College Basketball Betting Preview: Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes – Sunday, Jan 3, 2021

The Ohio State Buckeyes will travel to Minneapolis for a Sunday evening matchup with the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The Buckeyes enter the game with an 8-2 record overall and a 2-2 record in the Big Ten.

Minnesota is 9-2 overall on the season while also being 2-2 in the Big Ten. Richard Pitino’s team is fresh off of a thorough whooping at the hands of top ten Wisconsin on the road and will be looking to get their offense back on track.

Ohio State is a 1-point road favorite against a Gophers team that is a perfect 9-0 at home on the season. The game tips off at 5:30 PM EST.

The jury is still out on the Buckeyes

Ohio State is truly a “sum of their parts” type team this season. In years past, the Buckeyes typically boasted some sort of blue chip talent to carry them. This season, they are led by experience and efficiency. There are only two freshmen on this Buckeyes roster and neither player more than 15 minutes per game.

Of Ohio State’s five leading scorers, four of them are juniors or seniors. The outlier, sophomore EJ Liddell, was a top 50 recruit in the 2019 recruiting class.

Duane Washington leads this Buckeyes group in scoring at 14.3 points per game. One other player to watch on the court is Harvard graduate transfer Seth Towns. The oft-injured star has made it back to the court over the last month and played well in Ohio State’s last two games, scoring 11 points in each while logging fewer than 20 minutes either.

Ohio State is just 1-2 straight up in true road games this season but is 7-0 SU as the favorite. Overall, the Buckeyes are just 5-4-1 against the spread while splitting their ten games against the total at 5-5.

The Gophers need their Carr in good working order

For Minnesota, the formula is quite simple: When Marcus Carr plays well, they win. Its not very scientific but few things in college basketball are truer. Carr is currently the third leading scorer in the Big Ten at 250 total points and 22.7 points per game. In the Golden Gophers biggest victories of the season (Saint Louis, Iowa, Michigan State), the senior guard averaged a whopping 27 points per game.

Though the Gophers were torched in Madison, Gabe Kalscheur did show signs of life from deep. The junior sharpshooter is drilling just 21% from deep so far on the season, far below his 35% career mark. Kalscheur went 3-10 in the Wisconsin game which isn’t overly efficiency but he looked confident in his shot during the game.

Minnesota is also not a dynamo against the spread at 5-5-1 on the season. At home, that number improves to 5-3-1 ATS. The total has gone over in six of their nine games at home this season.

Ohio State (-1) at Minnesota – Total: 147.5 points

Bovada has Ohio State as a one point favorite on the road. The total is set at 147.5 points. The Buckeyes are juiced on the moneyline at -120 while the Gophers are +100.

The Pick

It is difficult to get a firm grasp on either one of these teams but Minnesota at even money with homecourt advantage is the side you want to be on today. Ohio State is good and experienced but they don’t shoot the ball very well from deep and that is what you need to do on the road to be good teams.

Carr underwhelmed against Wisconsin on the road, he is too good to be below average for very long. Look for him to lead the Gophers to a home victory. Take the over.

Spooky Express Free Play – Over 147.5

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