Home teams in the Big 10 have absolutely dominated this year in league play. More than just about any other major conference, home-court advantage has been huge this season in the Big 10. On the year, home teams have won nearly 75% of the games, and if you pull out the home losses by Nebraska and Northwestern, the two non-competitive teams in the league, that numbers shoots up to over 83%.
So, when I saw an opportunity last night to back the Indiana Hoosiers at home against the Purdue Boilermakers, laying just two points, I felt that it offered a lot of value. The Boilermaker’s only road win in Big 10 play this year was over Northwestern, and the Hoosiers were 4-1 at home, including wins over Ohio State and Michigan State.
It was a good trend play to bet on a home team in Big 10 league play, and when you looked at the teams, I felt that while Purdue was likely being a little underrated by the public, but I didn’t think they were going to be able to pull off the big upset victory in Bloomington.
????? FINAL#Purdue's largest win in Assembly Hall since 1977 (80-63).
— Purdue Mens Basketball (@BoilerBall) February 8, 2020
The trend of Big 10 home teams dominating continued yesterday as the home teams won three out of the four games, we just picked the wrong game. The Boilermakers came out hot early on and coasted to an easy double-digit victory. Purdue shot 50% from three and got to the free-throw line twenty-four times.
The win can not be overstated for Purdue as ESPN chief Bracketologist Joe Lunardi had them as the final team in the field for the NCAA tournament heading into play yesterday. They had to find a way to pick up a quality win on the road and they got the job done.
For Indiana, they too are on the bubble, currently rating out as an eleven seed, and the home court loss could come back to haunt them on Selection Sunday if they don’t hear their names called. The overall body of work is still tournament-worthy, in my opinion, but they have now lost four straight games, and they must find a way to stop the bleeding soon, or they are going to end up on the wrong side of the bubble. For today’s daily betting pick, we will stay right here in the Big 10, and take a look at the game between Ohio State and Wisconsin.
- Ohio State Buckeyes (15-7) at Wiscosnin Badgers (13-10)
- Kohl Center, Madison
- 10:00 AM PST
- TV: CBS
The Wisconsin Badgers will look to continue their home court dominance today as they host the Ohio State Buckeyes in Big 10 action. The Badgers are 4-1 at home in league play, and that includes a couple of huge signature wins over Maryland and Michigan State. The Badgers currently rate out as an eight seed in the NCAA tournament, but with an overall record of just 13-10, they need to keep winning games against tough competition, and they can ill afford any slipups at home.
Rise and shine… It's G A M E D A Y‼️
We're celebrating the 20-year reunion of our 2000 Final Four team
Get there early. Get there ????!
— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) February 9, 2020
For Ohio State, the Buckeyes spent the first half of league play really struggling as they started out just 2-6 in conference play. But they have picked it up recently as they have won three straight games, including a big win over archrival Michigan on the road in their last game. While the Buckeyes are seemingly safely in the field of sixty-eight at this point, they would love to move up into one of the top four seeds.
Ohio State Buckeyes
It is hard to tell just how good this Ohio State Buckeyes team is this season. In the non-conference, they looked like a Final Four caliber team. They beat Cincinnati, Villanova, Kentucky, and North Carolina, before Cole Antony got hurt. Their only loss came to a West Virginia team that has spent most of the year in the top-25.
But in conference play, the Buckeyes really struggled out of the gate. We all know just how good this league is, in my opinion, it is the best league in the country, and by a fairly wide margin. But Ohio State wasn’t losing to the top half of the league, they were losing to the middle or bottom of the league. They lost to Minnesota twice, a team that is just 4-7 in league play against all teams not named Ohio State.
They lost to Indiana, another team that is below .500 in conference play that is currently in twelfth place in the league standings. And they lost to this Wisconsin team, at home no less, and the Badgers don’t have a winning record in league play either. And even when you look at this recent three-game winning streak, the beat Michigan who is in 10th place, Northwestern who is in last place, and Indiana, who is in 12th place. Not as impressive as it first seemed from a glance to say the least.
The Badgers haven’t been able to breakthrough away from home this year as they have really struggled outside of Madison. They lost neutral site games in the non-conference to St. Mary’s, Richmond, NC State, and New Mexico. And they have lost true road games to Rutgers, Michigan State, Purdue, Iowa, and Minnesota. But all of those teams are strong, and of their ten losses, nine of those teams currently project to be dancing in March.
And at home, this team has been great. Wisconsin is 10-1 at home, and that includes two of the best wins of any team’s resume this year, with wins over Maryland and Michigan State. The one home loss, came to Illinois, by one point at the buzzer, to an Illini team that has been in first place in the league much of the season.
Who Do I Like?
Shocker, I like the home team in this one. These two teams matched up in Columbus in early January, and the Badgers beat the Buckeyes on the road. And when you look back at that game, it wasn’t some fluky performance where Wisconsin got hot and pulled off the upset. They shot just 26% from three and 37% from the field. They won the game in the paint, where they dragged down twelve offensive boards.
I see a similar performance coming tonight. The Badgers are going to win or lose this game in the trenches. While Ohio State’s recent winning streak does scare me a little bit, I know it has come against the bottom of the league. And to be honest, I see some hard times coming for Ohio State.
The Buckeyes have been very mediocre in Big 10 play this season, and they have yet to play many of the best teams in the league. Ohio State has games left against Rutgers, Purdue, Iowa, Maryland, Illinois, and Michigan State. If they can’t find a way to win some of those games, they could get left out of the madness altogether.
This number has mostly remained stagnant, with a couple of books adjusting up to Wisconsin -1.5, but the consensus is still at Badgers -1. I would expect some more action to come in on Wisconsin before the early morning tip, so make sure to lock this play in now, or you are going to be forced to lay more wood than you need to. Give me the Wisconsin Badgers as small home court favorites today from Madison!