College Basketball Betting – Minnesota Can’t Afford Another Cold Night Against Ohio State
Things were absolutely disastrous for the Minnesota Golden Gophers the last time they played the Ohio State Buckeyes. They are going to try to turn that result around when they play host to OSU in college basketball betting that is set to begin at 9 PM ET at the Williams Arena in Minneapolis. The game will be televised live by ESPN2.
Ohio State does not come into this game with a head of steam, but they may be seething nonetheless, as they have lost consecutive games to Michigan State and Iowa. And they have been playing some sloppy basketball as well; for example, turning the ball over 21 times against the Spartans, in a game where they fell way behind early then came back with a chance to win, only to be turned back at the end.
Back on February 20 of last year, Minnesota hit just 14 of its 48 field-goal attempts, including only two of 15 from three-point range, as Ohio State rolled to a 71-45 victory. This year they will be facing an Ohio State team that may or may not be better than last year’s edition, which went to the Elite Eight before losing to Wichita state in the NCAA Tournament. OSU is 15-2 straight up on the season, with a 9-7 record against the basketball pointspread. Minnesota is 13-4 and 5-8 against the NCAA lines.
Ohio State Buckeyes -4
Minnesota Golden Gophers +4
Over 132.5 points -110
Under 132.5 points -110
One of the things that Ohio State has to be careful of, considering that it has coughed the ball up 38 times over its last two contests, is the fact that Minnesota prides itself on taking advantage of transition opportunities that are created by turnovers. The Gophers lead the conference in steals per game (8.2) and they will look to get out on transition if there is any opportunity there. Minnesota likes to bring pressure; that was brought over with first-year head coach Richard Pitino, the son of Rick, who has made a career out of making opposing ball handlers nervous.
Fortunately for Ohio State, they have one of the better point guards in the country in Aaron Craft, who has averaged 5.1 assists per game against just 2.2 turnovers. Kraft is also a guy who will take every advantage of an opponents’ weakness when he’s playing defense; in fact, he is averaging 2.4 steals per game and as college basketball bettors know, is generally regarded as one of the top defensive stoppers among the nation’s guards.
That is a potential problem for Minnesota’s twins (pardon the pun) in the backcourt – Andre and Austin Hollins, who combined to average over 28 points per game. Actually, we are only kidding about them being twins; the fact is, they are not even related. Austin Collins is the son of former Portland Trail Blazers guard and Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins, while Andre, who is also from Memphis, got through high school with a 4.8 grade point average and also considered schools like Harvard and Stanford before finally signing with Minnesota, which was coached by Tubby Smith at the time.
Their careers have paralleled in a number of ways, including the fact that they both reached 1000 career points within a game of each other. That happened this past December.
After those two losses, Ohio State naturally dropped in the polls. They are still in the top 10 as far as the coaches’ poll is concerned, as they occupy the #9 spot. But they are now 11th in the Associated Press poll. Despite the defeat at East Lansing, they did beat the college basketball betting pointspread, which was 4.5 points, and that constituted their fourth straight cover. They lost straight up to Iowa by 10 points as a six-point favorite. Ohio State has played four straight games over the total as it has been posted at BetAnySports.
There would appear to be some speculation on the part of NCAA hoops bettors as to how good Ohio State really is; losing DeShaun Thomas, who was the leading scorer in the Big Ten last season, has not been a minor thing, and as you look at the ledger for this team, there are not a lot of marquee wins. They barely escaped against Notre Dame on December 21 for example, shooting just 42% from the field. Minnesota has hung tough defensively, holding all but one of its last seven opponents below 42% from the field. Yet they have been wildly inconsistent on offense, making more than half its shots only against Nebraska-Omaha and Purdue during that time. Pitino’s team has covered just one of its last six games against the basketball betting lines.
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