A weekend full of big-time conference rivalries concludes on Sunday afternoon when the Ohio State Buckeyes head to Ann Arbor to take on the Michigan Wolverines in a Big Ten clash.
Ohio State has wholly collapsed since the turn of the new year, losing eight of their last nine games. The Buckeyes are now 11-11 overall and 3-8 in Big Ten play.
Michigan has not been much better in that timeframe, losing five of their past eight. The Wolverines are 12-10 overall and 6-5 in conference play.
Which struggling team will at least get bragging rights over their hated rival? Check out our college basketball picks and predictions below to find out.
Ohio State vs Michigan best odds
Ohio State vs Michigan picks and predictions
Neither team even finds themselves on the bubble for an NCAA tournament bid with their dreadful Januarys. However, opportunity still exists for a strong February and it all starts with this huge rivalry contest. It would be especially huge for the Buckeyes to get a road win with their current 36 NET ranking.
Ohio State has been dreadful away from home this year. The Buckeyes are 1-6 in true road games and 2-2 in neutral site games. Not a good sign heading into Ann Arbor, where the Wolverines are 8-3 on the season. Their lone conference home loss came to No. 1-ranked Purdue.
Both teams have had very similar paths to their similar record and struggles. Both programs looked like NCAA tournament-level teams in non-conference play but had some speed bumps in January. They seem to have similar strengths and weaknesses when looking at their statistical profiles.
The one big difference in this game for me is the size and talent of Hunter Dickinson which cannot be matched on the Buckeyes roster. Dickinson is averaging 17.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game this season. He is 7-foot-1 and you have to go to the ninth man in the Ohio State rotation to find a player taller than 6-foot-8. Size will be an issue for the Buckeyes.
Last season, Ohio State had E.J. Liddell to help counter that size and held Dickinson to only 14 points and seven rebounds with no blocks. This year, that will fall on Zed Key but he will certainly need some help. However, if they double Dickinson on the boards, Michigan has the players to step in and rebound.
Terrance Williams averages 6.4 rebounds per game and true freshman Jett Howard can light it up if given the opportunity – he is the second-leading scorer at 4.6 points per contest.
This is going to be an evenly-matched game, but Dickinson and Howard will provide the difference needed for the Wolverines to secure the win. I like Michigan to both win and cover the spread here.
My best bet: Michigan -2.5 (-120 at FanDuel)
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Ohio State vs Michigan spread analysis
Ohio State is an efficient 3-point shooting team (37.8%, 39th in the nation), but they don't attempt very many (310th in attempts). This fits perfectly into Michigan’s strengths on defense.
The Wolverines only allow their opponents to shoot 31.6% from 3-point land, which ranks 85th in the nation. It'll be very difficult for the Buckeyes to get a conference road win without the ability to hit some threes. Combine this with the slight rebounding advantage the Wolverines will have and that makes this a tough matchup for OSU.
Ohio State is 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games following a loss ATS. The Buckeyes are also 1-8 ATS in their last nine games overall. Meanwhile, Michigan is 3-1-1 ATS in its last five home games. These trends are likely to continue Sunday afternoon.
If Ohio State depends solely on 2-point field goals, that'll be a huge disadvantage in this matchup. Dickinson will be able to protect the rim and the Buckeyes will need to depend on mid-range jumpers. That's never a blueprint for success in college basketball.
Ohio State vs Michigan Over/Under analysis
Both programs have the exact same record in totals this season. They are both 12-10 on the season in favor of the Over. Ohio State games average 143.5 points per game and Michigan games average 142.7 points per contest.
However, both teams have had struggles recently, which have led to more Unders. The Under is 5-2 in the last seven Ohio State games and 5-1 in the last six Michigan home games against a team with a losing road record. I like these trends to continue Sunday.
These two teams are too evenly matched statistically and neither team likes to push a fast pace to have a strong lean on the Over given the high total. Ohio State ranks 188th in the country with 69.9 possessions per game and Michigan ranks 168th with 70.4 possessions per. Give me the Under on this inflated total.
Ohio State vs Michigan betting trend to know
The Buckeyes are 0-5 ATS in their last five road games against a team with a home winning percentage of greater than .600. Find more college basketball betting trends for Ohio State vs. Michigan.
Ohio State vs Michigan game info
|Location:||Crisler Center, Ann Arbor, MI|
|Date:||Sunday, February 5, 2023|
|Tip-off:||1:00 p.m. ET|