By: Matthew Vale
Spread: Ohio State -3
February 28th, 2021. 3:00 PM Value City Arena, Columbus, OH
Top 10 matchup in the Big 10 this afternoon as #4 Ohio State welcomes #9 Iowa to Columbus in a battle to see who will retain a double bye in the Big 10 tournament.
Iowa Hawkeyes (17-7,11-6)
Since losing 2 in a row in early February, the Hawkeyes rattled off 4 straight wins before getting blown out of the gym by Michigan on Thursday. The Wolverines were able to shut down the mighty Iowa offense, holding them to a season low 57 points. Even Luka Garza had a rough night scoring only 16 points on 6 of 19 shooting. The Hawkeyes are still a top tier team but it’s feeling like they are losing their elite status. A loss here would hurt the cause even more as Iowa would tumble down to 5th in the Big 10 standings which would cost them a double bye in the Big 10 tournament.
Ohio State Buckeyes (18-6, 12-6)
Ohio State might be the least sexy top 5 team maybe in history, but the Buckeyes will gladly take that honor as they have absolutely earned their #4 ranking. The Buckeyes have won 7 of their last 9 games but they have lost their last two games to the two Michigan schools. Within their 7 game win streak, the Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes by 4 points in Iowa City almost a month ago. Ohio State’s bread and butter is their offense as they are ranked 3rd in the country in offensive efficiency. They are vulnerable on defense though as they rank 87th in defensive efficiency.
While Iowa has been solid on the road (5-4), Ohio State has been dominant at home with a 10-2 record at Value City Arena. Overall Ohio State is 13-3 ATS as a favorite and they are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games. On the flip side, Iowa has been struggling ATS as of late as they are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games. Head to head Ohio State is 4-2 ATS with Iowa in their last 6 matchups including an ATS win against the Hawkeyes earlier this year. With all that being said with the eye test, I think Ohio State will win this game straight up so it just becomes a matter of how much. I think it will be close but I do think Ohio State will do enough to win by 2 possessions. Take Ohio State -3 for a unit.
Matthew’s college basketball record 20/21: 8-6