Rutgers Vs. Ohio State Odds, Picks, Predictions (12/8/22)

Rutgers pulled off an impressive win to start Big Ten play and now set their sights on another formidable opponent when they take on the Ohio State Buckeyes. In a matchup with two different styles of play, this shapes up to be an interesting one as Ohio State still looks to get their first impressive win of the season. Will that come against this feisty Rutgers squad?

Rutgers Vs. Ohio State Odds

Oddsmakers think so as this number opened up at +6.5 in Ohio State’s favor. Bettors are in a disagreement as they were quick to pound on Rutgers, taking them as low as +5.5 in some shops. With both units having key advantages over each other, this will come down to who can capitalize more on their respected possessions.

As for the total, oddsmakers believe points will come at a premium as they opened the total at 136. Bettors believe otherwise, hitting the over and taking this as high as 137.5. This comes as a surprise as Rutgers is one of the best defenses in basketball, proving their ability to turn the game into their style of play and halting scoring production.

Rutgers Vs. Ohio State Prediction & Pick

The Pick: Rutgers +6

With that said, I will be backing Rutgers at +4 or higher. When it comes to an elite offense in a battle against an elite defense, I tend to lean with the defense. Cut the head off the snake and the team will crumble. In this case, Ohio State’s offensive production is the snake with a top-5 ranking in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency per Kenpom.

Ohio State bases their offensive efficiency behind their ability to get clean looks at the rim for high quality shots. They possess a 54.3% Effective Field Goal Percentage with a +10% eFG% at the rim in comparison to league average.

The issue for the Buckeyes is that they now go against one of the best defenses in basketball. A unit that specializes in smothering open looks and turning opposing possessions into stalled out empty trips, especially on the perimeter.

Not only does Rutgers limit opponents to 45% shooting from the field, but they rank first in opponents three-point shooting percentage by holding opponents to 20.5%. Their length and athleticism allow them to stretch out the defense, forcing perimeter shots into low quality looks while also not giving anything up down low.

While the Rutgers offense lacks in comparison to their defense, they still possess scorers who are capable of keeping pace with the Buckeyes scoring production. Rutgers plays nine players meaningful minutes with four of them scoring in double digits.

Rutgers Vs. Ohio State Key Matchups

Rutgers is more than capable of limiting Ohio State’s scoring, but where will the points come on their end? Who will win the battle of the boards?

Rutgers scoring production vs Ohio State defense

As previously stated, the Rutgers offensive production has severely lacked in comparison to their elite defense. While their defense ranks top-10 in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, their offense ranks 112th per Kenpom. Lucky for them, Ohio State lacks on the defensive end.

Rutgers possess players who can light up the board, but they just do it at an inefficient rate. Rutgers currently shoots 42.2% from the field and an abysmal 31.3% from deep. They will benefit from more open looks this time around as Ohio State’s defensive prowess comes from their forwards.

Should Rutgers guards be able to draw out the bigs with cuts to the basket or beating them at the mid-range, this will allow Rutgers leading scorer Clifford Omoruyi to have more free-reign down low to do work.

Battle of the boards

When it comes to generating an upset, or in our case giving an anemic offense life, then you need to be an efficient rebounding unit. Both teams are above average in hauling in rebounds for their respective situations.

Offensive rebounds will need to be a focal point for the Rutgers offense as they have the size advantage with a true center who is also their leading scorer. Should they give themselves second chance scoring opportunities then they can keep scoring pace until their defense settles in.

Verdict

Take Rutgers at +4 or higher in what will be an upset highlighted by their masterful defensive style of play.

Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

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