The curse of the number one ranking continued last weekend, with Michigan being the latest victim of the brief stay atop the polls. With their 81-73 loss at Indiana, the Wolverines fell to third with the Hoosiers replacing them at number one. However, rankings don’t mean too much at this point in the season and are often more a gauge of what happened in the last seven days rather than where a team is likely to be seeded in the tournament.
This week is a huge week in the Big Ten, a conference where at least five teams have designs of a top four seed. Michigan is still a front-runner for a #1 seed, but there is another Big Ten team with eyes on rocketing up the charts; Ohio State. The Buckeyes go to Michigan tonight then host Indiana this weekend. I don’t think a sweep is likely, but if they WERE to win a pair, it’d be hard to keep them out of the top four in the national polls.
SO, does Ohio State have any chance of going into Chrysler Arena and stealing a win tonight? Let’s dig inside the numbers and take a look at tonight’s matchup.
Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Wolverines -7.5 (Total: 132)
Michigan will be highly motivated tonight after this weekend’s tough loss at Indiana in what was quite possibly the best game of the college basketball season. Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway III were both fantastic, but unfortunately they got nothing from Glen Robinson Jr. and the Hoosiers turned out to be too much to contain.
Meanwhile, Ohio State has won four straight since their loss at Michigan State, but has gotten those wins against pretty light competition with the exception of Wisconsin. The trip to Michigan will be their toughest test in nearly a month.
I expect both teams to score, despite the fact both teams are solid defensive squads. Michigan is the better team and playing at home is a huge edge (as we have seen more than ever this season). I don’t think the Buckeyes will go in and beat them, but I’m not sure they get blown out either. The line opened at 6 and has since widened to 7.5 and nearly every sportsbook. The public loves Michigan, but I feel like they might have priced them a bit too high. I have a lean towards Michigan tonight, but my official play is the UNDER 132.
In the last ten matchups between these two teams, only one game has gone over 130 points total. They met earlier this season and played a grinding 56-53 slugfest. I expect a little better tempo and open play tonight, but still like the score to stay comfortably under 132.
Free Pick: Total Points UNDER 132