The #16 Ohio State Buckeyes (10-3, 4-1 Big Ten) visits the #13 Wisconsin Badgers (13-2, 4-1 Big Ten) for a ranked Big Ten Conference showdown. Ohio State blew out the Badgers, 73-55, in their first meeting just over a month ago.
Wisconsin hasn’t lost since, picking up their most recent victory, a 70-69 triumph, over Maryland on Sunday. The Buckeyes took down Northwestern, 95-87, in their last outing.
Thursday’s tipoff is at 7 p.m. EST inside the Kohl Center in Madison, WI. Wisconsin is a 3.5-point favorite in the rematch, and the over-under total is at 139.5 points.
What to Know – Ohio State Buckeyes
Ohio State aims to take the series sweep against the Badgers and stay a game back of the leaders in the conference standings. The Buckeyes rank 19th overall in KenPom and 11th in adjusted offensive efficiency rating, and 63rd in adjusted defense.
The Buckeyes score 76.2 points per game, shooting 48.2 percent from the floor and 39.2 percent from the arc. Ohio State’s defense holds opponents to 69.8 points per game, 40.7 percent shooting from the field, and 31.6 percent from three.
In the first matchup with the Badgers, the Buckeyes outrebounded Wisconsin 41-23 and shot 50.0 percent from the floor. E.J. Liddell led all scorers with 28 points, and Zed Key added 11.
Ohio State is 6-7 against the spread this season and 1-3 ATS on the road. The Buckeyes are 0-4 ATS over their previous four games on Thursday.
What to Know – Wisconsin Badgers
The Badgers have won five in a row since the lopsided defeat at the hands of the Buckeyes. Wisconsin is 30th in KenPom and 37th in offensive efficiency, and 28th in defensive efficiency.
Wisconsin’s offense pours in 71.7 points per game while shooting 41.6 percent from the field and 29.3 percent from the 3-point line. Defensively, the Badgers limit foes to 64.9 points, 42.6 percent shooting inside the arc, and 34.2 percent beyond the arc.
If the Badgers want to win the rematch against the Buckeyes, they are going to have to do a better job on the glass and creating good shots. Johnny Davis scored 24 points against the Buckeyes, providing nearly half the offense in their first meeting. Wisconsin shot just 33.8 percent from the floor and only got to the free-throw line nine times.
The Badgers are 10-5 ATS and 4-4 on their home floor. Wisconsin has a 4-1 record ATS in their last five games against Big Ten opponents.
The Pick is In
Expect the outcome of the rematch between these two Big Ten powers to look a lot different than the first contest. Wisconsin was bullied on the boards and couldn’t buy a bucket and should fare better in front of their home crowd. All of Ohio State’s losses this season have come away from home, and their offensive production takes a dip on the road.
Wisconsin’s winning streak increases to six games as they deal the Buckeyes another road loss.
Betting Pick: Wisconsin Badgers -3.5