Ohio State vs. Kansas: Saturday College Basketball Betting Preview

No. 2 Ohio State at No. 13 Kansas Jayhawks
Saturday, 12/10/11, 3:15 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Ohio State -3
Current Betting Line:  Ohio State -3
Opening Total:  140
Current Total:  139
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Ohio State Buckeyes take to the road for the first time during the 2011-12 season

Ohio State heads out on the road for the first time during the 2011-12 campaign with a perfect 8-0 record, but only four of those games were actually against lined opponents.  “In terms of that type of atmosphere affecting you,” Buckeyes head coach Thad Matta commented.  “You’ll find out a lot about your team.”  The Buckeyes rank amongst the best nationally in numerous categories, including leading all teams with a 29.3 points per game scoring margin.  That number is certainly helped by leading the country with a +8.8 turnover margin.  Ohio State is 11-11 ATS over the last two-plus seasons.

The Buckeyes are hoping that star sophomore center Jared Sullinger will be able to play in this contest, as he’s been bothered by back spasms.  Ohio State is 3-4 all-time against Kansas, but the last meeting was back on Dec. 16, 1999.  The program is also 18-20 when playing against current teams out of the Big 12 Conference.  Look for senior William Buford to lead the offense Saturday, as he averaged 20.5 points in wins over Duke and Florida.  Three other players also averaged double-digits in scoring in those contests, including Sullinger (18.5).

Kansas plays host to Ohio State in a much anticipated non-conference showdown inside Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence.  The Buckeyes will be the second No. 2 team that the Jayhawks have faced off against this season, dropping a 75-65 contest to the Kentucky Wildcats as 6.5-point neutral-site underdogs on Nov. 15.  The prgoram has faced the No. 1 or No. 2 team four times during the Bill Self era, coming away with a 3-1 record in those matchups.  Kansas is 0-2 ATS as an underdog this season, with both games going ‘under’ the total.

The Jayhawks are outscoring opponents by 13.5 points per game, while also out working teams on the glass by 9.1 rebounds per game.  Kansas is led offensively by All-America candidate Thomas Robinson, averaging 17.4 points per game, while Tyshawn Taylor checks in just behind with 16.8 points per game.  Robinson is also a force on the glass, leading the Big 12 in averaging 12.0 rebounds per game.  Self isn’t use to losing inside Saturday’s venue, posting a 133-7 mark during his time inside the facility.

Bettors will likely back the Buckeyes due to their 8-2 ATS mark in non-conference play, while the Jayhawks are 1-10 ATS versus Big Ten Conference opponents.

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