TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASKETBALL SELECTION SUNDAY, JANUARY 26TH
#857 OHIO ST (-) over Northwestern at 6:30 PM EST
Clinging to a mediocre 12-7 SU record (2-6 SU in the Big 10) and off back-to-back blemishes to Penn State and Minnesota, Ohio State will travel to the Windy City on Sunday night and smash Northwestern. The Purple Cats just dropped three straight to Iowa, Illinois and Maryland and they’ll have their hands full with this frustrated Buckeyes squad.
If the loss to the Golden Gophers and Nittany Lions won’t motivate OSU, then the reminder of their 68-50 beating on this very same floor in their last meeting against the Wildcats will be more than enough to do the trick. Counting that embarrassing loss, the Buckeyes still own a stunning 41-6 SU in the last 47 meetings in this series. Also, as a guest arriving off two or more straight up losses, Ohio State carries a respectable 20-11-2 ATS mark provided it is running the court against a foe that checks in off a straight up loss. If the Buckeyes scoot in off a pointspread loss as well, this team trend jets to a reliable 16-4-2 ATS including 15-2 ATS if their opponent holds a team won/loss percentage of .750 or less.
Since that awesome March Madness run back in 2017, Northwestern has fallen on hard times inking a weak 34-48 SU and 28-40-3 ATS mark in its last 82 games. In this setting priced competitively between -8.5 and +8.5, the Purple Cats have been at their financial worst too notching a stiff 15-34-3 ATS mark including a woeful 5-22 SU and 5-20-2 ATS if this is a Big 10 game. Also, in their own backyard checking in off a blowout loss of 10 points or more, Northwestern has failed to respond posting a feeble 46-76-1 ATS mark in its next battle including just 25-51-1 ATS if the Cats are priced as an underdog.
With a February schedule that is one of the most difficult in the conference, the Buckeyes need this win (and cover) badly. The Wildcats are the worst team they’ll face the rest of the way out and slipping here isn’t an option. Take Ohio State. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
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