Indiana picked a tough time of year to begin its first major slide of the season. The Hoosiers have lost four straight — three against ranked opponents — and will have to find some semblance of rhythm before it heads to Columbus to take on No. 18 Ohio State. The Buckeyes are coming off a surprising loss of their own, dropping a 13-point home loss to unranked Iowa.
Indiana, which has fallen below .500 in conference play, will be desperate to replicate the performance from earlier in the season where the Hoosiers beat Ohio State by 15 points at home. Despite Indiana’s previous success against the Buckeyes, top sportsbooks have Ohio State as a 7-point favorite. The over/under on the game has been set at 134 points.
Indiana Betting Preview
Indiana, which is 16-9 overall and 7-8 in Big Ten play, has built its success this season behind a stifling defense. The Hoosiers are the Big Ten’s top team and the eighth best team nationally in field goal percentage defense, limiting their opponents to 37.9 percent shooting from the field. Trayce Jackson-Davis does a little bit of everything for Indiana.
Jackson-Davis leads the Big Ten with 64 blocked shots, while his 18.0 points per game rank fifth in the conference and his 57.8 shooting percentage ranks third. In the first meeting between the two teams, Jackson-Davis scored 27 points and grabbed 12 rebounds against the Buckeyes. Indiana won despite its struggles from the 3-point line, shooting 13.3 percent (2-of-15) from the perimeter.
Ohio State Preview
The Buckeyes, who are 16-7 and 9-5 in conference, are eager to avenge its previous loss to Indiana, which was its largest of the season. Ohio State is 11-1 at home this season. To flip the result from the first meeting the Buckeyes will have to be better on the glass.
Ohio State, which is 4-4 when being outrebounded this season, lost the rebounding battle 41-28 against Indiana. Buckeyes forward EJ Liddell makes everything go for the Buckeyes. Liddell averages 19.7 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.
Ohio State is one of the best shooting teams in the country. The Buckeyes shoot 47.9 percent from the field, which ranks 26th nationally, and 37.6 percent from the 3-point line, which ranks 27th nationally.
Ohio State has been in much better form than Indiana recently, which has hit the wall under first-year coach Mike Woodson. The Buckeyes will not want to lose their second straight home game when it still has an opportunity to finish in the top four in the Big Ten regular season race.
Indiana will be desperate to continue to bolster their resume for a potential NCAA Tournament bid. The Hoosiers have slid into the back half of the conference standings due to their recent losing streak. Whether Indiana has it in them to turn things around is still yet to be proven.
Expect Ohio State to win, but the Hoosiers to cover the spread.
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