Date/Time: March 9, 2014, 4:30 p.m. EST
Line: Ohio State -3/129
What is slowly becoming a very intense football rivalry is now becoming a rivalry on the college basketball court. On Sunday when the No. 22 Michigan State Spartans travel to Columbus to take on the unranked Ohio State Buckeyes, they will have plenty of reasons to not like one another when they take the court.
The Spartans are going to make the NCAA Tournament and there is every reason to believe that the Buckeyes will join them, but this game could change the seeding which could be just as important when the Madness starts in the month of March.
Regardless of the outcome of this game Ohio State should be in the NCAA Tournament. Since the Big Ten returned to an 18-game conference slate in the 2007-08 season, 10 of the 14 teams that finished either 10-8 or 9-9 in league play went dancing. Whether Ohio State finishes 10-8 or 9-9 depends on the Michigan State game. Either way, the Buckeyes should find their way into the field. How they are may be a different story.
Therefore, if we are to assume that a 9-9 Buckeye team with a weak nonconference schedule is still a lock on the back of a strong Big Ten and solid RPI numbers, the worst-case scenario now becomes losing in the first game of the NCAA tournament. But they don’t want to lose this game and have it become a problem.
The latest college basketball betting trends for this game reveal that at first glance both teams have some positive wagering angles in their favor. The Spartans are 8-2 against the spread (ATS) in their last 10 road games when playing against a team with a home winning percentage of greater than .600, 8-2 ATS in their last 10 road games when playing a game against a team with a winning home record and 8-2 ATS in their last 10 road games overall. The Buckeyes are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games when playing against a team with a winning percentage above .600, 13-5 ATS in their last 18 home games when playing against a team with a road winning percentage of greater than .600 and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games when playing against a team with a winning straight up record.
In the recent meetings the Spartans are 8-3 ATS in the last 11 meetings in Ohio St, but they have struggled of late as the Spartans are 0-3-1 ATS in the last 4 meetings. The Buckeyes need this game and will rise to the occasion.
Free Pick: Ohio State Buckeyes
Cole started off as a part time handicapper and a full time computer programmer. After developing a computer program that consistently provided winners in NFL, NBA, MLB, and college sports Cole went into full time handicapping. The computer program and his knack for winners made him a rising star in the handicapping world. His complex computer program based on algorithms and analytical calculations have led to a 60% ATS rate.