Two ranked teams get after it from Carver-Hawkeye Arena in the January 12th Big Ten CBB free pick when #17 Ohio State travels to #25 Iowa. Oddsmakers are listing the Hawkeyes at -2 mostly due to the home court advantage. OSU has also lost two straight conference games while Iowa is an impressive 9-1 on their own court. This game looks like it could come down to a bucket, who gets the edge?
Is There Any Way the Buckeyes Drop Three Straight?
Ohio State was devastated as they were upset 61-64 at Rutgers on Wednesday. Scarlet Knights fans stormed the floor and now the Buckeyes are staring down the barrel of three straight losses for the first time under Chris Holtmann. It’s been a disappointing week for OSU as they dropped a 77-86 contest at home to MIchigan State the game prior. A 62-72 loss to Syracuse at the end of November is the only other blemish on Ohio State’s record but does the January 12th Big Ten CBB free pick suddenly become a must-win?
The Buckeyes can justifiably win Saturday behind the offensive production of Kaleb Wesson. The sophomore was one of the lone bright spots vs. Rutgers with 18 points and 7 rebounds. Luther Muhammad has also scored in double figures in three straight but that’s about where the major offensive contribution ends for Ohio State. The elder brother Andre Wesson had just 4 points in 36 minutes on Wednesday. C.J. Jackson has also been held to 10 ppg in so far in 2019 while averaging 21.5 the last two games of 2018.
The Iowa men’s basketball team has given fans reason for hope with its recent success, and now it’s time for fans to show their appreciation by turning sleepy Carver-Hawkeye Arena into a raucous environment for Ohio State on Saturday.https://t.co/XGUmDgWqtp pic.twitter.com/CboTmxypA3
— Pat Harty (@PatHarty) January 11, 2019
Does Iowa Have Too Much Depth In This One?
The Hawkeyes have a major advantage at home in the January 12th Big Ten CBB free pick with their depth. Nine players average 15 minutes or more with four putting up double figures in scoring. Iowa has looked impressive in back-to-back wins, a 93-84 victory over Nebraska and an 73-63 win at Nebraska on Wednesday. The win over Northwestern was especially redeeming as Iowa was without leading scorer Tyler Cook. The Junior F is probable Saturday with a knee injury.
Besides the return of Cook, another reason Iowa is favored is because the recent play of freshman Joe Wieskamp. He showed confidence with 19 points vs. Northwestern and went for 24 in a game at the end of November. Luka Garza is also a major threat now coming off the bench. He went to the free throw line 11 times Wednesday – an area Iowa excels at as they are #1 in the country with 26.7% of their points coming from the charity stripe.
January 12th Big Ten CBB Free Pick
Ohio State could definitely pull off this win, especially if Jackson or Muhammad has a big offensive day. The Hawkeyes are improving on defense however and have some nice momentum going right now. It’s going to be a back-and-forth game but the Buckeyes fade down the stretch with few viable scoring options outside K. Wesson.
Big Ten Free Pick: Iowa Hawkeyes -2