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Ohio State, Penn State Both Looking To Get Out Of Losing Funks

Ohio State vs Penn State Betting Odds January 18 2020

The bad news is for the Buckeyes is they’ve lost four of their last five games and are winless on the road this season. The good news is they’re visiting Penn State on Saturday, who have won just two of their last 11 home games against Ohio State.

Ohio State Buckeyes vs Penn State Nittany Lions

Opening Odds Analysis

The Buckeyes opened as 1.5-point road favorites, even though they have yet to win on the road this season and have lost four of their last five games. This is likely due to them being considered an overall better team than Penn State. The Nittany Lions enter the game having lost three straight and Ohio State has won nine of the last 11 games at Penn State.

The last 10 meetings have an average total of 143.8 points, but with the Buckeyes being a defensive powerhouse and Penn State getting by with their offense, this game opened a little lower at 138.5 points.

Ohio State News & Notes

After an 11-1 start, which included wins over Villanova, UNC and Kentucky, the wheels have fallen off for the Buckeyes of late. They broke a four-game losing streak with an 80-68 win over Nebraska on Tuesday, but are just 1-5 ATS in their last six games.

The Buckeyes allow just 59.9 points per game, the 17th-fewest in the country, but have allowed 65.6 points per game over their last six contests. Combine that with an offense that is 277th in the nation in offensive pace, failed to break the 60-point threshold in each of their last four losses and only has one player averaging more than 11 points per game — Kaleb Wesson — and it’s easy to see where the Buckeyes need improvement to right the ship. 

They started to show signs of offensive life against Nebraska, and in facing a Nittany Lions team that is just average in scoring defense, they may be able to try and build some momentum.

Penn State News & Notes

Penn State would normally be thrilled to face an Ohio State team that comes into Saturday’s game in a slump, except the Nittany Lions are reeling themselves entering this contest.

They’ve dropped three straight games, the latest being a 75-69 loss on Wednesday to Minnesota. That’s dropped Penn State to just 2-4 SU in conference play this season, and they have covered the spread just once in their last seven games against Big Ten schools.

The Nittany Lions lead the Big Ten in steals and blocked shots, but they’re just 11th in scoring defense. They also struggle with three-pointers, as they’re 10th in the Big Ten at 30.7 percent (but lead the conference with 436 attempts), while they have the second-highest opponent three-point percentage allowed. That doesn’t bode well against an Ohio State team that has a conference-best 38.2 percent mark from beyond the arc.

Betting Pick: OHIO STATE -1.5

The Buckeyes matchup well to exploit Penn State defensively. With a strong defense of their own, plus a very tight spread, I like Ohio State to cover and earn their first road win this season.

Shark Bites
  • Penn State is 1-5-1 ATS in its last 7 games.
  • Ohio State is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games vs Penn State.
  • The OVER has hit in 13 of the last 20 games in this matchup.