No. 11 Rutgers vs No. 23 Ohio State

No. 11 Rutgers vs No. 23 Ohio State | 2020 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on December 22, 2020

The game of the night around college basketball on Wednesday features a ranked matchup from the Big Ten as No. 11 Rutgers, a huge surprise, visits No. 23 Ohio State. The Buckeyes will be short favorites on the NCAAB odds.

How to Bet Rutgers at Ohio State NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

  • When: Wednesday, 4:30 PM ET
  • Where: Value City Arena, Columbus
  • TV: Big Ten Network
  • Stream: BTN+
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: TBA (OSU will be favored)

Last Meeting

The schools met once last year and Ohio State won 72-66 at home. Ohio State led by 15 at the half and went up by 20 on an E.J. Liddell basket with 13:05 left in the game. The Scarlet Knights chipped away, with Geo Baker hitting a 3-pointer with 27 seconds left to get them within 3 points. But they ran out of time, with Andre Wesson hitting a foul shot and then CJ Walker hitting a pair with 12 seconds left to put it away.

Why Bet on Rutgers? | 2020 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Rutgers (6-0) comes off an impressive 91-88 home win over then-No. 13 Illinois on Sunday. Ron Harper Jr. led the way with a game-high 28 points along with nine rebounds, while Jacob Young contributed 24 points and four assists.

Montez Mathis also scored in double figures with 15 points. Myles Johnson recorded game-high 13 rebounds to go with nine points, three blocks and three steals. The Scarlet Knights earned advantages in rebounding (35-34) and had just nine turnovers. RU shot 46.8 percent to score its ever most points in 40 minutes of a Big Ten game.

In a high scoring second half, the Scarlet Knights outscored the Illini 54-47. Rutgers closed out the game with strong free throw shooting, making 23 of their last 28 at the charity stripe.

Geo Baker scored 7 points and had five assists with two steals. He now has 1,062 career points, passing Damon Santiago and JR Inman for 35th all-time in Rutgers’ history. Baker now has 318 career assists, passing Dane Miller and Steve Brown to move into 9th all-time in Rutgers history. And he has 119 career steals, moving into sole possession of 15th place all-time at RU.

It was Rutgers’ first ranked win of the season and eighth ranked win under head coach Steve Pikiell. It was also the second highest ranked team defeated by RU with Pikiell at the helm (previously defeated No. 9 Maryland last season). Finally, it was the first time a ranked Rutgers team beat a ranked foe since March 6, 1976, a 70-67 win over St. John’s.

Harper Jr. is averaging 24.0 points and 7.3 rebounds on the year. The Wooden Award Watch list member leads the Big Ten in 3-point percentage (52.5), is second in the league in scoring, 4th in field goal percentage (60.0) and 10th in rebounding. Nationally, he ranks fifth in scoring and is 16th in field goal percentage.

Why Bet on Ohio State? | 2020 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Buckeyes (6-1) beat UCLA 77-70 on Saturday 77-70 in Cleveland in the CBS Sports Classic. Duane Washington Jr. had a team-high 14 points, and CJ Walker, who had 10 points and four assists. Freshman Zed Key scored 11 points in his 22 minutes and added six rebounds while playing a key stretch in the second half after forward E.J. Liddell fouled out.

Liddell, the team’s best player, had missed the previous two games for COVID-19 reasons. Buckeyes coach Chris Holtmann said: “When you get a player the caliber of E.J. back, it certainly helps you, I thought this was our best performance of the year against a quality UCLA team that will either be near the top or win the Pac-12.”

Fellow freshman Eugene Brown scored nine points and his all three of his three-point attempts. With the game tied at 63-all, he put Ohio State ahead for good at the 5:34 mark of the second half. On the next possession, after UCLA cut the lead to one at 66-65, he hit another one to give the Buckeyes a 69-65 lead.

The Buckeyes’ defense held UCLA to just 33 percent shooting in the second half and made just one of its last seven from the floor. Ohio State was able to salt the game away from the free throw line – the Buckeyes are 15 of 21 from the stripe in the second half and 19 of 26 for the game.

Washington has scored in double figures all seven games this season, the only Buckeye to do so. Forward Seth Towns, who graduated from Harvard last spring, made his Ohio State debut when he checked into the game at the with 2:47 remaining in the first half. Towns was the 2018 Ivy League Player of the Year at Harvard when he averaged nearly 16.0 points per game, 5.7 rebounds and shot 42 percent from the field.

Expert Prediction

  • Ohio State 73, Rutgers 71

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