Can Ohio State keep Cinderella run going in Big Ten tournament? Best Bets for Saturday, March 11

Ohio State's Bruce Thornton (2) and his teammates celebrate after an NCAA college basketball game at the Big Ten men's tournament, Friday, March 10, 2023, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Erin Hooley)

Each day, one of our experts will offer up a best bet (or two or three) that mobile sportsbooks are offering. It might be a traditional spread bet, a player prop or one of the various odds boosts that books offer.

Here are our best bets for Saturday, March 11:


The play: College men’s basketball, Ohio State +7 over Purdue

The odds/bet: -110 ($33 to win $30)

The book: Caesars Sportsbook

Time/TV: 1 p.m. ET (CBS)

Our take: It’s been a miserable season for Ohio State’s men’s basketball team no matter how you slice it; the Buckeyes jumped into the top 25 after a strong showing at the Maui Invitational, but from that point, they ended the regular season by losing 17 of 25 games, including a 5-15 mark in Big Ten play.

But sometimes, true talent level shows up at the end of the season, and that’s what we’re seeing with Ohio State. The Buckeyes eliminated Wisconsin in the pigtail round of the Big Ten tourney on Wednesday, then made some clutch plays to upset Iowa and then, in Friday’s quarterfinals, controlled Michigan State from the opening tip.

This team is gaining confidence, and now it has a tangible goal in front of it. Time to revert to form and lose? Maybe. Purdue is pretty good. But the Boilermakers have won just two games in a month by more than seven points. This doesn’t feel like a blowout.


The play: Men’s college basketball, Indiana -2½ over Penn State

The odds/bet: -110 ($11 to win $10)

The book: Caesars Sportsbook

Time/TV: 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS)

Our take: As for the other semifinal, Trayce Jackson-Davis and the Hoosiers might be the best team in the Big Ten at this point in the season. They’re essentially playing in front of a home crowd and looked strong in pulling away from Maryland on Friday night.

Now it’s a semifinal game against Penn State. The Nittany Lions have won two tight, emotional games against Illinois and Northwestern and have done what they set out to do in Indianapolis: Leave no doubt that they’re an NCAA tournament team. A letdown is inevitable at this point, and Indiana will be well prepared to take advantage.


Friday’s best bets

College basketball, Utah State -2 over Boise State (pending overnight)

College basketball: Oregon +6½ over UCLA (LOST $10)

Friday’s profit/loss: –$10 (0-1, 1 pending)

Total for the week: +$26 (4-3, 3 pending)

Total for March: +$122 (11-6, 3 pending)

Total for 2023: -$10.50 (43-46, 3 pending)

NOTE: If a line or odds are minus, it considers the juice one must lay to place the bet. Ex: Team A is -160 on the money line, one would have to bet $160 to win $100 (or $16 to win $10). OR Team B is a 5-point favorite at -110, one would have to bet $110 to win $100 (or $11 to win $10.)

Conversely, on positive lines, if Team C is +140 on the money line, a $100 would bring in $140 (or $10 to win $14).


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