A defensive battle should be expected when the No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes (11-2, 1-1 Big 10) and the Wisconsin Badgers (8-5, 1-1 Big 10) clash at Value City Arena. Action gets underway at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, January 3, 2020.
Wisconsin Badgers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Betting Preview
The Badgers won big over the Rider Broncs in their last matchup, 65-37. Nate Reuvers was the top scorer from either team with 15 points on 6-for-11 shooting. Wisconsin’s effective field goal percentage was their largest advantage over Rider. The Badgers had a rate of 0.555 (above their season average of 0.515), while the Broncs posted a mark of 0.262 (below their season average of 0.488).
In the Buckeyes’ last game, they were blown out by the No. 22 West Virginia Mountaineers, 67-59. Kaleb Wesson led Ohio State in scoring with 17 points on 3-for-11 shooting. West Virginia forced the Buckeyes into a turnover percentage of 26.6 (above their season average of 16.9). Ohio State, meanwhile, did an excellent job of getting and making free throws (21-29; 72.4 percent).
This is the first time these teams will clash this year. The Badgers won the sole contest played against each other last season, 73-67. The Badgers dominated nearly every stat category in the game. They had a free throw rate of 0.185 and an offensive rebounding percentage of 23.3. For those same stats, the Buckeyes were 0.121 and 17.8, respectively.
Half-court execution will be critical when two of the nation’s slowest-paced teams face off. Ohio State currently ranks 294th in possessions per game (67.3) and Wisconsin is 343rd (64.7).
Wisconsin at Ohio State Free Prediction
Prediction: SU Winner – Ohio State, ATS Winner – Ohio State, O/U – Over
The Buckeyes allow the 21st-fewest blocks per game (2.4) while the Badgers rank 47th (2.8).
Ohio State ranks 15th in assists allowed per game (9.4) while Wisconsin ranks 38th (10.5).
Ohio State ranks 29th in rebounds per game (40.2) while Wisconsin ranks 201st (34.4).
The Badgers rank 20th in three pointers allowed per game (17.6) while the Buckeyes rank 128th (22.0).
Ohio State is 11th in the country with 4.7 steals allowed per game while Wisconsin is 39th with 5.5 steals allowed per game.
The Buckeyes’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 9.8, down from 19.5 for the season.
During their last five games, the Badgers have scored an average of 73.0 points per game (4.0 above their season average) and allowed an average of 57.0 points per game (3.5 below their season average).