Ohio State Sports Betting: Will No. 23 Buckeyes Take Down North Carolina?

Written By Eli Hershkovich on December 17, 2022
ohio state sports betting

Within Saturday’s jam-packed college basketball odds board, Ohio State is back in action. The Buckeyes are ranked No. 23 in the latest AP Top-25 poll and will square off against North Carolina at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Plus, Ohio State sports betting pre-live offers are already available ahead of sportsbooks launching on New Years Day.

Click on any of the odds below to place a wager or see the details on offers in your area.

Ohio State vs. UNC: Spread, Moneyline, Total

Both of these programs find themselves in college basketball power rankings. Subscribe to Outside Shots on TheLines Podcast Network, as Scott Phillips and I break down everything college hoops betting, including this game.

Evaluating The Buckeyes

Amid a 7-2 start, Ohio State has accrued 1.15 PPP to date — good for the fourth-ranked offensive efficiency in college basketball. Chris Holtmann’s motion offense is arguably the most potent it’s been during his Buckeyes tenure.

Their success is somewhat triggered by a slightly more uptempo system. All of Holtmann’s previous Ohio State teams showcased a bottom-110 average possession length or slower (per KenPom). West Virginia transfer Sean McNeil and four-star frosh Brice Sensabaugh also provide Holtmann with a pair of quick-twitch marksmen in transition.

However, Holtmann’s bunch is missing a key piece, as Oklahoma State transfer Isaac Likekele has taken an indefinite leave from the team due to personal matters. The 6-foot-5 guard represents one of the top on-ball defenders across DI, generating a 2.4% career steal rate.

Collectively, the Buckeyes are already struggling defensively amongst Power Five programs, yielding 0.93 PPP.

Related: 2023 March Madness Futures Odds

Buy-Low Spot With Tar Heels?

The betting market couldn’t be lower on UNC after it opened up as one of the favorites to cut down the nets in April. The Tar Heels are currently priced at () to win the national title. That same notion is reflected in the betting market for this game, as the spread would’ve been around two possessions if there was a look-ahead line.

Despite Tar Heels center Armando Bacot returning to the lineup after dealing with ankle and shoulder injuries, Hubert Davis’ offense has yet to truly “click.” But their isolation scoring, led by the backcourt duo of Caleb Love and R.J. Davis, should exploit a OSU defense that struggles in that regard.

Moreover, the 6-foot-10 Bacot is an elite on the glass. His length should disrupt Zed Key’s ability to compile second-chance shots for the Buckeyes, along with creating some of his own. Bacot boasts the 11th-highest offensive rebounding percentage in DI.

On the flip side, Davis’ defense typically doesn’t fair well versus a motion-heavy system. Even if Leaky Black winds up shadowing McNeil or Sensabaugh, the Buckeyes should manufacture their fair share of clean perimeter looks.

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College Basketball Best Bets Conclusion

Unless the Buckeyes take some money to make this line closer to a pick’em, I’ll likely stay away from Ohio State in this one. I make the Tar Heels a small favorite, so I’d need more of an edge to bet it.

Check our aforementioned Discord betting channel to see if I add any live bets.

Exclusive Ohio Sportsbook Offers

Over at DraftKings Sportsbook, you’ll receive $200 in free bets upon signing up for one of the best sports betting promos in Ohio. Pre-launch offers are already available before the Jan. 1 launch.

You’ll find the best available Ohio state sports betting promos below.

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