College Basketball Picks: Purdue at Ohio State Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 1/25/2011
We are down to two unbeaten teams left in college basketball – you may recall I mostly called that Texas upset of Kansas on Saturday – with Ohio State and San Diego State. And in the span of 24 hours or so we could have no undefeated teams left with the Buckeyes and Aztecs facing Top 15-ranked conference foes on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. Here we look at No. 12 Purdue vs. No. 1 Ohio State tonight in Columbus.
How the Teams Enter
Purdue (17-3, 6-1 Big Ten) entered last week on a two-game Big Ten losing streak, but a return to West Lafayette solved that. The Boilers edged Penn State early last week and then handled ranked Michigan State, 86-76, on Saturday. Purdue’s two stars, E’Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson, were typically good against the Spartans, totaling 46 points. But the surprise star was point guard Lewis Jackson, who had a career-high 19 points. When the Boilers get a third complement to Moore and Johnson – which used to be Robbie Hummel – then they are going to be very tough to beat.
Ohio State (20-0, 7-0) hasn’t been as dominant of late as the Buckeyes were earlier in the season. Five of OSU’s last six wins have come by five or fewer points. That includes a 73-68 win at Illinois on Saturday, which is never an easy place to win. Freshman big man Jared Sullinger continued to make his case for Big Ten and National Player of the Year honors with 27 points and 16 rebounds while playing all 40 minutes. OSU needed a 14-0 second-half run to rally. Now the Buckeyes are 20-0 for the third time in school history and the previous two worked out well as they reached the NCAA Championship Game.
Purdue at Ohio State Storylines
Clearly the individual matchup to watch here is Johnson vs. Sullinger, one of whom will be the Big Ten’s Player of the Year. Johnson, the Big Ten's leading scorer, is averaging 25 points in Purdue's past four games. But he has yet to even be named Big Ten Player of the Week. Sullinger has done so four times (including currently), and has nine double-doubles, two more than Johnson has this season. Johnson has a much better jump shot than Sullinger does, but will be giving up about 60 pounds to the powerful Sullinger, who is a pure power player.
Perhaps assuming Johnson and Sullinger put up similar stats, that moves the focus to Moore. He has struggled in Purdue’s three losses this year, making just 12 of 49 field-goal attempts, including 3 of 15 on three-pointers, in losses to Richmond, West Virginia and Minnesota.
These two teams split both meetings last season, each winning on the other’s floor. OSU hasn’t lost at home or to a Big Ten team since. Purdue is 2-15 all-time against top-ranked teams, and is looking for its first win over a No. 1 team since it beat Arizona on Nov. 25, 2000, in Indianapolis. The Boilers have won three of the past four overall in this series.
Purdue at Ohio State Betting Odds and Trends
Ohio State is a 7.5-point favorite (opened at eight), according to college basketball odds, with the total set at 136.5. Nearly 60 percent of the lean is on Purdue. The Boilers are 4-2 on the road this season (and 4-2 ATS). OSU is 14-0 at home but just 5-6 ATS.
Purdue is 6-0 ATS in its past six Tuesday games.
OSU is 1-4 ATS in its past five vs. a team with a winning record.
The over is 4-1 in Purdue’s past five road games.
The ‘over’ is 8-2 ATS in OSU’s past 10 Big Ten games.
The underdog is 5-1-1 ATS in the past seven meetings.
College Basketball Picks: Purdue at Ohio State Predictions
I’m a little surprised the total is that low as this games features the top two scoring teams in Big Ten play, as Purdue averages 76.6 points per game and Ohio State checks in at 72.1. Purdue’s magic number is clearly 70, as the Boilers have won 35 straight games when scoring 70 or more points. I don’t think they win this one, but it should come right down to the final minute and that Purdue certainly covers. And take the ’over’
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