The No. 1 team in men’s college basketball visits Value City Arena on Thursday night, as No. 24 Ohio State plays host to Purdue in the Buckeyes’ first home game since legal sports betting went live in the state on Jan. 1.
Thursday’s game, which tips off at 7 p.m. and will air on Fox Sports 1, offers the Buckeyes a chance to bolster their resume while also remaining one of only three unbeaten teams in the Big Ten. Wisconsin and Michigan are the other two programs yet to suffer a Big Ten loss.
Purdue even holds a loss, standing at 13-1 after falling to Rutgers on Monday, which could drop them off the No. 1 ranking come next week. Regardless, Thursday night’s game between Purdue and Ohio State (10-3) is a major showdown between Big Ten contenders.
Buckeyes short favorite
The Boilermakers, led by 7-foot-4 Zach Edey, are actually 1.5-point underdogs to Ohio State at most mobile sportsbooks, including BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, and FanDuel. Ohio State is a perfect 7-0 at home this season.
Purdue ranks fifth nationally in offensive efficiency, per KenPom.com. That’s in large part due to Edey, who averages 21.7 points, 13.4 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game. He does that while shooting 63.2% from the field and 73.1% from the free-throw line. Edey knows his strengths well, having never attempted a 3-pointer during his 78-game college career.
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Ohio State, like Purdue, is more efficient offensively than defensively. The Buckeyes rank in the top 10 nationally in offensive rebound percentage and in the top 20 nationally in effective field goal percentage. Only Arizona has a more efficient offense nationally, according to KenPom data.
Balance best describes Ohio State’s offense, as five players average at least 9.9 points per game. Brice Sensabaugh leads the way, averaging 15.9 points per contest. He’s a 46.6% 3-point shooter.
Thursday’s game has the potential to be a thrilling offensive battle, and the total for the matchup was listed at 141 at DraftKings and Caesars Sportsbook Thursday morning, while BetMGM and FanDuel used 141.5.
Big Ten odds
Purdue (+210) and Ohio State (+470) are the favorites to win the Big Ten regular-season title at FanDuel. Rutgers, which owns a win over Purdue, is close behind at +550.
Interestingly, the other two unbeaten teams in league play aren’t near the top of the odds board. Wisconsin is +1500 to win the Big Ten, while Michigan sits at +2200. Of the three unbeaten teams in the league, Ohio State is viewed as the most likely to win the conference title.
PointsBet lists the Buckeyes at +8000 to win the national title, while the Buckeyes are +5000 to win the national championship on FanDuel, the same odds as Xavier and Illinois. Xavier is playing phenomenal basketball, having just defeated UConn on Saturday when the Huskies were ranked No. 1 in the country. Xavier is +350 to win the Big East regular-season title on FanDuel, the second-shortest odds behind UConn at +130.
Unfortunately for fans, Ohio State and Xavier aren’t scheduled to play one another this season.
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