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Despite being 3-9 in Big Ten play, Ohio State is actually favored over Northwestern tonight

The Buckeyes got one of their three B1G win over the Wildcats on Jan. 1.

NCAA Basketball: Ohio State at Northwestern David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Tamanini Matt Tamanini is the co-managing editor of Land-Grant Holy Land having joined the site in 2016.

Friends, a lot has changed for the Ohio State men’s basketball team since New Year’s Day. When the Buckeyes traveled to Evanston, Ill., they were 9-3 and coming off back-to-back games scoring 90 or more points.

On the first day of 2023, Chris Holtmann’s squad earned their second conference win to start their Big Ten slate. They beat the Northwestern Wildcats — who were 10-2 at the time — by an impressive score of 73-57. Following that W, the Buckeyes had the second-best odds to win the Big Ten according to DraftKings SportsBook behind only Purdue.

Since then, Ohio State has gone 1-9, losing each of those nine games by single digits except for one (86-70 vs. Indiana), and the average losing margin has been 6.3 points per game. The Buckeyes currently sit at 13th in the Big Ten, ahead of only the Minnesota Golden Gophers (7-15, 1-11), who Ohio State lost to on Jan. 12 by a score of 70-67.

So, knowing all of those painful facts, you might be surprised to know that Holtmann and his team actually enters Thursday’s home matchup against Northwestern as 5.5-point favorites again according to DraftKings SportsBook.

The oddsmakers have the total points line at 137, which means that they are projecting a final score in the neighborhood of 71-66 in favor of the Buckeyes. I know that bookmakers make their money getting these types of things right, and they are often eerily accurate with their projections, but I’ve watched enough Buckeye basketball this season to not expect to much.

So, while I would love to see the bookmakers proven correct and for the Buckeyes to get another check in the Win Column, but there ain’t no chance that I would put money on it at this point. However, I live in a state that does not have legalized sports betting, so what do I know? If you decide to place a bet on this game — either for or against Ohio State — I wish you luck, because my nerves will be frayed enough as it is even without having a few bucks on the line.

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.