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Ohio State Michigan Betting - Ohio State Tries To Disrupt Michigan’s Comfort Zone

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/6/2014 10:27:47 PM

The Michigan Wolverines have not yet lost a home game this season. The Ohio State Buckeyes will try to change that reality this upcoming Saturday at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Ohio State Buckeyes @ Michigan Wolverines - Saturday, February 18
Sports betting line: No line

Why Ohio State Will Win

When you do your homework and assess your sports bet on this game, you know that a blowout will not take place. Two of the very best Big Ten teams locking horns in the second half of February is a sure-fire recipe for a close game. Within that context, which side is more likely to win? A good starting point is that the team more likely to rebound well will prevail. Michigan is simply not as strong as Ohio State. UM coach John Beilein recruits shooters and wing players to run his 1-3-1 zone defense. Michigan needs to make shots to win. Ohio State, though, is better positioned to win a rebounding contest. The Buckeyes have Jared Sullinger in the middle, a bruising low-post player whom Michigan simply cannot match up against. Ohio State also has long wing players such as William Buford who have more of a wingspan than Michigan’s guards. If Michigan can’t hit threes, Ohio State has the edge on the glass, and if this game is decided by rebounding, the Buckeyes will be in the driver’s seat.

Why Michigan Will Win

The college basketball betting experts who follow the Big Ten Conference for a living know that Ohio State is feeling particularly mortal and vulnerable these days. Michigan State was able to stop Ohio State’s 39-game home-court winning streak this past Saturday. The Spartans used big rebounding efforts by their guards to outwork the whole of the Buckeyes' roster: Branden Dawson plucked eight rebounds in 20 minutes, and teammate Brandon Wood came off the bench to grab seven boards in 31 minutes. Ohio State's guards were not able to rebound at that rate, and since Michigan State hounded Ohio State into a wretched 26-percent shooting performance from the floor (14 of 53 field goal attempts), the primacy of rebounding became that much more pronounced on Saturday.

Ohio State guard William Buford and forward Deshaun Thomas both hit just 2 of 12 shots from the field, and so when Michigan State was able to lock down on the boards, Ohio State became a one-and-done team. That's why the Buckeyes scored just 48 points, and it's why they lost. Another big reason Ohio State fell short was that its best player, big man Jared Sullinger, committed 10 turnovers. Sure, Sullinger contributed 17 points and 16 rebounds in a powerful performance, but the boatload of giveaways limited Ohio State’s opportunities and fed Michigan State’s sense of confidence. Ohio State is going to have a tough time against the shifting defenses drawn up by Michigan’s resourceful coach, John Beilein. Michigan is unbeaten at home this year, making the Buckeyes a team surrounded by question marks as it ventures into Ann Arbor.

Who Will Win

It’s going to be hard for Michigan to shoot well enough to win. The Wolverines will likely need to force turnovers and get easy baskets in transition. The sense here is that Ohio State will protect the ball and not give away large amounts of points. The Buckeyes will dominate on the boards, and that will be the difference. Pick Ohio State.

College Basketball Betting Pick: Ohio State

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