The 3rd-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes take to the road to face the Michigan State Spartans in Thursday night Big Ten basketball action live from the Jack Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing, Michigan, beginning at 9 pm EST. The Buckeyes are currently favored by 4-points, down from 4.5-points at the opening.
The Buckeyes' win streak came to an end in their last matchup as they were outlasted at home by the highly-ranked Michigan Wolverines last Sunday despite getting monster performances from Duane Washington, Jr. along with with EJ Liddell, who posted a double-double. However, the Buckeyes uncharacteristically gave up over 50% shooting to the Wolverines while also giving up 11 3-pointers en route to only their 5th loss of the year. They failed to cover as 1.5-point dogs, yet, are winners of 5 of their last 6 versus the spread.
The Spartans won their 2nd-straight after a solid win versus the Illinois Fighting Illini Tuesday night as they opened up a 10-point halftime lead and never looked back as the team were able to get another big performance from Aaron Henry in addition to getting a double-double from Jesse Langford. Defensively, Michigan State held leading scorer Ayo Dosunmu to 6-18 shooting while missing 5 of 6 attempts from long-range for 17 points (4 turnovers). The Spartans also covered as 6.5-point favorites versus the Fighting Illini; Yet, are just 2-4 ATS in their last 6, overall.
The Buckeyes were able to halt a 4-game losing skid to the Spartans in their last matchup late-January. Michigan State has also won 5-straight at the Breslin Center. The Spartans have not only covered the spread in 6 of 10 versus their conference foe, but, are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 at home.
Buckeyes seek to atone for lossDespite Washington, Jr. (16 ppg) along with Liddell (16 ppg, 7 rebs) combining for 8 treys versus the Wolverines, Ohio State was unable to close out Michigan at home. The loss dropped them to 17-5 on the season with remaining games versus a motivated Spartans team on the road following by their final 2 home regular season games versus a tough Iowa Hawkeyes squad while finishing up at home versus a highly-ranked Illinois Fighting Illini team.
Jae'Sean Tate flips it up over his head!— NBA (@NBA) February 23, 2021
Tight game at the half on NBA LP pic.twitter.com/csggCX62pT
This means that the team will certainly be relying on Washington, Jr., who has posted solid minutes as of late along with Liddell, who has been equally as solid for Ohio State. Important to add that each are shooting 37 and 38% from long-range on the year. On the other hand, Washington, Jr. went just 2-10 FG along with 2-6 from deep for just 8 points in their win over the Spartans January 31st while Liddell led with 20 points and 8 boards on 6-12 shooting (1-3 3FG).
Justice Suing (10 ppg) along with CJ Walker (9 ppg) also posted double-digits in the contest; However, Suing has really struggled in recent matchups averaging just 6 points in his last 4 outings. Walker is coming off a 15-point night versus Michigan as he finished 6-9 from the field (3 turnovers).
Henry continues stellar play in win over IllinoisHenry (15 ppg, 6 rebs) posted 20 points or more in 3 of his last 5 outings including 20 points and 6 boards versus the Fighting Illini. In fact, he was instrumental on both ends of the floor collecting 2 blocks in the contest, his 4th in 3 games. However, he struggled mightily late last month versus Ohio State going just 2-8 from the field (0-4 3FG) for 10 points while Langford (10 ppg), who recorded 13 points and 16 rebounds versus Illinois, led the team with 14 points on an awful shooting night (4-15 FG/2-9 3FG).Joey Hauser (10 ppg), who has turned in some big performances as of late for the Spartans and was able to post 11 points on a night where he struggled as well.
Defend. Rebound. Run. CELEBRATE ✅ pic.twitter.com/6fHpOko1Vz— Michigan State Basketball (@MSU_Basketball) February 24, 2021
Rocket Watts (8 ppg), despite posting 15 points versus the Fighting Illini, struggled in last month's loss to the Buckeyes as he missed 7 of 9 from the floor for only 6 points as the Spartans shot a miserable 32% as a team while connecting on just 21% of their shots in the 17-point road loss.
Nonetheless, the Spartans have posted 77 points or more in 4 of their last 6 at home versus the Buckeyes. On the other hand, their defense, which is allowing 71 points on 42% shooting (31% 3FG), has given up an average of 67 points during this time.
Stats & Trends
- Buckeyes are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss.
- Favorite is 11-2 ATS in the last 13 meetings.
- Spartans are 2-6 ATS in last 8 games.
- Spartans are 1-4 ATS in last 5 games.
While the Buckeyes have not done well for themselves versus the number versus the Spartans in recent matchups, I like them to cover the spread in this instance as they are not only 5-0 ATS in their last 5 road games, but, the team will take the floor seeking to atone for their most recent loss to the Wolverines. In all, there is still much basketball still to be played if you are Ohio State and they simply cannot afford to let up with 3 huge games remaining.