mettle. But with a dominant big man, a disciplined group of players who know their roles and one of the best coaches in the country, Ohio State has everything you need to win a national championship.

Head Coach: Thad Matta
Conference: Big Ten
Location: Columbus, OH
Arena: Value City Arena at Jerome Schottenstein Center
National Titles: 1

In seven years in Columbus, Thad Matta has amassed the best overall and conference winning percentages of any Ohio State basketball head coach, and the Buckeyes have won the Big Ten regular-season and conference titles in three of the last five seasons. However, there may be a bad taste in Matta’s mouth after the Buckeyes, as a No.1 seed, fell to Kentucky in the Sweet Sixteen last season, their straight exit at that stage of the Tournament.

Last year’s centerpiece was sophomore center/power forward Jared Sullinger (17.2 points, 10.2 rebounds), who would have been a lottery pick had he decided to enter the NBA draft, but he felt he had some things to work on, so the Buckeyes  will build around their preseason All-American once again. The Buckeyes’ system was to basically isolate Sullinger down low and since he is a great passer out of the low post, Matta put a slew of three-point shooters on the perimeter and let them fly. As a result, the Buckeyes shot 42.3% from the three-point line (tops in the NCAA), they were third in the country in shooting percentage and 19th in points scored. William Buford (14.4 points, 44.2% from beyond the arc) remains on campus and he is the only senior on the Ohio State squad, although he’ll get leadership help from Sullinger.

But the key to Ohio State’s NCAA basketball betting odds make come at the point, where Aaron Craft (6.9 points, 4.8 assists, 2.0 steals) is looking to build on an excellent freshman year. Matta may ask him to score more with the departures of Jon Diebler and David Lighty, but Craft’s main goals are to direct the offense, get the ball to Sullinger in the post and apply pressure on the opposing point guard. There will also be more work for sophomore forward Deshaun Thomas (7.5 points, 3.5 rebounds), who would have started anywhere else in the conference and he’ll get all the chances he can handle to take over at small forward.

Evan Ravenel is a junior forward who comes over from Boston College, and he should give Sullinger some rebounding help in the post, while sophomore guard Jordan Sibert (2.1 points) can played either guard position. He will be pushed for minutes by freshman Shannon Scott is a highly touted point guard who will learn from Craft, while fellow frosh Amir Williams is an athletic big man who can run the floor. They’ll be watched over by Matta, who is slowly starting to gain respect on the national stage. You don’t think of him right away when you think of the best coaches in the country, but you should. He has won the NIT with the Buckeyes and taken them as far as the final game of the Tournament, back in 2007 when a team led by Greg Oden and Mike Conley lost to Florida. Matta is a strong recruiter, a calm coach who never loses his cool, and Ohio State would do well to lock him down for a long, long time.

Ohio State opens the season at No.3 in the rankings and they are a -140 NCAA basketball betting favorite to win the Big Ten, as well as +750 to win their second national title and first since 1960. The Buckeyes will have a test in their second game of the season as Florida visits Columbus on November 15th, while Duke comes to town on the 29th, and Ohio State hasn’t lost at home since February 2009. They head to Kansas on December 10th before moving into the Big Ten schedule, and while they’ll face some stiff competition from Michigan State, Wisconsin, an up-and-coming Michigan squad and even an improved Indiana team, they should be able to roll through the Big Ten with minimal fuss.

With the troubles of the football team taking that program down a notch, the basketball team has the spotlight all to itself this season, so they’ll have to deal with that extra bit of pressure. But they have the perfect coach in Matta and they should claim a high seed in the NCAA Tournament. An appearance in the Sweet Sixteen is the minimum and that would probably still be a disappointment. Don’t be afraid to wager on Ohio State to win the national title in your sports betting book.

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