What bettors have learned about Ohio State men’s basketball in January

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Since the calendar flipped to January, the Ohio State men’s basketball program has struggled to find the win column. The Buckeyes have lost six of their last seven games and are 2-6 during the first month of 2023.

After starting 2-0 in conference play, Ohio State (11-9) is now 3-6 against Big Ten opponents. Life in this league doesn’t get any easier, however, as OSU will travel to face Indiana on Saturday. Ken Pomeroy projects a 76-73 win for the Hoosiers, giving the Buckeyes a 39% chance of victory.

The market hasn’t really changed much during this recent skid, as Ohio State has been a betting favorite in five different games in January. OSU has only covered one spread over the last seven outings, which was the team’s 93-77 home victory over Iowa last Saturday.

For the season, Ohio State is 8-12 against the spread; only Nebraska has a worse ATS clip in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes are 1-5 on the road and 1-6 as an underdog, which are two trends that will be noteworthy ahead of Saturday’s test.

One way bettors have profited on this team is by betting on totals, as Ohio State is 11-9 to the over. The Buckeyes have the ninth-ranked adjusted offensive efficiency and are ninth in 3-point percentage by hitting 38.8% of their shots from deep.

That’s what makes this Ohio State team intriguing from a betting perspective, as Chris Holtmann’s squad has the firepower to get hot when it matters the most. OSU is likely dead in the Big Ten race, as FanDuel Sportsbook lists this team at 250/1 to win the league.

In a year where the NCAA Tournament could be as wide open as ever, the Buckeyes are priced at 125/1 to win the national championship at Caesars Sportsbook. They are +2000 to make it to the Final Four via the latest betting odds at DraftKings Sportsbook. For comparison, Ohio State has better odds than Wisconsin, Maryland, and Iowa in the latter market.

If you aren’t bold enough to buy low on Ohio State in the futures market, though, there might be opportunities to invest in this team on a game-by-game basis in the near future. 

ShotQuality, an advanced analytical website that requires a subscription, has graded three of Ohio State’s last five games as wins. This recent skid might very well be chalked up to variance, and we should expect positive regression for the Buckeyes soon.

Perhaps that won’t come to fruition on Saturday, due to Ohio State’s struggles away from home. ShotQuality also projects a 71-64.5 victory for Indiana, a team that has won four in a row entering this weekend.

But the Buckeyes will have four winnable games after that, including three at home. They are set to host Wisconsin on Thursday, Feb. 2.

Bettors should look to take advantage of a discount on Ohio State — as soon as we get past January at least.

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