College Basketball Predictions: Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Marquette Golden Eagles

No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Marquette Golden Eagles
Friday, 11/9/12, 7:00 PM EST, TV:  NBC Sports Network
Opening Point Spread:  Ohio State -5
Current Betting Line:  Ohio State -6.5
Opening Total:  139.5
Current Total:  137.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

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The Ohio State Buckeyes and Marquette Golden Eagles will due battle atop the USS Yorktown on Friday night

Ohio State is 91-18 in home openers and 87-22 in season openers as a program all-time, as it gets set to play Marquette in the 2012 Carrier Classic atop the USS Yorktown.  The Buckeyes have won all eight of their season openers under the direction of current head coach Thad Matta, while he’s won all 12 such contests over the course of his career.  Ohio State is 8-6 ATS on a neutral court over the last two seasons, while the OVER is 8-6 in that situation.

The Buckeyes own a 63-41 all-time record against teams that currently make up the Big East Conference, while Matta has come away with a victory in nine of 11 games in that situation.  Ohio State has won the last three Big Ten Conference regular-season titles, but was selected to finish third in the 2013 conference race by the media.  Juniors Aaron Craft, Lenzelle Smith Jr. and Deshaun Thomas are returning starters, as William Buford and Jared Sullinger have left the program.

Marquette has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success on opening night and hopes to continue that trend during the 2012-13 campaign, as it enters with an 11-game win streak in season openers.  The Golden Eagles are 4-5 all-time against the Buckeyes, with wins in three of the last four outings.  The program is expected to finish seventh in the 15-team Big East, as it comes off a program-best second-place finish a year ago.  Marquette is 13-4 ATS as an underdog over the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 11-6 in those contests.

The Golden Eagles have a tall mountain to climb in replacing seniors Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom, as the duo combined for 35.8 points and 11.9 rebounds per game last year, while both were selected in the 2012 NBA Draft.  Marquette returns three starters and a total of eight letter winners from last year’s Sweet 16 squad.

Sports bettors will likely back the Buckeyes due to their 2-0 ATS mark versus Big East teams, while the Golden Eagles are 2-6-1 ATS in their last nine non-conference games.

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