Ohio State vs. Purdue best bets, odds

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Vaughn Dalzell
·4 min read
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Ohio State (-1) vs. Purdue

This will be the third meeting of the season between the Buckeyes and Boilermakers and hopefully as entertaining as the first two. Purdue beat Ohio State in both matchups, winning 67-60 and 67-65. We all know how hard it is to be a team three times in a row, especially a quality team like the Buckeyes.

Ohio State escaped Minnesota's numerous rallies to claw back in their Thursday matchup. Ohio State ended the season on a four-game losing streak and fired away against Minnesota, attempting to make a statement early on. Ultimately, Ohio State won 79-75 as Minnesota outscored them 48-40 in the second-half. That late showing could scare some people off Ohio State today, given they lost to Purdue twice, but the Buckeyes handled the Gophers for almost a complete 40-minutes.

In both losses to Purdue, Ohio State relied on the three-ball heavily, attempting 24 and 35 triples. They also were dealing with missing players in both meetings, vital players at that.

EJ Liddell did not play in this first meeting at Purdue (67-60) and CJ Walker did not play in the second matchup at Ohio State (67-65). Both guys are back for round 3 and Ohio State is 15-6 SU (71.4%) when they are both active. Both Liddell and Walker are coming off double-digit performances versus Minnesota.

Liddell leads the team in both points (16.5 PPG) and rebounds (6.5 RPG), while Walker leads the team with 98 total assists and 94.7% from the free-throw line. Duane Washington Jr. also ranks second on the team in points (15.3 PPG) and total assists (80).

Washington has scored 15 or more points in seven of the last nine games. Liddell has recorded double-figure points in 13 of the previous 14 games and Walker in eight of the past 10.

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Purdue had a healthy roster for both matchups and continues with that here. Sasha Stefanovic has played seven games since his injury and only scored more than eight points twice. However, Purdue is 6-1 SU (85.7%) since he has returned, so his presence does improve the team. However, Trevion Williams is the key for the Boilermakers. He scored 16 points in both games versus Ohio State and averaged 8.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists.

Purdue has beaten Indiana, Wisconsin, Penn State, Nebraska, Michigan State, and Northwestern during that seven-game span. Ohio State is better than all of those teams and I think they can win this matchup today. Just in the previous five games, Ohio State has played Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Illinois, then Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament.

Purdue struggles with turnovers in Big Ten play, handing out double-digit turnovers in seven-of-eight losses. On the season, the Boilermakers are ranked 13th in the conference with an 18.4% turnover percentage. They also shoot the three-ball at 30.7%, coming in at 12th in Big Ten play.

The Boilermakers primarily focus on two-pointers, ranking third in the conference with a 52.0%-clip. Purdue scores 53.7% of their points from two-point range (3rd) and OSU ranks eighth defensively in the conference with 50%.

Ohio State ranks fifth in the conference holding opponents to 33.1% from deep. They do not force many turnovers, which will need to happen today, but they have averaged 11.8 offensive turnovers the previous five games, which is not horrible. Purdue averages 11.6 in the same span and has played much worse Big Ten competition in the past five games than Ohio State has.

For trends, NBC Sports Edge's model points to the Over. The OVER is 19-4 (82.6%) in OSU's last 23 games against teams with a winning ATS record. The OVER is 14-5 (73.7%) in Purdue's last 19 games coming off a rest day following an UNDER win.

I lean the Over because Ohio State has both Liddell and Walker suited up for the first time this season versus Purdue. The Boilermakers have scored 67 in both meetings with the Buckeyes and could go for that number for a tad bit higher to 70-71 points, given late-game fouling or heroics.

Purdue has covered in five-straight games and Ohio State has not in five-consecutive. However, look at whom they have played and the situation and it is not all that surprising. The Buckeyes are 3-1 SU (75%) against the Boilermakers on a neutral court, all coming in Big Ten Tournament games.

Both teams enter this matchup ranked, Ohio State No. 9 and Purdue No. 20. When both teams are ranked, Ohio State is 7-3 SU (70%) versus Purdue.

I think the Buckeyes will be extra motivated and out to prove something today. Whoever wins this matchup will take on the winner of Michigan and Maryland. Back the Buckeyes to avoid a three-game season sweep.

Game Pick: Ohio State ML (1.5u)