Free College Basketball Picks: Louisiana-Monroe at Ohio State
by George Monroy - 12/26/2013
The Ohio State Buckeyes have faced only one ranked team through its first 12 games of the season, yet the squad has still looked impressive nonetheless by winning 11 of those matchups by double-digit margins. The team trails Arizona and Syracuse in the rankings but will have a chance to inch closer to the No. 1 spot if it can stay undefeated through its next five games. The Buckeyes will play Nebraska, Michigan State and Iowa during the first week of the New Year and could easily be the No. 1 team in the nation by early January.
The Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks started the basketball season on a leisurely pace, playing only seven games through the first two months of the year. The team posted a mediocre 3-4 record over its first seven games and already has a 17-point loss to the then No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks under its belt. Let’s take a closer look at Friday’s Louisiana-Monroe versus Ohio State matchup and figure out which side of the spread has the most value to wager on.
Louisiana-Monroe at Ohio State Betting Story Lines
Ohio State is coming off its closest matchup of the year as it escaped with a razor-thin victory over Notre Dame last Saturday. The Buckeyes rallied from an eight-point deficit with under a minute left in the game to earn a win without needing to go into overtime. Senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. scored seven points in the final 33 seconds of the game by going 5-for-5 from the free throw line. Ohio State hit a stretch late in the game where it shot 6-21 from the field to help extended Notre Dame’s lead to eight points with two minutes left to play.
The Buckeyes did not play well throughout the night, but they were still able to get four double-digit performances from key players and were led by 16 points and 11 rebounds of LaQuinton Ross. The Buckeyes are not a team that puts up flashy stats—they are only ranked in the top 100 in field goal percentage—but the squad relies on elite defense and a fundamental offense to shut teams down.
Louisiana-Monroe is on a three-game losing streak and has failed to score more than 61 points in that span. Overall, the team is ranked 272nd in points with only 68.3 per game and 235th in field goal percentage. Louisiana-Monroe is coming off a 22-point loss to Louisiana Tech on Sunday and was never competitive throughout the matchup. The Warhawks were led by the 20 points and five rebounds of Tylor Ongwae. Overall, the team struggles to shoot from the field only averaging a .432 and .325 shooting percentage from the floor and three-point line, respectively.
Louisiana-Monroe at Ohio State NCAA Betting Odds and Key Trends
Ohio State opened as a 25-point favorite over Louisiana-Monroe at BetOnline. Ohio State is 7-0 ATS over its last seven Friday games but only 4-9 ATS over its last 13 home games. The team is also 0-4 ATS over its last four home games against teams with a losing road record. Louisiana-Monroe is 7-1 ATS over its last eight nonconference games and 4-1 ATS over its last five overall games. The Warhawks, however, are 0-5 ATS over their last five games following an ATS loss.
Free College Basketball Picks: Louisiana-Monroe at Ohio State Predictions
Ohio State has an elite defense—which might be the best in nation. The squad is set to face a stiff test in competition early next year, but unfortunately for Louisiana-Monroe, Friday’s games is not one of those matchups. The Buckeyes have not let a single opponent score more than 69 points this season and have held the majority of their opponents to under 60 points. Expect Ohio State to play another dominant game and cover the spread on Friday night. The line might be big, but take the Buckeyes minus the points.
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