The Ohio State Buckeyes are primed for a deep run in the West region and they take their first step as a big favorite against the Iona Gaels.
The Buckeyes, champions of the tough Big Ten, are 13.5-point favorites over the MAAC champs from Iona. Its a 2 vs 15 battle, which produced two huge upsets a year ago.
In reality, the Gaels will need a huge performance from guard Lamont Jones just to stay close. The Buckeyes have been on a roll, winning 8 in a row (7-1 ATS) and dominating as a favorite (6-1 ATS).
Iona won five straight to end the year, and the OVER might be an intriguing bet here (7-1 past 8 as double-digit underdog).
The Gaels will look to vanquish their hosts on Friday, as they are 15-16 ATS versus the spread this season, while the Buckeyes are 19-12 ATS. Iona is 16-11 against the total, while Ohio State is 11-18-1 versus the number.
Bettors looking to back visiting Iona before tip-off in this one found them as 13.5-point underdogs over at Sportsbook.ag earlier.
Power Rankings / Prediction:
It's a betting matchup between the No. 22-rated Buckeyes and the No. 179-ranked Gaels, according to the latest pro hoops power rankings here at Odds Shark. Prediction formulas run on this game indicate a possible 82-76 result in favor of the Buckeyes.
How They Match Up:
When it comes to rebounds, the visiting Gaels rank No. 110 in NCAA Division 1 with 36 per game. That compares with Ohio State’s No. 131 ranking in that category. The story is different when it comes to three-point shooting where Ohio State is college basketball's No. 179-ranked team at 6 per game, while the Gaels rate No. 15 with 8.4 per game.
Defensively, Iona features the nation's No. 304-rated defense on the road, allowing 75.3 points per game. Ohio State, meanwhile, comes in at No. 136 nationally in scoring at home.
Last time out for Iona, they were a 60-57 winner as they battled Manhattan at home. They failed to cover in the match as a 4-point favorite. Iona earned a 60-57 victory over Manhattan on Monday, getting 20 points from Tre Bowman at MassMutual Center.
Last time out for Ohio State, they were a 50-43 winner as they battled Wisconsin at home. They covered in the match as a 2-point favorite. Ohio State got 17 points from Deshaun Thomas en route to a 50-43 victory over Wisconsin on Sunday at United Center.
Iona Gaels Trends:
When playing on Friday are 6-4
After playing Manhattan are 7-3
After a win are 7-3
Ohio State Buckeyes Trends:
When playing on Friday are 8-2
After playing Wisconsin are 8-2
After a win are 8-2
A few Gaels at Buckeyes trends to consider:
Ohio State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Ohio State's last 8 games