With New Year’s Day on Sunday, the start of Big Ten conference play in college basketball coincides with the launch of legalized sports betting in the state of Ohio. That means for the first time, you can legally bet on Ohio State basketball odds in the Buckeye state if you’re 21+.
Ohio State will square off against Northwestern to get its Big Ten schedule started at 7:30 p.m. ET. We have gathered the best available odds across sportsbooks, along with the best available sportsbook sign-up promos and offers that include bonus bet credits.
Ohio State basketball odds for the game against Northwestern will open Jan. 1.
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OHIO STATE VS. NORTHWESTERN PREVIEW
Both of these programs have had fantastic starts to the season. In fact, Ohio State found themselves on the college basketball power rankings in mid-December. Make sure you subscribe to Outside Shots on TheLines Podcast Network, hosted by Eli Hershkovich and Scott Phillips. They’ll break down everything you need to know before betting college hoops this season.
Ohio State has started the year on fire on the offensive end of the court, amassing 1.15 PPP — good for the third-ranked offensive efficiency in college basketball. They face a tall task Sunday night, as they square off against a Northwestern team ranking No. 19 in adjusted defensive efficiency (per KenPom).
The Buckeyes have established themselves as one of the best shooting teams in the Big Ten, shooting a blistering 37.5% from behind the arc, good for third-best in the conference thus far. This could be troublesome for Northwestern’s defense if they aren’t rotating fast enough on the defensive end. Freeing up freshman forward Brice Sensabaugh for open looks should be a top priority for Christ Holtmann, as the 6-foot-6 forward is shooting an astounding 47.2% from behind the arc. Although it is not likely to be repeated, Northwestern did allow Pittsburgh to shoot 14-of-22 from deep. Knocking down threes will be essential to Ohio State avoiding the upset here, as the Wildcats are currently the best in the country in defensive two-point field goal percentage.
Examining the Wildcats
In the midst of their 10-2 start, Northwestern’s defense has turned their opponents over 16 times per game, good for a top-forty rate in college basketball. Although Chris Collins’ squads have been good on the defensive end in recent years, this year’s squad may be the best he has put on the court since 2019.
With the exception of the Pittsburgh game in November, Collins’ unit has been smothering their opponents. Northwestern’s defensive success can be largely attributed to the size and length of the team’s wings. Their lengthy and athletic guards have been able to disrupt passing lanes and force turnovers quite often thus far. In fact, senior guard Chase Audige, is second in the Big Ten in steals with 2.6 per game.
On the flip side, the Wildcats offense could struggle scoring from the perimeter. The Buckeyes defense leaves a lot to be desired, but they have held their opponents to only 27.2% shooting from the perimeter, good for twelfth-best in the nation. We already saw Northwestern go cold from three against Auburn back in November, missing their first 17 attempts from behind the arc before finally hitting one. If they struggle knocking down perimeter looks against Ohio State, it could be a long night for the Wildcats.
Ohio State vs. Northwestern Conclusion
Personally, I’ll likely stay away from Ohio State and look to live bet Northwestern over a possession. This matchup should be a hard fought one right up to the end. Best of luck betting Ohio State basketball odds!