Ohio State's New Big Lineup Should Slow the Pace at Purdue

ohio state purdue

Mark Lathrop

Wednesday, February 7, 2018 12:46 PM GMT

Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018 12:46 PM GMT

NCAAB handicapper Mark Lathrop breaks down the biggest B1G Conference matchup of the season thus far, as the 14th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes visit the No. 3 Purdue Boilermakers on Wednesday.

2017-18 NCAAB Record: 28-24 (+2.45 Units)

No. 14 Ohio State Buckeyes at No. 3 Purdue BoilermakersFree NCAAB Pick: Under 145.5Best Line Offered: BookMaker

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In the biggest B1G Conference game of the year so far, the 23-2 (12-0) Purdue Boilermakers host the 20-5 (11-1) Ohio State Buckeyes at Mackey Arena on Wednesday night. This game is important for conference standings, and if Purdue wins it will have a 2-game lead with 5 games to go. Purdue is a perfect 14-0 at home this year and have won 19 games in a row coming into this matchup. It is not surprising, then, that even though Ohio State is ranked 14th in the AP polls that the Buckeyes come in as a 9.5-point underdogs. The total has opened at 145.5 at early-moving books such as BookMaker.

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📰 PREVIEW: No. 3-ranked #Purdue ready for Wednesday night showdown with No. 14-ranked Ohio State. #BoilerUp 🚂

🔗 https://t.co/O9HQqSvKMv pic.twitter.com/qaIIz1vUk7

— Purdue Men’s Basketball (@BoilerBall) February 6, 2018

Another reason for the steep chalk favoring Purdue is the fact that Ohio State will come in missing one of its starting guards in Kam Williams. The 6’ 2” fifth-year senior has been suspended and will not make the trip to Purdue. In the last game, and first without Williams, Ohio State substituted 6’ 6” sophomore swingman Andre Wesson. That created a bigger lineup for the Buckeyes, which will help on defense but will make the offense more slow and methodic. Ohio State senior forward Jae’Sean Tate said just as much in a recent interview with The Columbus Dispatch:

“With Dre’s size and his ability to guard different positions, it actually helps us on the defensive end whereas we’re going to have to pick and choose our spots on the offensive end a little better, making sure we get the correct shot.”

Ohio State has also taken extreme measures in preparing for Purdue’s future NBA star, 7’ 2” center Isaac Haas. Former No. 1 overall draft pick and current Ohio State assistant coach, 7-footer Greg Oden, has been scrimmaging with the team as part of the preparation.

Purdue comes into this game after squeaking by Rutgers on the road, 78-76. That game was rare in that :1) It was close and 2) It cashed an 'Over' ticket. The Boilermakers have ridden some great defense to an 8-2 'Under' streak over their last 10 games. Ohio State is also carrying the same trend at 7-3 'Unders' in their last 10.

With my record in conference games on sides sliding, I won’t be taking action on my lean with Ohio State and the points here. However, with OSU coming in with a bigger lineup and defensive focus, I think this is a good opportunity to ride the 'Under' trend for both teams lately. These teams are efficient on offense, but also both in the bottom half of the B1G Conference in pace of play. I’ll take 'Under' 145.5 as my Wednesday NCAA Pick.

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