Oddsmakers don’t seem to be impressed by OSU’s 9-2 start to the season, making them +3.5 underdogs in the January 6th Ohio State at Indiana betting matchup. Some of that has to do with the Buckeyes still working their way back from a pause that lasted from December 11th to January 2nd due to COVID postponements.
Another reason why IU is a -3.5 favorite on Thursday night is because they are really good at Assembly Hall, going 9-0 at home this season with their last six wins in Bloomington coming by at least 11 points. The Hoosiers have started off just 1-2 in conference play though, and face a tough test now that the Buckeyes have had a game to work out the kinks of a long layoff.
Ohio State Should be Better
Sunday’s game against Nebraska was like starting over for Ohio State, who had been off for over three weeks due to COVID postponements. The long layoff showed its effects, with OSU having to go to OT to finally get an 87-79 OT win over last place Nebraska.
The good news is that Ohio State played much better in the extra period against the Cornhuskers, outscoring them 15-7 which shows it may have just taken awhile for OSU to get their legs under them. Chris Holtmann’s team picked up a conference win even with leading scorer E.J. Liddell (19.6 ppg) going 2-14 from the floor while scoring just 10 points.
Ohio State hopes to get back on track (even though they won last time out) and get in the groove to continue this current five game stretch of victories. The streak started with an upset of then #1 Duke (71-66) as well as against Wisconsin (73-55) who just knocked off #3 Purdue in their last game. Ohio State has the #5 scoring offense (76.7 ppg) in the Big Ten, but they run a fast pace and thus have the conference’s third worst defense (68.5 ppg).
Indiana Struggling in Conference Play
The Hoosiers were coming off a break of their own prior to their last game, a 58-61 loss at Penn State that was coming off a 10-day layoff. Indiana also lost 64-59 at Wisconsin in early December, but did beat Nebraska 68-55 as IU’s record in the Big Ten sits at 1-2.
Mike Woodson’s team has a tough challenge on Thursday night, but at least they are at home where they are 9-0 on the season. Ohio State already has conference road wins in Penn State and Nebraska though, which is another reason why the -3.5 line with the Hoosiers favored seems on the higher side.
Indiana’s game is going to go the way Trayce Jackson’Davis’ does. The Hoosiers leading scorer puts in 19.3 ppg, and dropped 43 in a win over Marshall earlier this season. Ohio State won 78-59 in the teams’ only head to head meeting last season behind 19 points from Liddell and a double-double from Justice Sueing, who has only played two games this season due to an abdominal injury. Jackson-Davis had 23 points and 9 rebounds in last year’s loss.
Free January 6th Ohio State at Indiana Betting Pick
51% of public bettors like Indiana even giving the -3.5 in this spot. The Hoosiers are solid at home with a 9-0 record, but Ohio State has answered nearly every challenge they’ve faced this season. the Buckeyes should play better with a game under their belt after the long layoff, and it wouldn’t be a shock if they win this one outright.
Ohio State 77 – Indiana 71
Free Pick: Ohio State +3.5