Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Indiana Hoosiers Predictions 1/6/22

by | Jan 6, 2022 | cbb

Ohio State Buckeyes (9-2 SU, 5-6 ATS) vs. Indiana Hoosiers (10-3 SU, 8-5 ATS)

When: Thursday, January 6, 7 p.m.

Where: Assembly Hall, Bloomington, Ind.

TV: FS1

Point Spread: OHST +3.5/IND -3.5 (EveryGame - Formerly Intertops, they’re the oldest and most trusted sportsbook on the web!)

Moneyline: OHST +145/IND -170

Total: 137.5

Last Time Out:

Ohio State beat Nebraska 87-79 in overtime; Indiana lost 61-58 to Penn State.

About the Matchup:

If the Hoosiers aren’t careful, this could once again be where the season spirals out of control for them. Indiana looked like it was turning a corner a month ago when it went to Wisconsin and held an early first-half lead, but the Hoosiers couldn’t hold it and ended up fading in a five-point loss. Indiana since followed by falling into the Penn State trap in University Park, losing 61-58 to a team that had been picked near the bottom of the league.

But one thing the Hoosiers haven’t done yet is lose at Assembly Hall, and as long as they don’t have a home setback, there’s still reason to believe for Indiana. Ohio State, meanwhile, will be looking to avoid a slip here after barely escaping Nebraska in Lincoln. The Buckeyes have been less than impressive away from Columbus, but they’ve shown their true power there in wins over the likes of Wisconsin and Duke. But the big question is whether they can match the Hoosiers’ desire here, because this game is in must-win territory for Indiana.

Scouting the Buckeyes:

Ohio State’s offense has been the biggest reason for its success, as the Buckeyes are 8-3 to the over and average 76.7 points a game despite facing what’s ranked as the 11th-hardest schedule in the nation. The Buckeyes get their points not off creating possessions or second chances, but from taking and making good shots. Ohio State shoots just under 49 percent from the floor and just under 40 percent from beyond the arc, difficult numbers for anyone to stop.

The two big questions here: can the Buckeyes handle the Hoosiers’ defense and do they have enough in their legs to win the game late? Ohio State just got most of its team back after a COVID outbreak and had to struggle to get by Nebraska, a game that should have been much more manageable for E.J. Liddell and company. If the Buckeyes don’t have their legs under them, they might fade in the second half, especially facing a Hoosier side that puts 11 bodies on the floor during the game.

Scouting the Hoosiers:

Indiana knows that it’s better on the glass than almost anybody because it has both Trayce Jackson-Davis and Race Thompson on the boards, meaning one shot is usually all you get against the Hoosiers. That’s a problem for most teams because Indiana also plays excellent defense, limiting teams to 35.4 percent from the floor against them and holding them under 30 percent from deep. When you’re not getting a good look and it’s the only one you get, it’s pretty tough to put up numbers.

So what’s the problem in Bloomington? Indiana just doesn’t take care of the basketball. The Hoosiers turn it over almost 15 times a game, and although that number might go down against a team that doesn’t play fast in Ohio State, this is still a squad that makes far too many mistakes with the ball. Indiana has the talent just like it did under Archie Miller, but it’s been undisciplined talent for years, and if the Hoosiers can’t avoid errors, it’s going to be another long year in Bloomington.

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Ohio State will Cover If: The Buckeyes can sink their shots and prevent the Hoosiers from pounding away inside. Indiana has the edge in the paint, but Ohio State can neutralize that if they can actually hit when good looks present themselves. If the shots don’t go down, there’s no path to a win.

Indiana will Cover If: The Hoosiers avoid mistakes with the ball and bludgeon the Buckeyes inside. Indiana should be able to get second chances in this game with its forwards, it’s just a matter of making sure that the ball actually makes its way to the paint.

Dan’s Best Prop Bets

With Indiana’s emphasis on defense and Ohio State still trying to get back to full strength, this looks like it’s going to be played at less than full speed, which makes the under the most likely play on the board.

Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread

This is exactly the kind of game that Indiana pulls out from out of nowhere, especially coming off a bad loss like what it had at Penn State. If the Hoosiers do lose this game, the collapse is likely not far away, so I expect Indiana to come out with some fire and take advantage of Ohio State’s COVID struggles.

The bet I like most is the under. For the spread, I’ll back the Hoosiers. Bet your college basketball predictions for FREE this week by taking advantage of a 100% real cash bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $1000 at Betnow Sportsbook!