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Ohio State MBB’s Big Ten, Final Four odds slip after COVID hits team

The Buckeyes now have the fourth-best odds to win the conference according to DraftKings Sportsbook.

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Ohio State has not played in a basketball game in over three weeks since beating Wisconsin on Dec. 11, and Vegas has adjusted their expectations for the Buckeyes accordingly. Since that last game, COVID-19 has swept through the locker room, impacting enough players to force No. 13 Ohio State (8-2, 2-0) to cancel games against No. 18 Kentucky, UT-Martin, and New Orleans.

Our friends at Draftkings Sportsbook have tweaked the Buckeyes’ Final Four odds accordingly, dropping them from +500 two weeks ago to +800 this week, which is the 15th-highest in the country — tied with No. 12 Houston and just ahead of the Memphis Tigers. Purdue (+180) Illinois (+700), and Michigan (+750) are the three B1G teams with better odds to make it to New Orleans than the Buckeyes.

While their Final Four odds dropped a bit, the Buckeyes’ odds to win the conference title held steady at +600 despite not playing for awhile. However, the odds of the teams around them have moved as such that Ohio State no longer has the third-best odds to win the conference — they have the fourth.

Purdue is the favorite at +160 (down from +150), followed by Illinois at +500 (up from +600), and Michigan at +500 (down from +350). Despite poor play, the Wolverines still have the second-best odds to win the conference. Doesn’t seem like the smartest bet right now, but hey.

The Buckeyes’ next scheduled game is tonight at Nebraska (6-7, 0-2) at 8 p.m. ET. That game will be broadcast on BTN. The Buckeyes were able to get a mostly full-team practice in yesterday, according to an Ohio State athletics’ rep. As long as all goes according to plan, the Basketbucks will resume play this weekend after three weeks off.