Hopefully yesterday’s news of positive COVID-tests won’t halt No. 15 Ohio State’s (8-2, 2-0) momentum, because they’ve got it on both the court and with the oddsmakers right now. The Buckeyes were picked to finish fourth in the unofficial Big Ten media poll before the season, and a 4-2 start raised some eyebrows if this team has what it takes to tangle with the top dogs in the B1G. Those four wins included close calls over Akron and Niagara — two teams they should have easily dispatched.
But since their rocky start, the Buckeyes have won four straight games including defeating then-No. 1 Duke as well as ranked teams in Seton Hall and Wisconsin. Due to the team being on pause, they aren’t going to face another quality opponent until 2022, and their sterling record should only get better for the final few weeks of 2021 — as long as they can play.
BREAKING: The Schottenstein Center roof is now 25 feet higher. pic.twitter.com/PJakhe0lWE— Ohio State Hoops (@OhioStateHoops) December 12, 2021
The oddsmakers have taken notice as well, and Ohio State’s odds of winning the B1G have slightly increased over the past three weeks. On Nov. 24, Ohio State had the fourth-best odds to win the conference at +750. Today, Ohio State is tied with Illinois for the third-best odds to win the title at +600. They trail only Purdue (+150) and Michigan (+350) according to DraftKings Sportsbook. Ohio State’s last regular season Big Ten title came in 2012.
The Boilermakers have tightened their grip at the top due to their 9-1 start and quick rise to No. 1 in the AP Poll — before losing to Rutgers and falling to No. 3 in the AP Poll. Regardless, they’re playing great basketball this season. Michigan’s odds dipped a little after a shaky 6-4 start, but Vegas still likes the Wolverines’ knack for turning it on towards the end of the season each year.
The Buckeyes have slightly better odds to make it to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament than to win the conference — go figure. According to DraftKings, Ohio State has the 15th-best chance to make it to New Orleans — perfectly coinciding with their No. 15 AP Poll ranking — at +500. The only B1G teams with better odds to make the Final Four are Purdue (+180) and Michigan (+425). Illinois has identical odds +500.
The Buckeyes’ next scheduled game is this Tuesday evening against the University of Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks at 7:00 p.m. ET at the Schott. This is, of course, pending COVID testing the Buckeyes will continue to undergo this weekend and early next week. Make sure to follow along online and on Twitter @LandGrant33 for all news regarding your COVID-stricken BasketBucks!