Pick on the spread for Ohio State-Nebraska on January 18

The Ohio State Buckeyes enter Wednesday’s test on the road vs. Ohio State. the Nebraska Cornhuskers having lost four straight games and looking to avoid another blemish on their NCAA Tournament resume.

Ohio State Buckeyes (-5.5, 137.5) vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers

The Buckeyes offense has been held to 73 points or fewer in all six games they have played within the conference this season, despite ranking 10th in the nation in points scored on a per-possession basis.

The Cornhuskers defense has been letting up far fewer points this season than during 2021-22 due to the team playing at a significantly slower tempo. They ranked 24th in possessions per game last season compared to 248th this season.

While Nebraska has been giving up fewer points for possession this season than in 2021-22, the tempo shift has made the improvement look bigger than it actually is. Nebraska still ranks 122nd in points allowed on a per-possession basis.

If Nebraska’s offense plays to their season averages, they will have a difficult time getting in the win column, as they rank 253rd in the country in points scored on a per-possession basis, 321st in 3-point shooting percentage and 337th in free- throw shooting percentage.

The Buckeyes offense is 18th in the country in 3-point shooting percentage, with four of their top six scorers making at least 40% of their 3-point shots.

Though both teams’ records are similar, their play is not. Ohio State has been on the negative side of variance, suffering only one double-digit loss with just one of their last five losses coming by more than three points in regulation.

The best way to prevent a loss in a close game is by avoiding a close game altogether, and Ohio State will get things back on track by doing just that on Wednesday.

The Play: Ohio State -5.5

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