Ohio St. Is Our NCAA Basketball Pick As They Face Deficient SC St.

Joe Catalano

Sunday, December 27, 2015 6:00 PM UTC

Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015 6:00 PM UTC

Ohio State find themselves with a late Christmas gift tonight as they face a very weak South Carolina State squad. See who we like as our NCAA basketball pick.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Ohio State Buckeyes -25
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes


Tip-off is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. EST tonight at the Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio. According to 5Dimes Sportsbook NCAA Basketball odds board, the Buckeyes are a 25 point betting favorite and the total for the game is listed at 136. Inter-conference play is right around the corner and Ohio State can sure use an easy game. The opportunity is here.


Back On Track?
After a 4 game losing streak, the Buckeyes, to their credit, have bounced back and won 5 out of their last 6 games. Although the name "Ohio State" gets attention with the odds makers, their recent play has made them a greater favorite in this game. This is a team that beat Kentucky two games ago, 74-67 and that will carry a lot of weight on their resume aside from showing that they can match up against the best.


A Win Over Kentucky
We take a look back at the KU game, and Ohio State got off to a blistering fast 37-25 lead at halftime. It was Ohio State's defense that won the game as 4 ouf of their 5 starters shot below 50% and this is a club with a short bench. In the end, the Wildcats weren't able to play "catch up" and the Buckeyes came up with a huge victory. Stats of note in this game were the 5 blocks by Trevor Thompson and 3 steals apiece from Marc Loving and Keita Bates-Diop.

The question is, how far can the Buckeyes defense take them? They average 71 points per game and are a team that doesn't particularly rebound the basketball well, and there's no definitive go to guy on this squad.


OSU Starters
The Buckeyes rely on the trio of Marc Loving (14.6 points, 6.2 rebounds), Keita Bates-Diop (12.1 points, 6 rebounds) and Jae'Sean Tate (12 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.7 steals). While this trio "works their magic", point guard, JaQuan Lyle, who isn't a particularly good shooter, can suit other purposes at 6 foot 5, 215 pounds.

Lyle leads the team in assistsat 4.4 and is averaging 9.8 points, 3.7 rebounds, and a steal per game. The kid is a hustler that plays the necessary defense to win most ball games. Tonight, OSU and the OSU bettors shouldn't be concerned as their opponent isn't much of a test.


Nothing Eye Popping
At 32 rebounds per game and a lackluster team that doesn't share the basketball and play's little defense, we know why the Bulldogs are such a heavy underdog against a team with 5 losses this season.

This team is so bad that leading scorer, Eric Eaves (14.3 points per game) is barely averaging 40% from the field and has shot just 12 for 44 in his last 5 games. If I were a Bulldogs backer, that wouldn't necessarily spark confidence from me.

Guard Eric Stephens hasn't been much better efficiency-wise, but has scored in double-figures in his last 5 games. I consider this volume shooting, but Stephens has the knack of knocking down the 3-ball. He's a 42.5% shooter from beyond the arc and a definite option in this game.

While Ohio State's play has been very disappointing this season, they should play well enough to defeat a team in the Bulldogs, who possess a various amount of deficiencies. Take OSU with your NCAA Basketball picks and look for them to beat up on this bottom-feeder on Sunday afternoon.

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