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The 7-9 Nebraska Cornhuskers will go on the road to face off with the 11-5 21st-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes on Tuesday night at 6:30 PM ET in Value City Arena. The Buckeyes are 17.5-point home favorites and we’re looking at a 140 over/under. These two teams play at very different paces with Nebraska ranking 24th in possessions per game (76.0) while Ohio State sits 256th (70.0). With the Buckeyes at home, they’ll look to do everything they can to slow the Cornhuskers down. After a phenomenal start to the season, Ohio State has lost four of their last five games and will be looking to bounce back here as a heavy favorite. It’ll be interesting to see if a streaky Nebraska offense can get hot and keep it close with Ohio State or if the Buckeyes will smother them from the start and blow this game out.
First ranked opponent yetThe Nebraska Cornhuskers are a tough team to predict, seeming to take two steps back for every one forward. After beating a good Iowa team, the Cornhuskers lost 62-57 to the Northwestern Wildcats in a game that was never actually close. Northwestern was up by 15 points at halftime and Nebraska ended up making it a five-point game with just seconds remaining. For the Wildcats, Miller Kopp (15 pts, 5 reb) and Pat Spencer (14 pts, 8 reb) led the way with big man Pete Nance leading the team in assists. Nebraska struggled mightily from the field, shooting just 31.3%. They’ll need a far better offensive performance if they want to keep it at all close with Ohio State.
Nebraska ranks 24th in pace, but just 147th in points per game. That’s because they struggle mightily with efficiency, shooting just 41.8% from the field. They rank 350th in the country with a measly 58.9% free-throw percentage. The Cornhuskers may speed the game up, but it doesn’t mean they’ll score very much. If you’re looking for a bright spot, the do rank 22nd in the NCAA with just 11.2 turnovers per game. They don’t beat themselves and always have the ability to get hot at a fast pace. Senior guard Haanif Cheatham leads the Huskers, averaging 13.1 points and 4.3 rebounds a game. Cam Mack runs point guard and posts 12.7 points a night on top of 6.8 assists and 4.9 rebounds. Nebraska will need to play a near-perfect game if they want to keep this close.
The Buckeye slideAfter winning 11 of their first 12 games, including three ranked opponents, the Ohio State Buckeyes have now lost four straight games to West Virginia, Wisconsin, Maryland, and most recently Indiana. Ohio State came in as a 1.5-point favorite, but walked away with a 66-54 loss. Ohio State had the lead at halftime before Devonte Green got hot off the bench in the second half and scored 19. The Buckeyes shot just 32.7% from the field and turned it over 16 times. Buckeyes stars’ C.J. Walker and Kaleb Wesson combined to just 6-of-22 from the field. They’ll need to show up if they want a chance at covering 17.5 points against anyone, let alone a Nebraska team that can score.
When the Buckeyes are running like a well-oiled machine, it’s Kaleb Wesson (14.5 pts, 9.3 reb, 1.2 blk) leading a methodical team that shoots 45.3% from the field and the 25th-best 37.7% three-point percentage. It’s Duane Washington and D.J. Carton at guard that average 10 points apiece and both shoot over 40% from three. As a team, the Buckeyes score 73.4 points per game on a solid 45.3% field-goal percentage. They’ll look to slow the speedy Cornhuskers down and will have success against their undersized defense. If the Buckeyes want to cover, they’ll need to put everything together and be a lot more efficient than they were last game.
- Buckeyes are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
- Buckeyes are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400.
- Cornhuskers are 4-14 ATS in their last 18 games as a underdog.
- Cornhuskers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as a road underdog.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Nebraska is one of the least efficient teams in the nation and they’re facing off with an Ohio State team that’s gnawing at the bit for a win. Kaleb Wesson is going to demolish the Cornhuskers in the paint and the combo of Washington and Carton at guard makes it tough on a Nebraska team that has just one good perimeter defender. I like Ohio State to get off to a hot start and to completely dominate this game throughout. I like a 20+ point win for Ohio State and 17.5 isn’t enough.
Prediction: OSU -17.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Ohio State is going to control the pace at home and there’s no way Nebraska gets over 55 points on the road here. I do expect Ohio State to get into the 70’s, but we’d need both teams to get there for this over to hit. Nebraska likes to play fast, but it doesn’t matter when you shoot just 41% and the home team will elect to slow things down. The under is my favorite bet in this game.
Prediction: Under 140