Ohio State men’s basketball drops 7th straight cover during losing skid

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Iowa guard Tony Perkins, left, and forward Patrick McCaffery, right, defend against Ohio State's Bruce Thornton during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Iowa City, Iowa, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette via AP)

The losing streak reached seven games for the Ohio State men’s basketball team on Thursday when the Buckeyes were blown out by a 92-75 margin at Iowa. Ohio State has not won a game since Jan. 21, which actually came at home against Iowa.

During this skid, OSU (11-15, 3-12 Big Ten) has fallen to Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Northwestern, Michigan State and Iowa. While the Big Ten has plenty of quality opponents, this stretch has been brutal for the Buckeyes.

What’s more is that Ohio State hasn’t covered a single spread during this losing streak. The Buckeyes have even been an underdog in four of those games but have failed to cover the spread by five points or more in all seven outings.

Here is a breakdown of Ohio State’s spread results during the skid:

  • OSU +3.5 at Illinois | Final score: 69-60

  • OSU +5 at Indiana | Final score: 86-70

  • OSU -7.5 vs. Wisconsin | Final score: 65-60

  • OSU +2.5 at Michigan | Final score: 77-69

  • OSU -5.5 vs. Northwestern | Final score: 69-63

  • OSU -4 vs. Michigan State | Final score: 62-41

  • OSU +6.5 at Iowa | Final score: 92-75

Three of those spread losses were by double digits, while games against Illinois and Michigan came nine and eight points, respectively, away from the number. The closest spread defeats for Ohio State took place against Wisconsin (five points) and Northwestern (six points), both of which took place at home.

In short, bets on Ohio State rarely have even had a chance going into the closing minutes.

Ohio State will have three home games over its final five contests, setting up an opportunity to potentially end the skid and earn bettors some money. OSU hosts Penn State on Feb. 23, welcomes Illinois to town on Feb. 26, and its final home game against Maryland is set for March 1.

Before we get to that three-game homestand, the Buckeyes will travel to face a hungry Purdue team. The Boilermakers, who are ranked No. 3 in the country, lost to Maryland on Thursday and have dropped three of their last four.

The fact both teams are down probably isn’t ideal for Ohio State, but the first meeting was closer than you’d think. Purdue was able to hang on for a 71-69 win in Columbus on Jan. 5, when OSU was listed as a 1.5-point favorite.

For the season, Ohio State is 8-10 against the spread and a measly 2-13 ATS since Big Ten play began. The Buckeyes are 1-8 ATS away from home, failing to cover the spread in all seven games as a road underdog. 

None of those trends bode well for Sunday’s meeting with Purdue, especially when Ken Pomeroy projects a 76-65 victory for the Boilermakers.

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