Play Ohio State -3 vs. Michigan State for NCAA Basketball Picks

Steven Suarez

Sunday, March 9, 2014 1:11 PM UTC

Sunday, Mar. 9, 2014 1:11 PM UTC

We're in for another treat this afternoon when the Buckeyes and Spartans renew their rivalry once again. Who are the college basketball odds favoring for this Big Ten showdown?

Odds Overview

On their home court, Ohio State is favored by three points at practically every sportsbook we've checked. The Buckeyes are 22-8 SU and 15-14 ATS, while the Spartans come in at 23-7 SU and 16-11-2 ATS. The total for tonight's game has opened at 129.5.

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Michigan State Spartans

Picked as one of the overall favorites to win the whole shebang before the season start, you'd have to say this has been a disappointing year for the Spartans, at least since conference play has started.

We've seen so much inconsistency out of this talented group, a little surprising given the experience that's in the squad.

All of Michigan State's struggles in Big Ten play have come over the last five weeks. They've lost to Wisconsin, Nebraska, Michigan and Illinois, with three of those losses coming on the road. They fell to the Fighting Illini and Cornhuskers at home.

Back on Thursday though, the Spartans were outstanding in a 86-76 victory. Coming in they were favored by five points in the college basketball betting odds and they proved why with a great offensive show. Tom Izzo's team shot 58.3 percent from the floor overall and 58.8 percent from beyond the arc.

Five different Michigan State players scored in double figures in the win, with Travis Trice leading the way with 17 points. Denzel Valentine had a great all-around game, scoring 13 points to go with nine assists and six rebounds.

Ohio State Buckeyes

It's been a season of streaks for the Buckeyes. They had won three in a row (Illinois, Northwestern, Minnesota) before losing consecutive matchups at Penn State and Indiana

It's been a full week since Ohio State lost to the Hoosiers, a game in which they were favored by 3.5 points. The Buckeyes shot 42.4 percent from the field overall and didn't hit a single three (0-for-11) in the defeat.

LaQuinton Ross paced Ohio State with 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting, while Lenzelle Smith Jr. was solid with 19 points and five rebounds. Aaron Craft and Sam Thompson shot a combined 3-of-17 from the field however.

Perhaps a return home will be just what Ohio State needs. They've looked dominant in their two most recent home games, beating the Golden Gophers by 18 and Northwestern by 16.

So far this season the Buckeyes are 16-3 straight up inside Value City Arena, but they've gone an even 9-9 against the spread in those games. Let's see how they fare against the Spartans.

2014-13 NCAA Tournament Betting Futures

College Basketball Pick

After dealing with injuries here and there, both teams are healthy and raring to go.

So, who gets the backing with our college basketball picks? We have to go with the home team and side with the Buckeyes, who will have had much more time to prepare and game-plan for the game.

Ohio State has fared well against the spread in recent meetings with their rivals, covering in three straight. The Buckeyes have to be extremely motivated, considering they lost in overtime in the first meeting this season, along with the fact they're trying to break a losing streak.

The Buckeyes have been outstanding defensively, allowing only 56.4 points per game over their last five, and we see their defense setting the tone en route to a win and cover.

College Basketball Pick: Ohio State Buckeyes -3

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