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Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes January 12 Betting Preview
The Ohio State Buckeyes will look to get back to their winning ways on Thursday night when they host the Golden Gophers of Minnesota. The Buckeyes have lost consecutive games for the first time this season, falling against Purdue and Maryland in league play.
Minnesota Golden Gophers Overview
Minnesota is widely considered to be the worst team in the Big Ten thus far in the season. The Golden Gophers are just 6-8 on the season and are currently winless in Big Ten play with an 0-4 record. Ben Johnson’s club started the season by winning four of their first five contests but have gone just 2-7 since November 23rd.
From a metrics standpoint, there are not a whole lot of good things happening on either side of the court. Minnesota ranks within the top 70 in the nation in defensive two-point percentage, but that is the only above-average statistic.
The Gophers are one of the slowest teams in the nation, ranking 306th in the country in tempo. Their lack of possessions is only exacerbated by their inefficiency, as they rank 205th in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency.
Coach Johnson’s team is led by former Marquette and North Carolina forward Dawson Garcia, who is now with his third program in three seasons. The 6’11 forward leads the team with a career-high 14.6 points per game while also leading the Gophers with 6.5 rebounds per game. Minnesota’s second-leading scorer in Jamison Battle is averaging 13.6 points per contest which is a regression from last season’s output of over 17 points per game.
The Gophers are the second-worst team in the Big Ten Conference against the spread at just 5-8-1 on the season. They are underperforming the number by a league-worst -3.1 points per contest, though they have covered in consecutive games in losses to Wisconsin and Nebraska. Minnesota has gone under the total in 10 of their 14 games this season though the score did hit the over in their most recent contest.
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Ohio State Buckeyes Overview
Once again, the Buckeyes are led by a group that appears to have incredible chemistry. Chris Holtmann’s program always seems to be extremely efficient, and this team is no different as they rank as the best team in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency. Their defense has been the issue over their last two contests surrendering 1.19 points per possession to Maryland and 1.18 to Purdue.
Ohio State is led by 6’6 freshman Brice Sensabaugh, who is averaging 16.4 points per contest. The blue-chip forward has been deadly from a distance on the season, shooting over 43 percent from deep overall. Despite the impressive numbers overall, the top 50 recruit has struggled recently, going just 2-9 from three over his last two games.
Holtmann’s club is the best team in the Big Ten this season against the spread at 10-5 overall and is outperforming the spread by +5.5 points per contest. However, as a home team, they have been less impressive, covering in just four of seven games while basically being even with the anticipated margin at +0.1 per game.
It is unclear whether or not forward Zed Key will play in this game after injuring his shoulder in the Purdue game and missing the tilt with Maryland. Whether or not the 6’8 forward plays, the Buckeyes still have the talent and coaching to cover this number at home.
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