Photo: flickr Writer: Eric Daniel
Minnesota has been trending in the wrong direction as of late losing three straight to fall to 15-5 overall and 3-4 in the Big Ten. There’s no denying Minnesota has been a lot better than anyone was expecting coming into the year, but now we get to see how the Golden Gophers deal with their first bit of adversity of the regular season. In their last outing Minnesota was very competitive at home against Wisconsin falling to their rival by a final of 76-78. The Golden Gophers have also fallen in two straight on the road against Michigan State and Penn State in conference. Minnesota is an athletic group that likes to play off of their defense which ranks 57th in the nation in points allowed.
Ohio State picked up a defeat that they really couldn’t afford in their last outing as the Buckeyes fell at home to Northwestern by a final of 72-74. Ohio State knows they’re a long shot to make the NCAA tournament right now, but to make the Big Dance the Buckeyes need to start going on an extended winning streak, which isn’t out of the realm of possibility with their upcoming schedule. Ohio State is another squad that plays off of their defense and the Buckeyes actually rank very similarly to Minnesota in a number of statistical categories standing 67th in the nation in total defense as well as in the upper 100s in scoring average. Ohio State spreads the ball around well with 6 players averaging at least 9 points per game.
Both of these groups are hungry for a win and as a result we expect to see a big effort from both teams in this contest. Ohio State came up just short in the end of their last outing against Northwestern and that was on the heels of some nice wins against Michigan State and Nebraska for the Buckeyes. We like Ohio State to play off of their home crowd today as they get past Minnesota and deal the Golden Gophers their 4th straight loss.
Ohio State -3.5 -110