No. 1 Purdue Boilermakers vs. No. 24 Ohio State Buckeyes January 5 Betting Preview
The Ohio State Buckeyes will look to hand the Purdue Boilermakers their second consecutive loss on Thursday evening when they host their Big Ten rival in their third league game. Purdue fell to a surprising Rutgers team on Monday night by a 65-64 score in West Lafayette.
Prior to Monday night, the Boilermakers were a perfect 14-0 on the season and ranked as the top team in the nation. While they are still the top-ranked team in the country, that will likely change next Monday afternoon.
Purdue may have lost on a Cam Spencer three-pointer with 14 seconds left in the game, but it wasn’t a fluke loss. Purdue trailed by as many as 13 points in the game and never led by more than three.
The Boilermakers are led by arguably the best big man in the entire nation in Zach Edey. The junior pivot is averaging a double-double with 21.7 points and 13.4 rebounds to go along with a Big Ten-leading 28 blocked shots. Edey has led Matt Painter’s club to convincing victories over Marquette, West Virginia, Gonzaga, and Duke this season and appeared to be the best team in the nation prior to Monday’s loss.
Ohio State enters Thursday’s game with a quiet 10-3 mark and could be considered one of the most undervalued teams in the country. The Buckeyes defeated Rutgers on December 8 by a single point in Columbus and also own victories over Texas Tech and an underrated Northwestern team in their last outing.
The Buckeyes may lack a nationally recognized superstar this season but have made up for that in efficiency. Chris Holtmann’s team is currently the second-ranked team in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency, as they rank within the top forty in both three-point and two-point shooting.
The Buckeyes are also providing themselves with second-chance opportunities on the shots they do miss, ranking ninth in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage.
Brice Sensabaugh, a freshman forward, leads the Buckeyes at 15.9 points per game while also chipping in on the glass (4.5 REB) and remaining efficient from deep at 46.6 percent.
While the edge may appear to belong to Purdue following a surprising loss, the Boilermakers are actually the worst team in the Big Ten against the spread this season at just 4-9-1.
Ohio State is mediocre against the spread at home at 4-3 on the season but they have yet to see a team as good as Purdue that is likely to come out angry and focused. The Buckeyes frontcourt is undersized with only Felix Okpara standing over 6’8, posing a serious matchup situation in favor of Purdue.
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