College Basketball Betting Preview: Michigan State Spartans vs. Ohio State Buckeyes – Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021

The Michigan State Spartans will look to save their season on Sunday afternoon when they take on the Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus. Tom Izzo’s team comes into the game with a 2-5 mark in Big Ten play after losing five of their last seven games.

The Buckeyes enter the game having won five of their last six games and a 13-4 record overall and 7-4 mark in league play.

The game is scheduled for a 1:00 PM EST tip-off with the Buckeyes favored by seven points at home. The total is set to 143.5 points.

Are the Spartans really this bad?

Michigan State is another in a long list of blue blood programs that are struggling to get it together in 2021. Rocket Watts has been unable to fill the void left by Cassius Winston and Aaron Henry has been good but he is not Xavier Tillman.

The Spartans are coming off of one the most embarrassing losses in program history when they put just 37 points on the board in a game against Rutgers at the RAC. The Spartans scored just 0.57 points per possession and turned the ball over 21 times while recording just eight assists. On top of that, they shot a horrific 4-20 from behind the arc.

The Spartans are just 3-10 against the spread on the season and and 1-4 ATS on the road. The total has hit the under in four of their five road games.

Ohio State keeps climbing the latter

This Ohio State team continues to win games despite not having a star player to really speak of. That said, Duane Washington and E.J. Liddell are one of the best inside-out duos in what is arguably the best conference in the entire nation. Liddell has been particularly hot lately scoring at least 20 points in three of his last four games and logging seven rebounds in all of his last four games.

The Buckeyes continue to be one of the most efficient offenses in the nation as well, currently ranking as the fifth best team in the metric according to Ken Pomeroy’s rankings. They don’t turn opponents over very often but that has yet to become an issue as most defenses can’t stop their well spread offense.

Ohio State has a 9-7-1 record against the spread on the season while logging a 5-4 mark ATS at home. The total has gone under in five of their nine home games on the season.

Michigan State at Ohio State (-7) – Total: 143.5 points

Bovada has the spread favoring the home Buckeyes by 7 points after the spread opened at 7.5. The total opened at 145.5 points but has shrunk to 143.5. Ohio State is -290 on the moneyline while Michigan State is +240.

The Pick

Ohio State is the easy and best side of this game. The only team that Michigan State has beaten on the road this season apart from Duke is Nebraska and that Duke game feels like forever ago. With Gabe Brown being out for Michigan State the Spartans will again be low on firepower. It’s doubtful that Rocket Watts is going to put it together in a road league game either. Ohio State to cover.

Spooky Express Free Pick: Ohio State Buckeyes -7

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