Big Ten Conference powerhouses clash when the seventh-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes visit the eighth-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes in a key matchup on Thursday. The Buckeyes (14-4), who are tied for fourth in the Big Ten with Wisconsin at 8-4, have won three straight and six of seven. The Hawkeyes (13-4), after a hot start, have cooled a bit of late, losing two of their last three games. Iowa is third in the conference at 7-3, 1.5 games behind first-place Michigan and one-half game behind second-place Illinois.
Tip-off from Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa, is set for 7 p.m. ET. Iowa leads the all-time series 79-76, including a 51-25 edge in games played at Iowa City. The Hawkeyes are 5.5-point favorites in the latest Ohio State vs. Iowa odds from William Hill Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is set at 157.5. Before making any Iowa vs. Ohio State picks, check out the college basketball predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of almost $2,300 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Ohio State vs. Iowa spread: Iowa -5.5
- Ohio State vs. Iowa over-under: 157.5 points
- Ohio State vs. Iowa money line: Iowa -250; Ohio State +205
- OSU: Junior forward Justin Ahrens is averaging 12.7 points per game in three career games against the Hawkeyes
- IOWA: Has won nine straight home games against Associated Press ranked opponents
Why Iowa can cover
The Hawkeyes are led by senior center Luka Garza, who has been dominant. He is averaging 26.5 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.6 assists per game. He has posted eight double-doubles this season, and has scored 20 points or more in 13 of 17 games. He is coming off a 27-point, 12-rebound effort against Michigan State on Tuesday. Garza is the first player in Big Ten history to accumulate 2,000 points, 800 rebounds, 125 blocked shots and 100 3-pointers in his career. He reached 2,000 points in 113 games, faster than any other Big Ten player over the past 25 years.
Junior forward Joe Wieskamp has been a perfect complement to Garza, averaging 14.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. Wieskamp became the 50th Hawkeye to reach 1,000 career points when he scored 20 points against No. 16 Minnesota on Jan. 10. Wieskamp is a two-time Jerry West Award semifinalist, including this season. He has been red hot, making 14 3-pointers on 22 attempts (63.6 percent) over the past five games.
Why Ohio State can cover
The Buckeyes also boast a potent offense and are led by sophomore forward E.J. Liddell, who is averaging a team-leading 15.3 points and 6.9 rebounds. He has registered 19 blocks on the season and is averaging 1.1 assists and 0.9 steals per game. Liddell was named National Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 21 points and 7.5 rebounds in wins over Penn State and Michigan State. He had a career-high 26 points in a win at No. 15 Illinois on Jan. 16.
Also powering the Buckeyes is junior guard Duane Washington Jr., who leads the team at 31.3 minutes per game. He is averaging 14.5 points, 3.1 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game. He is hitting on 90 percent of his free throws on 54 of 60 shooting. He has reached double figures in 14 games, including a 23-point performance against Northwestern on Jan. 13, and 22 against Rutgers on Dec. 23. He reached 800 points for his career with 21 points against Purdue on Jan. 19.
How to make Iowa vs. Ohio State picks
The model is leaning over on the total, projecting both teams combine for 158 points. It has also generated an against-the-spread pick that is hitting in almost 60 percent of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Iowa vs. Ohio State? And which side of the spread hits in almost 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine right now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the computer model that has crushed its college basketball picks.