Bettors losing money on Ohio State men’s basketball during recent skid

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Ohio State forward Justice Sueing, left, drives against Northwestern guard Chase Audige during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Columbus, Ohio, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)

Things have taken a turn for the worse on Ohio State’s 2022-23 men’s basketball campaign. The team has lost five in a row and 10 of its last 11 games. The Buckeyes (11-13) have just two wins since the calendar flipped to the new year.

It all culminated in a 69-63 home loss to the Northwestern Wildcats on Thursday. OSU was actually a 5.5-point favorite for that contest, failing to cover the number by 11.5 points. It marked the fifth consecutive ATS loss for the Buckeyes, who are 8-16 against the spread on the year.

Ohio State’s only two covers since Jan. 1 were the victories against Northwestern on Jan. 1 and Iowa on Jan. 21. The Buckeyes are actually worse ATS (2-11) than they are overall (3-10) in Big Ten play.

The market has started to catch up to Ohio State of late, or at least they are finally making Chris Holtmann’s squad an underdog. But that still hasn’t mattered, as the Buckeyes were getting points in three of their previous five games. For the season, Ohio State is 1-8 against the spread as an underdog.

From a futures perspective, Ohio State is completely out of the picture at this point. The Buckeyes are +25000 to win the national championship at Caesars Sportsbook, though making the NCAA Tournament doesn’t seem likely at this point. OSU isn’t even listed in the Big Ten Conference outright market at FanDuel Sportsbook, with Purdue being the clear frontrunner at -2200 to win the league.

What makes this season even more interesting is that most analytical websites still favor Ohio State. Ken Pomeroy ranks the Buckeyes 39th overall, while Bart Torvik puts this team 45th. This would suggest there are some underlying metrics to believe in with this squad.

ShotQuality, which grades each team’s chances of winning a particular game based on shots taken, would confirm that. ShotQuality actually graded each of Ohio State’s last two games as victories, giving the team a 61-59 win over Northwestern and a 74-73 edge over Michigan. Per ShotQuality, the Buckeyes should have five wins over the last 12 games.

Perhaps that means Ohio State has reached a buy-low point from a spread perspective, though bettors might not be willing to go there at this point. KenPom projects OSU to earn a 71-68 win over Michigan State on Sunday, with the Buckeyes projected to earn victories in four of their final seven games.

Tom Izzo’s Spartans are coming off a win over Maryland on Tuesday but haven’t had much success of late either. They are 3-5 over their last eight games, and on the verge of falling to .500 in conference play.

It could be now or never for Ohio State to end this skid, and bettors could earn a much-deserved payout by buying low on the Buckeyes. Tipoff is slated for 1 p.m. ET at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio.

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