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Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Pick, Odds, Prediction 1/23/14

Illinois Fighting Illini (13-6) at Ohio State Buckeyes (15-4)

College Basketball: Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Value City Arena)

The Line: Ohio State Buckeyes -10 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

The Ohio State Buckeyes and the Illinois Fighting Illini face off on Thursday in Columbus in a Big Ten college basketball battle.

The Ohio State Buckeyes were cruising right along but over the past two weeks they have lost their last four games and have dropped to 2-4 in Big Ten play. Ohio State is 12-1 at home this season and they have played the 21st ranked schedule in the country. LaQuinton Ross is averaging 13.9 points and 5.7 rebounds to lead the Buckeyes. Lenzelle Smith Jr. is averaging 11.9 points, Amir Williams is averaging 9.0 points and 6.4 rebounds, and Aaron Craft is averaging 9.2 points, 4.9 assists, and 2.3 steals per game. OSU is averaging 73.3 points and they are shooting 45.9 percent while defensively they are allowing 58.5 points and their opponents are shooting 39.2 percent. This is Ohio State’s longest losing streak in several years.

Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Pick, Odds, Prediction 1/23/14

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

The Illinois Fighting Illini have lost four games in a row and are tied for eighth place in the Big Ten standings with Ohio State. Illinois is 2-4 in Big Ten play, 4-4 away from home, and they have played the 54th ranked schedule in the nation. Rayvonte Rice leads the Illini averaging 17.4 points and 5.9 rebounds. Tracy Abrams is averaging 12.8 points, Joseph Bertrand is averaging 10.6 points and 5.5 rebounds, and Jon Ekey is averaging 8.0 points and 5.8 rebounds. Illinois is averaging 69.3 points and they are shooting 41.6 percent from the floor while defensively they are allowing 63.8 points and their opponents are shooting 41.3 percent. Illinois was a NCAA Tournament team last season but they will need to turn things around fast to be part of March Madness this year.

Ohio State is 8-3 against the spread against the Big Ten, 1-6 against the spread following a loss, and 7-3 against the spread against a team with a winning record. Illinois is 11-28-1 against the spread against the Big Ten, 2-6-2 against the spread in their last 10 road games, and 0-3-1 against the spread following a game that they didn’t cover the point spread. The home team has covered the point spread in the last five meetings of these two.

Both of these teams are struggling but this is one where the Buckeyes get the home crowd rocking in a route. 

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Ohio State Buckeyes -10

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