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Wisconsin Badgers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes February 2 Betting Preview
The Buckeyes enter the game as a -7.5 home favorite, while the total is currently set at 132 points.
Wisconsin Badgers Overview
Greg Gard’s club didn’t exactly enter the season with the highest of expectations, but there is a certain expectation of the program. Their current record of 12-8 overall with a 4-6 record in league play is short of those expectations. A skid of six losses over their last seven contests is beyond anything that we have seen from the Badgers in recent memory.
Wisconsin is currently the third-worst team in the Big Ten against the spread at just 8-12 on the season. They are underperforming by -1.8 points per contest but have a positive margin of victory number of +1.8 points. In true road games, those numbers decline to just 2-4 against the spread with -2.3 points against the spread and a MOV number of -7.2 points per contest.
Much of the Badger’s struggles recently can be attributed to their star player Chucky Hepburn. The 6’2 sophomore guard is averaging just 10.2 points per game over his last five contests while shooting 36 percent from the floor overall.
While he has never been what anyone would consider a high-scoring guard, he has a reputation as being a clutch player and making big plays at critical times. Lately, he has not performed up to his reputation.
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Ohio State Buckeyes Overview
The Buckeyes have also fallen on hard times since the start of league play. Ohio State was once the most efficient team in the nation, according to Kenpom, and while they still rank within the Top 10, their decline is noticeable.
Even more noticeable has been their lack of ability on the defensive side of the court. The Buckeyes currently rank 85th in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency and 272nd in the country in defensive turnover percentage. They are allowing teams to score more than a point per possession on the regular as their offensive efficiency also declines. Given that their ranking in tempo is currently outside of the Top 210, this is a concerning trend in both directions.
Freshman star Brice Sensabaugh continues to put up numbers but is apparently doing so in futility. Sean McNeil or Zed Key needs to step up and give consistent and efficient support. Better yet, both players need to live up to their reputations.
The Buckeyes should win this game but a 7.5 point spread is no small feat for a team that has done so just once in their last nine games overall.
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