The Buckeyes tipped off their 2019 – 2020 campaign last week with a hard fought 64 – 56 win at home against Cincinnati as 5.5 point favorites covering the number easily. After that, OSU played Massachusetts- Lowell as 23-point favorites but were unable to cover the number with a 76 -56 victory. Both of those games fell under the points total, which is a bit of a theme I am seeing early on in the college basketball season.
It Could be a bit of rust on the part of teams just getting back into the season or maybe there is an even simpler reason; the lengthening of the 3-point line to international distance of 22 feet 1 ¾ inches rather than the 20 feet 9 inches it has been since 2008. This is something I will be keeping an eye on in the early going of college basketball. Those things should even out over time but for now teams are having to adjust to it and seems as though it is affecting the total points scored in games.
Ohio State Bucketes Basketball Over/Under wins on the Season and Title Odds
Coming into the season, bookmakers set OSU’s season win total at 22.5 which is an attainable number for a team that is on the rise, even if the Buckeyes and the Big10 in general should be down a bit after losing many of its stars to last year’s NBA draft. OSU will be looking improve on their disappointing 8 – 12 mark in conference play last year and are currently listed as +800 to win the Big10 title. It will be a tall task with front runner Michigan State the class of the league; the AP No. 1 to start the season and the odds on favorite to win the national title… although they did drop their first game of the season to Kentucky who then suffered an upset at the hands of the mighty Evansville Aces and Walter McCarty.
There are no real national title talks for the Buckeyes at this point but with +3300 odds it may be worth a small play. In March this team will go as far as Center Kaleb Wesson can take them. Wesson, a 6’9 270lb Junior will be in consideration for Big10 player of the year and will be hoping to bully his way to at least a sweet 16 come March.
Up next for the buckeyes is a top twenty battle with No. 10 Villanova on November 13 at Value City arena. It should be a great game and nice early season test for the Buckeyes. An interesting note on the game is that coach Chris Holtmann, in his third year at OSU, had great success in 2017 while coach a Butler, beating the wildcats and coach Jay Wright twice in that season. Villanova is down two key components from last years team in Guard Phil Booth and Forward Eric Paschall both of whom will be sorely missed, at least in the early going.
The line has yet to be released on this matchup, if were to venture a guess it would be Villanova – 2.5. Given Holtmann’s record against Wright in the past and energized crowd that should be on hand at Value City arena I like the Buckeyes in a close one.
After Wednesdays game with the Wildcats the Buckeyes next real test comes on December 4th against North Carolina.