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Despite Losing Three Straight, Buckeyes Are 1.5-Point Favorites at Indiana; Hoosiers 10-1 SU at Home

Assembly Hall at Indiana University
Assembly Hall in Bloomington will host Ohio State vs Indiana this Saturday (Jan. 11th). Photo by Sean Benham (wkimedia commons).
  • Ohio State has lost three straight games following an 11-1 start
  • Indiana has scored 66 points or fewer in five straight, losing all five against the spread
  • The Buckeyes are 1.5-point road favorites at Assembly Hall on Saturday (Jan. 11th)

Despite losing three straight games, No. 11 Ohio State (11-4 overall, 1-2 away) is a 1.5-point favorite in its game at Indiana (12-3, 10-1 home) on Saturday (Jan. 11th, 12:00 PM ET) in Bloomington, where the Hoosiers are 10-1 this season.

#11 Ohio State vs Indiana Odds

Team Spread Over/Under
Ohio State -1.5 (-110) Over 134 (-110)
Indiana +1.5 (-110) Under 134 (-110)

Odds taken Jan. 10.

Ohio State’s losses during its skid have been 67-59 to West Virginia on a neutral court in Cleveland, 61-57 at home to Wisconsin, and 67-55 at Maryland on Tuesday (Jan. 7). The Buckeyes are also 2-4 since starting the season 9-0.

Indiana won its first eight games but has gone 4-3 in its last seven. The Hoosiers are coming off a narrow 66-62 victory over Northwestern at home after losing its previous two games, against Arkansas in Bloomington and at Maryland.

Shades of Last Winter

Ohio State’s swoon is puzzling yet familiar. The Buckeyes have been ranked as high as No. 2 in the Associated Press poll this season. They have also beaten both Villanova and North Carolina by 25 points each and downed Kentucky by six.

Yet Ohio State is following a path similar to a year ago. The Buckeyes opened the 2018-19 season by going 12-1 then lost five straight games.

Ohio State recovered from the skid to go 20-15 and reach the NCAA Tournament, winning a First Four game over Iowa State before bowing out in the Round of 64 to Houston. Will it bounce back again this season? Stay tuned.

It’s interesting to note, though, that the losing streak hasn’t affected their 2020 NCAA Tournament title odds, as they remain a top-five favorite.

Buckeyes’ Offense Disappears

The biggest problem for Ohio State during its losing streak has been an offense held under 60 points in all three games.

The Buckeyes are averaging just 57.0 PPG during that span while shooting 34.0 percent from the floor and 26.8 percent from 3-point range.

In its first 12 games, Ohio State scored 79.2 points a game. It also knocked down 49.1 percent of its field goal attempts and 40.9 of its shots from beyond the arc.

At least junior forward Kaleb Wesson has been slump-proof during the losing streak, scoring a combined 54 points, which is 32 percent of Ohio State’s total. He leads the Buckeyes in scoring (14.7 PPG) and rebounding (9.3 RPG).

Points Scarce for IU, Too

Indiana has also struggled on the offense end since Thanksgiving. The Hoosiers have scored 66 points or fewer in four straight games and seven of their last nine. They averaged 90.1 in their first six games, though all were against non-Power Five opponents.

Indiana does have scorers, with four players averaging double figures, led by freshman forward Trayce Jackson-Davis. He leads the Hoosiers with averages of 15.2 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.

Also scoring in double digits are junior forward Justin Smith (12.2), senior guard Devonte Green (12.0), and junior guard Aljami Durham (11.3).

Here are how the two teams match up in key KenPom.com categories.

Ohio State
VS
Indiana

111.1 (14th) Adjusted offensive efficiency 107.8 (41st)
86.5 (6th) Adjusted defensive efficiency 92.9 (56th)
67.4 (261st) Adjusted tempo 69.6 (158th)

Miller Time

Archie Miller is in his third year as Indiana’s coach and the Hoosiers look like they could break out after going 16-15 and 19-16 in his first two seasons.

Indiana began showing it could play with the Big Ten’s top programs late last season when it knocked off Wisconsin and Michigan State in consecutive home games.

Miller is 0-3 against Ohio State, though one loss was by two points and the other by three in double overtime – both in Bloomington.

Ohio State was 10-2 against the spread before its current losing streak. Meanwhile, Indiana has been the losing side in its last five games and is 7-8 ATS overall.

The Hoosiers have played the Buckeyes tough at Assembly Hall and catch Ohio State at the right time. Indiana will finish the job at Assembly Hall.

The pick: Indiana +1.5 (-110)

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