Ohio State vs Northwestern Picks and Odds

Northwestern Wildcats

Northwestern guard Chase Audige (1) celebrates with guard Boo Buie after scoring a basket during the first half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff in Evanston, Ill., Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
  • #23 Ohio State is an X-point road favorite versus Northwestern on Boxing Day (Dec. 26, 2 pm EST)
  • The Wildcats are fresh off wins over #4 Michigan State and Indiana
  • See below for analysis, odds and a betting prediction

A pair of red-hot Big Ten programs clash on Boxing Day (Dec. 26, 2 pm EST) as #23 Ohio State travels to Northwestern. The Buckeyes are coming off back-to-back impressive wins over UCLA and #11 Rutgers, while the Wildcats followed up their stunning win against #4 Michigan State, with an impressive victory at Indiana.

#23 Ohio State vs Northwestern Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Ohio State Buckeyes -3.5 (-110) -172 Over 140.5 (-105)
Northwestern Wildcats +3.5 (-110) +144 Under 140.5 (-115)

Odds taken Dec. 25th.

Ohio State opened up as a X-point favorite, looking to capture its first road victory of the season. The Buckeyes fell to Purdue in their only other road game this season, but were without one of their leading scorers E.J. Liddell due to an illness.

Buckeyes Rally vs Rutgers

It’s no coincidence that Ohio State’s play has drastically improved in the two games since Liddell’s return. The 6-foot-7 Sophomore poured in 21 points versus the Scarlet Knights, and was instrumental in the Buckeyes’ second half surge that propelled them to victory.

Along with teammates Duane Washington (22 points), and Kyle Young (17 points, 12 rebounds), Ohio State erased a 16-point second half deficit, keyed by a late 20-1 run. They shot 46.6% from the field, and won the rebounding battle by 20.

They now head to Northwestern, brimming with confidence after two straight resume building wins, but will be in for a fight against a very underrated Wildcats team.

Northwestern Not to be Taken Lightly

Northwestern’s win last Sunday versus Michigan State, was its first over a top-5 program since 1979. The Wildcats followed up the shocking victory, by a beating a very good Hoosiers team that ranks 18th in KenPom’s efficiency ratings.

They’re 2-0 to start Big Ten play for the first time since 2005-06, and with a win over the Buckeyes can start 3-0 for the first time since 1967-68. They went on to finish fourth in the conference that season, their best showing in the Big Ten in the last 60 years.

They were lights out from the field versus Indiana, knocking down 56% of their shots, led by Chase Audige’s 17 points. For the season, all five Northwestern starters average in double-figures, and they’re one of the best shooting teams in the nation.

The entered play Wednesday versus the Hoosiers averaging 90.4 points per game, while knocking down 43.5% of their 3-point attempts. Audige, Boo Buie and Miller Kopp combined to go 7-for-13 from behind the arc, after shooting a combined 50% from 3 against the Spartans.

Roll with the Wildcats

The Wildcats are 4-1 against the spread this season, beating the number in both games where they were catching points. They’re a better shooting and rebounding team than Ohio State and have a major size advantage if they choose to exploit it.

The Buckeyes meanwhile, are rolling but lack the depth needed to be considered an elite program. Only four players on the roster average above 7.1 points per game, and the bench provided just 16 points against Rutgers.

Northwestern meanwhile, features seven players that average north of 8 points per outing, and have gotten at least 20 points from its bench in every game this season.

Pick: Northwestern Wildcats +X (-110)

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