Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Northwestern Wildcats February 9 Betting Preview
Ohio State (11-12) is nearing the end of one of their worst seasons in recent memory. The team has already equaled their loss total from 2021-22 and is on pace to lose the most games since they lost 22 in the 1997-98 season. They're 3-9 in conference play and will hope to get some positive momentum to close the season strong against Northwestern (16-7).
While Ohio State is well out of contention in the Big Ten, Northwestern is in fifth place with a conference record of 7-5. Purdue, 11-2 in conference play, is the top-ranked team in the nation. Tip-off is at 8 p.m. ET at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
Ohio State Betting Preview
The Buckeyes have been in a free fall since the start of the new year. They've lost four in a row and are 1-9 in their last 10 games. However, that stretch of games is a bit misleading.
They've lost their last two games by a combined 13 points and, earlier in that stretch, lost by four points to Rutgers, three points to Nebraska, three points to Minnesota, and two points to Purdue. So, they've been competitive, but just haven't been able to close out games.
It's also worth noting that the Buckeyes have been solid at home this season with an 8-3 record on home court. They also beat Northwestern 73-57 on the road on New Year's Day. Brice Sensabaugh led all Buckeyes with 18 points in that game, while Justice Sueing, Zed Key, and Sean McNeil all scored double-digits. Ohio State improved to 10-3 by winning that game. Their 1-9 stretch since has likely removed them from NCAA Tournament contention.
Northwestern Betting Preview
Northwestern has been heading in the opposite direction since losing to Ohio State on January 1 in large part due to its impressive team defense. The Wildcats won back-to-back games after losing to Ohio State and have won three of their last five games. They're coming off of a 54-52 win over Wisconsin, a game in which they limited the Badgers to 38 percent shooting on 19-50 field goal attempts. Boo Buie led all Wildcats scorers in that game with 13 points.
Northwestern is a better three-point shooting team than the Buckeyes and are one of the best teams in the nation at protecting the ball. They're eighth nationwide with just 9.5 turnovers per game.
Although both teams are relatively healthy, Northwestern is without bench players Julian Roper and Luke Hunger. Roper, averaging 4.4 points and 3.7 rebounds per game, has an ankle injury, while Hunger is out for the season.
Ohio State vs. Northwestern Betting Odds and Prediction
Ohio State are -5 point favorites for tonight's game and they're home court record is a big reason why. Despite their poor string of recent results, the Buckeyes are still a team to be feared at home.
Betting on teams that are "overdue" for wins isn't necessarily a great practice, but it applies here with the Buckeyes. Ohio State is a better team than they've shown on paper and coach Chris Holtmann should have the team prepared and ready to show their still a formidable force in the Big Ten.
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