The top two seeds in the East Region clash Saturday with Ohio State favored to take out top seed Syracuse at most online sportsbooks.
The Buckeyes advanced with a steady beatdown of Cincinnati Thursday, easily covering the point spread. Syracuse was good and lucky in edging Wisconsin by a point.
The Orange are just 3-7 ATS in their past 10 and they lost to the same Bearcats team in the Big East tournament that Ohio State just crushed. OSU opened as 2.5-point favorites at 5Dimes.
Buckeyes bettors have been profiting from the OVER play lately, as the team is 9-1 favoring the OVER in their past 10 games overall. Syracuse is just 2-8 ATS in their past 10 games overall and Fab Melo's absence could finally be the difference for the Orange today.
The Buckeyes will try to spoil to the party on Saturday; they are 19-14 ATS against the number this season, while the Orange are 17-18 ATS. Ohio State is 20-12-1 on the totals; Syracuse is 16-18-1.
The visitors opened as 3-point favorites in this one at most sportsbooks tracked at Odds Shark.
Power Rankings / Prediction:
According to new college basketball power rankings here, it's the No. 6-ranked Orange and the No. 4-rated Buckeyes in this matchup. Computer formulas aimed at predicting NCAAB scores point to a 83-81 win for the Buckeyes on Saturday.
How They Match Up:
In the paint, the rebound battle will feature Syracuse's No. 143-rated squad against Ohio State's No. 45-rated roster. And in long-range shooting, Syracuse rates No. 158 in the country with 6.3 per game, while their foes tonight rank No. 285 nationally with 5.1 per match.
Defensively, Ohio State features the nation's No. 45-rated defense on the road, allowing 63.9 points per game. Syracuse, meanwhile, comes in at No. 97 nationally in scoring at home.
Ohio State was an 81-66 winner in its last match at home against Cincinnati. They covered the 7.5-point spread as favorites. Deshaun Thomas went off for 26 points and added 7 rebounds, leading Ohio State over Cincinnati, 81-66, on Thursday at TD Banknorth Garden.
Syracuse won its last outing, a 64-63 result against Wisconsin on March 22. They failed to cover in that game as a 3-point favorite. C.J. Fair scored 15 points leading the Orange to a 64-63 victory over Wisconsin at TD Banknorth Garden on Thursday.