College Basketball Picks: Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers

Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers
Thursday, 1/16/14, 9:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Ohio State -3.5
Current Betting Line:  Ohio State -3.5
Opening Total:  129
Current Total:  133
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Ohio State Buckeyes have dropped two consecutive games
The Ohio State Buckeyes have dropped two consecutive games

Ohio State has dropped back-to-back games, including a 84-74 setback to the Iowa Hawkeyes as 6.5-point home favorites Sunday, while going OVER the betting total for a fourth consecutive contest.  The Buckeyes are 55-19 SU following a loss during the Thad Matta era, which is important to consider when making your college basketball betting picks.  The team is led by point guard Aaron Craft, who ranks first in school history in assists and steals.  Ohio State is 13-5 SU and 12-6 ATS as road favorites of 3.5 to 6 points in its last 18 opportunities.

The Buckeyes are holding opponents to 57.6 points per game, which leads the Big Ten Conference.  Ohio State is also second in outscoring opponents by an average of 17.5 points per game—something that can’t be ignored when looking over the college basketball odds page.  Offensively, the team will need a big offensive game from senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr., who has scored 10-plus points in 10 of his last 13 games.

Minnesota returns home after splitting a two-game road trip, as it dropped a 87-75 overtime decision to the Michigan State Spartans last time out, while going OVER the betting total of 138.  The Golden Gophers are 5-8 SU against ranked opponents since the start of last season, while they lead the Big Ten in steals per game and free throw percentage.  The team has three players averaging in double figures, with guard Andre Hollins leading the way at 16.3 points a contest.  Minnesota is 2-0 ATS as home underdogs of 3.5 to 6 points the last two-plus seasons.

The Golden Gophers have a major presence in the paint in junior Elliott Eliason, who leads the team and ranks third in the conference in averaging 8.6 rebounds per game.  On the defensive end, Eliason is averaging 2.7 blocks per game, which will prove useful against a balanced Ohio State offensive attack.

Sports bettors will likely play the total, as the UNDER is 11-4 in the Golden Gophers’ last 15 conference games.

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