Bet Purdue +8.5 vs. Ohio State for NCAA Basketball Picks

Jeff Grant

Thursday, March 13, 2014 11:30 AM GMT

The Ohio State Buckeyes are one of the best defensive teams in the country, but they may lack the necessary energy to cover this type of number against the Purdue Boilermakers Thursday. The college basketball odds are out; which side are we on?

Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA basketball odds for this Big Ten Tournament matchup at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, with the opening tip scheduled for 2:25 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network.

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A lost season

Purdue will try to become the first team seeded seventh or lower to win this event, while also gaining revenge from a pair of regular-season losses against Ohio State.

The Boilermakers have dropped their last six games, with their last four setbacks coming by a combined 23 points.

It’s important to point out that the program is 7-13 SU and 11-9 ATS versus teams with a winning record this season.

Emotional win

Ohio State snapped a two-game losing streak by picking up an emotional 69-67 victory over the Michigan State Spartans as 3.5-point home favorites Sunday—the last game at Value City Arena for senior point guard Aaron Craft.

Craft has averaged 10.5 points and totaled 41 assists in nine career league tournament games, while fellow senior Lenzell Smith Jr. has averaged 5.7 points and 4.2 rebounds in six such affairs.

College basketball handicappers will find that the team is 16-4 SU and 12-8 ATS in March the last two-plus seasons.

Lack of defense

The Boilermakers are going to be difficult to back as road underdogs when looking over the SBR Odds page, as they’ve allowed six consecutive opponents to score at least 74 points for the first time since Dec. 2002.

Purdue has also dropped all eight games versus top-25 foes this season—the only Big Ten squad without a win in that situation.

Great format

The Buckeyes are a dominating 17-2 SU when playing as a higher seed in this event, while they’ve won 26 of 30 games versus the Boilermakers when playing in the matchup as a ranked team.

Ohio State has split its four games as the No. 5 seed in this tournament.

Review the 2013-14 NCAA Tournament Betting Futures

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Boilermakers as one of their NCAA basketball picks, as I don’t feel they’ll play with the necessary intensity on the defensive end to cover this type of number.

Ohio State will likely advance, but it’ll fall to 0-5 ATS in its last five neutral site affairs.

College Basketball Pick: Purdue Boilermakers +8.5