Michigan Wolverines at Ohio State Buckeyes – NCAAM February 21

No. 3 Michigan (15-1, 10-1) at No. 4 Ohio State (18-4, 12-4)

  • Time: 10 am PST – 12 CST – 1 EST
  • Place: Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio
  • TV: CBS

Tip-Off:

This is the only meeting between the Buckeyes and Wolverines this season as the Buckeyes have won six straight on the road in the Big Ten and have won 10 out of 11. Michigan was postponed for five consecutive games due to COVID-19 protocols and bounced back with wins over Wisconsin and Rutgers.

The Wolverines are 2-16 in Columbus over their last 18 meetings and this is the 16th time these two teams have met as Ohio State holds an 8-7 lead in those ranked games.

Michigan is 4-1 on the road this season as this is the first time the two rivals will face each other when they are int he Top 5.

Vs. The Spread:

Ohio State:

  • The Buckeyes check in at 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 8 of Ohio State’s last 11 games
  • The UNDER has been the play in 6 of the last 9 games between the Buckeyes and Wolverines

Michigan:

  • The Wolverines are 8-2 in their last 10 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Michigan’s last seven games
  • Michigan is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games vs. Ohio State

Last Time Out:

Ohio State defeated Penn State, 92-82, and even though the Buckeyes shot 65 percent from the field in the first half, they still had to overcome an 8-point deficit to win the game. E.J. Liddell led the Buckeyes with 23 points while Duane Washington scored 21 and C.J. Walker added 13.

Franz Wagner led Michigan with 20 points and Mike Smith added 12 as the Wolverines shaded Rutgers, 71-64. The Wolverines shot 46.3 percent from the field and made 6-of-15 threes as they out rebounded the Scarlet Knights, 40-27 to capture the win.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Michigan +1 (-117) O 146 (-110)
Ohio State -1 (-103) U 146 (-110)

Advantage, Michigan:

Michigan Wolverines LogoThe Wolverines are going to try to pound the ball into the paint to freshman Hunter Dickinson (14.6 ppg, 7.8 rpg) and Franz Wagner (12.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg). Dickinson shoots 64.6 percent from the floor while Wagner shoots 51.1 percent, but he can take his game outside where he has 19 threes. At 6-7, Virgil Livers (14.5 ppg, 43.5% -3) could be a tough matchup for Ohio State as he leads a Michigan three points game with 37 makes as the Wolverines net 38 percent of their trifectas. Ohio State will try to negate the Wolverines inside with the athleticism of 6-7 E.J. Liddell and 6-8 Kyle Young.

Key Wolverines Stat:

Mike Smith and Eli Brooks have been solid on the perimeter all season as Brooks has passed out 85 assists while Smith shots 47 percent. Ohio State only forces 10.7 turnovers per game, so look for Brooks to try to assert his dominance in the backcourt with immediacy.

X-Factor:

Chaundee Brown comes in off the bench and makes 38.6 percent of his threes. The Wake Forest transfer uses his length to his advantage on both ends of the floor as he also gets 3.2 rebounds per game.

Advantage, Ohio State:

Ohio State Buckeyes LogoWatch for the Buckeyes to try to push the tempo so that Michigan’s bigs can’t get into the game with a slower, plodding pace. E.J. Liddell (15.5 ppg, 6.6 rpg) is a matchup problem for the Wolverines with his athleticism and ability to create his own shots as he shoots 50.7 percent from the field. Kyle Young (8.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg) is a nice complement at power forward where he shoots 55.7 percent. As Michigan allows only 37.7 percent from the field, the Wolverines’ ability to defend Duane Washington (14.9 ppg, 38.1% – 3) ultimately may be the key to the game.

Key Buckeyes’ Stat:

Justice Sueing (10.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg) will be a key on both ends of the floor as he will probably get assigned to Livers. Sueing has made 49.7 percent of his shots as well and will force Livers to defend.

X-Factor:

Young’s presence on the boards against Dickinson and Wagner will be important as well. Michigan is a better defensive rebounding team that Ohio State. Liddell and Sueing will also create an advantage here for the Buckeyes, who outbound opponents by (+4.3 rpg)

Winner: Ohio State (-1) 73, Michigan 69

The Bets
Ohio State (-1)
-103
Ohio State
-120
UNDER 146
-110
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.