NCAA Basketball Picks: Grab Ohio State -4.5 Over Akron In Huge NIT Clash

Joe Gavazzi

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 3:04 PM GMT

The Akron Zips travel less than 100 miles to Columbus to get a matchup vs. Ohio State that they could never get in a regular season. Who will be our NCAA basketball pick tonight?

Akron vs. Ohio State 7:00PM ET
Despite the potential emotional advantage of “little brother vs. big brother,” there is sufficient reason to believe that Ohio State is the right side in this one.   

 

Betting Preview
Akron was the best team in the MAC the entire season. They were 13-5 SU in conference play and enter tonightwith the lofty record of 26-8 SU. The team features a legitimate interior force in big man, Johnson, who approaches 7 feet and 300 pounds. But, the real M.O. for the Zips under 12th year HC Dambrot is their 3 point shooting. Akron launches an average of 30 three pointers per game, knocking down just shy of 12 of them for an average of 39%. They have the ability to shoot themselves into a game or out of the game. Such was the case in the (64-61) MAC final game CCT loss to Buffalo on Saturday night. Though they are, with good reason, excited about the chance to play the Buckeyes, there is a very strong letdown tendency for road teams in the 1st game of the NIT who failed in their quest for the NCAA Tourney with a loss in the CCT Final.   

Waiting for the Zips is an Ohio St. team, who is a notch below the recent editions of 12th year HC Thad Matta with a 20-13 SU record. It is the 5th consecutive season that the Buckeyes have had fewer wins than the previous year. But, if there is one thing Matta has done consistently well, it is defense of his Value City home court. It is there that the Buckeyes stand 61-12 SU the last 4 years and are a long-term 111-75 ATS as home favorite, including 11-3 ATS since December 1st of this season. The loss of their best interior player, Tate, in February left them with few answers in their embarrassing CCT loss to Michigan St. last Friday night by an 81-54 count. Ohio St. clearly does not want to end their season with a loss to Akron, following that embarrassment to a major rival. The Buckeye defense remains staunch, allowing 68 PPG and only 40% from the field. Be assured, they will be well versed in Akron’s preferences from behind the arc.

I invite you to put the NCAA basketball odds in your favor and join me in my NCAA basketball pick on Ohio State in the NIT Tourney tonight.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Ohio State -4.5
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker