Niagara Purple Eagles (0-1) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (1-0)
November 12, 2021 7:00 pm EDT
The Line: Ohio State Buckeyes -21 ; Over/Under: 135
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The Niagara Purple Eagles and the Ohio State Buckeyes meet Friday in college basketball action from Value City Arena. Niagara is coming off a tough three-point loss to Xavier in their opener. As for Ohio State, they beat Akron by one in their season opener. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
Niagara managed a spotty 9-11 record overall last year with a 7-9 mark in MAAC play. That left the Eagles in fifth place in the conference standings. In the conference tournament, Niagara beat Marist before falling to Iona 70-64 in the Semifinals.
In their first game of the new season versus Xavier, Niagara surged with a 37-34 second half edge but couldn’t close the gap in a 63-60 defeat. Marcus Hammond was the team’s top scorer with 25 points, six rebounds, one assist and one steal.
Over on the Ohio State side, they put up a 21-10 record last year and a 12-8 run in a competitive Big Ten. The Buckeyes lost to Illinois 91-88 in OT during the championship game of the conference tournament, then lost to Oral Roberts in OT in the First Round of the national tourney.
Ohio State struggled during the second half of their opener versus Akron, getting outscored 38-31 after the break. The Buckeyes needed a last-second shot to eke out the 67-66 win. EJ Liddell notched a double-double with 25 points, 11 rebounds and three assists to lead the team.
Ohio State is 3-7 ATS in their last 10 overall and 0-6 ATS in their last six home games. The under is 4-1 in the Buckeyes’ last five at home.
Meanwhile, the Eagles are 3-0-1 ATS in their last four after an ATS win and 5-0-1 ATS in their last six overall. Niagara is 1-4-1 ATS in their last six Friday games.
PICK: I’m going to try Ohio State here, but staying away. The Akron game was a near disaster for the Buckeyes, as they had only a small edge in field goal percentage (43.3 to 43.1) and rebounds (38 to 34). A lot of credit is due to Akron, as they played a great game. Still, Ohio State should have been in full control of that matchup from beginning to end. The Buckeyes are going to have to make some adjustments coming into this one, and I think they’ll come out stronger for it on the way to a cover.