Date/Time: January 12th, 1:30 ET
College Basketball Odds from WagerWeb
Point Spread: Off
The Big Ten season is just starting to warm up as two of its best take to the court on Sunday when the Ohio State Buckeyes play host to the Iowa Hawkeyes in what will be a key game for both teams as they battle to take control of the conference. This match-up will take place at 1:30 p.m. ET inside Value City Arena live on CBS.
The Hawkeyes are coming off a 93-67 blowout win over the Northwestern Wildcats in which head coach Fran McCaffery was unavailable due to a one-game suspension from the Big Ten. Iowa assistant coach Kirk Speraw took over the team and got a strong performance from F Aaron White who racked up 18 points to go with 10 boards, five assists, and one steal. McCaffery returns on Sunday to face a Buckeyes squad that is 15-1 SU and rode a 15-game win streak to start the season. Iowa enters this contest ranked No. 20 in the country at 13-3 SU, but it is 0-2 SU on the road with losses at No. 17 Iowa State Cyclones and No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers. Iowa G Roy Devyn Marble has been getting it done this season averaging 16.0 points per game. Marble had 15 points and six assists in the win over Northwestern last time out. The Hawkeyes have started the season 9-5 ATS overall and did manage to cover the spread in their two narrow road losses. If Iowa wants a chance at its first road victory it will need continued big numbers out of White and Marble on Sunday.
The Buckeyes took their first loss of the season 72-68 in overtime at the hands of the No. 5 Michigan State Spartans last Tuesday night. Ohio State trailed 55-38 in the second half of that game before going on a 20-3 run that forced the overtime period. Buckeyes Junior G Sam Thompson led his team with 18 points and eight rebounds coming off the bench in the loss. It was a big game for Thompson who averages just 7.6 points per game. Junior F LaQuinton Ross had an off-night against Sparty scoring only five points, way below his season average of 13.1 points per contest. The Buckeyes’ bench showed its strength on Tuesday as they scored 30 points to keep them in the game. Included in Ohio State’s undefeated home record is just a 6-5 mark ATS and a 9-6 ATS overall. Those numbers point toward a close contest in this game with the Hawkeyes who have shown they can compete on the road.
The last time these two hooked up in Columbus the Buckeyes took a 72-63 win on January 22nd, 2013. As the evidence in this one points toward a closer contest this time around, we expect to see the Hawkeyes stay in this one the entire way. Look for the Buckeyes’ bench to play an X-factor and keep them from suffering their first home loss of the season in a highly contested victory, but the Hawkeyes will cover the spread. Ohio State 69 – Iowa 67
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.