Bucks and Ducks Battle Tonight for the NCAA Football Title

Marcus Mariota's legs may be more important than his arms tonight.

You’ve probably heard this little trivia tidbit by now but in case you haven’t here it is… Following the first-ever NCAA Basketball Tournament in 1939, the two teams that met for the title were Oregon and Ohio State. The Ducks would claim their one and only national championship in men’s basketball.

Now, these same two universities meet in the first-ever college football playoff title game and again, the Ducks enter having won zero national championships in football. Both teams enter at 13-1 and both won their respective conference titles.

Each school offers intriguing storylines as the game kicks off tonight. Who do I like and why? Read on.

College Football National Championship

Ohio State (+7) vs Oregon (O/U 75)

By the Numbers: Points per game Ohio State 45.2, Oregon 46.3… Points allowed per game Ohio State 21.2, Oregon 22.5

The Ducks will look to frustrate Cardale Jones early tonight in Dallas.

Why Ohio State Wins: As good as Oregon Head Coach Mark Helfrich has been, Urban Meyer is a master game-planner who rarely is out-prepared by his opponent. Meyer’s experience heading into this game is significant as well and should be an advantage to the Buckeyes.

The defensive line for OSU has been dominant all season and eventually overwhelmed the Alabama offensive line. The Oregon offensive line is very good and is more aggressive than they are given credit for so this should be an excellent match-up.

I think the Buckeyes defensively have recognized the fact they will give up yards to Oregon but can they limit the Ducks in the red zone where Oregon has had some struggles? I think the Buckeyes can also bank on the fact that they aren’t going to turn the ball over as many times as Florida State did and that’s important for their confidence.

Why Oregon Wins: There is going to be no secret as to what the Ducks are going to do. They will go at a high rate of speed and they will not relent. If they can find some success early running the football against a good OSU defense then that will make Marcus Mariota all the more dangerous.

The loss of wide receiver Darren Carrington due to suspension is going to hurt a lot but if the Ducks can find someone to step up that isn’t necessarily expected to then the Ducks will be fine. That’s a tall order however and I’m worried about this situation which is why I think they look to the ground game even more often.

Defensively, the Ducks must stop the run and force the game into the hands of Cardale Jones. Alabama was unable to do that and what was even worse is that the Tide weren’t able to contain Jones when he ran either. If Oregon can force Jones into some early mistakes and force him to play from behind then things can swing in their favor dramatically.

Trends: Ohio State is 5-0 straight up in their last five games… Oregon is 5-0 SU in their last five games… The total has gone OVER in 12 of Ohio State’s last 13 games… The only common opponent for each team is Michigan State and both trailed by at least a touchdown before coming back to win by double digits.

Key Injuries: OSU QBs Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett/OUT, Oregon CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu/OUT

The Pick: I was liking the Buckeyes all week but now I like them even more with Carrington out for Oregon. Don’t be surprised to see a defensive game for most of the first half before the offenses settle in but either way I love Ohio State and the UNDER.

Oregon vs. Ohio State Line, Trends and Prediction

Monday night, the inaugural College Football Playoff Championship Game, will kick off from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The Oregon Ducks led by Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota will face the Ohio State Buckeye led by quarterback Cardale Jones.

In its semifinal game, Oregon defeated the Florida State Seminoles 59-20, easily covering the spread. At the same time, Ohio State defeated Alabama 43-35, winning outright as an underdog.

The last time the two teams met was in the Rose Bowl in 2010 with Ohio State winning 27-16 and covering a 4.5-point spread by winning outright as the underdog.

This is the first time in eight seasons that no SEC team will by for the national championship.

Oregon on the season is 13-1 straight up and 10-4 against the spread. Ohio State is 13-1 SU and 9-5 ATS.

The over-under for Oregon this season is 7-7 and for Ohio State 12-2.

Oregon is 9-0 SU and ATS, since is only loss earlier in the regular season to Arizona. In each of the 9 games, the Ducks covered a spread of seven points or more on eight occasions.

According to Bovada and betonline, Oregon is 5-1 SU against schools from the Big 10 since 2007.

Ohio State ended the season with a run of 8-3 ATS and since 2007 is 13-2 against the number while an underdog and covering six straight when receiving 7 points or more.
According to topbet and sportsbook.com, the line opened at Oregon -6.5 and has fluctuated between there and -7.5 the past 10 days.

The point total opened at 72.5 on most sites, but has gone as high as 75.

Offensively, Oregon has the nation’s No. 2 offense scoring 47.2 points per game against the No. 27 ranked defense of Ohio State that is allowing 22.1 points per game.

The Ducks passing game averages 311 yards a game, while the Buckeyes allowed 191.5 yards per game through the air.


  • Ohio State has covered the spread in 8 of its past 12 games overall.
  • Ohio State has won 5 consecutive games straight up.
  • Oregon has won straight up and covered the spread in each of its past 9 games overall
  • Oregon is 4-0 against the number in its past four bowl games.
  • The OVER has cashed in 12 of the past 13 games played by Ohio State.


 Both teams will score and often. The OVER even though it seems high, looks to be a good play.

Between the teams, they average 92 points per game, which should make for fireworks on the offensive side.

The Ducks do not matchup as well with Ohio State as they did with Florida State. The spread seems high. I like the OVER and Ohio State covering.

Saturday Bullets for the First Weekend of 2015

Kobe Bryant's comments about AAU basketball are accurate and need to be heard.

How in the world do I settle on just one or two topics with so much going on? My bullets are back and it’s time to pull the trigger!

-Kobe Bryant recently ripped on the AAU basketball program saying that European players are more skillful than are kids who come from the American feeder system. “Teach players the game at an early age and stop treating them like cash cows for everyone to profit off of,” he said. “That’s how you do that. You have to teach them the game. Give them instruction,” said Bryant. I could not agree more.

-Rajon Rondo returned to Boston for the first time since being traded to Dallas. He tossed in 29 points in the Mavs’ 119-101 win over the Celtics.

Chip Kelly has more control of his players in a shake-up in Philadelphia.

-Following the Philadelphia Eagles’ late-season collapse, the team has re-structured the front office with Head Coach Chip Kelly gaining control of player personnel and General Manager Howie Roseman has been elevated to Executive Vice-President of Football Operations. Rarely do these situations work well when a coach is given so much power. Wonder if the team has an Assistant to the Traveling Secretary?

-As of right now, Oregon is a seven-point favorite over Ohio State in the National Championship Game and I like the Buckeyes getting those points. I just don’t see the Buckeyes making the same mistakes that Florida State did in the Rose Bowl and I think the OSU offense can be more dynamic than the Seminoles.’

-Speaking of the College Football Playoff I think there are a couple of important notes coming out of the first-ever semi-final games. The television numbers were outstanding for both games and I’ll get to the point on that in a second, but where the “powers that be” need to focus on is time. The Rose Bowl,which was a blowout, scored better ratings than the Sugar Bowl which was a highly competitive game. What this proves is that people just won’t stay up until 1am Eastern no matter how important or good the game.

-The second part of the CFB Playoff scenario is that it’s popularity across the country means that playoff expansion is coming. I think we are about five or six years away from an expansion to eight teams but the TV numbers were just too good not to discuss it. The one issue here is where to play the games. The Rose Bowl had trouble filling seats and I think an argument could be made to play these games on campus in the first-round at least.

-I had no idea former Buffalo Bills’ coach Doug Marrone was such a hot commodity. Days after opting out of his contract, he’s rumored to a favorite in several cities. His Bills took a step forward by going 9-7 this year behind an aggressive defense but the offense was really flat. Not sure what the draw is here.

-For all the dislike of Jameis Winston because of his off-field problems and immaturity, my concern about his potential pro career is his pocket presence and long delivery. Seems to me that he gets very discombobulated in the pocket when there’s any significant pressure and his throwing motion is not what I’d call “quick and efficient.” Almost reminds me of Byron Leftwich.

-One note on the National Hockey League’s Winter Classic… I think the NHL has to consider moving the game for two reasons. Number one is that it can’t compete if college football continues its’ playoff semi-finals on the same day. Also, the NHL should re-consider the start time as well to get a more optimum viewing audience. I love the Winter Classic but the NHL has to do a better job of making its’ stars available at better times.

Ohio State laying just three points to Clemson in Orange Bowl

The Orange Bowl kicks off on Friday night in south Florida between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Clemson Tigers.

No. 7 ranked Ohio State experienced one of its toughest losses in the history of its football program when Michigan State shocked them to win the Big Ten Championship.

The Buckeyes were 5.5-point favorites over the Spartans and lost 34-24 to end their chance of taking on Florida State in the BCS National Championship game.

Ohio State is 12-1 SU and 6-6-1 ATS, but is 0-4 ATS over its past four games played.

Urban Meyer the head coach for Ohio State has a record of 128-24 in this career including winning two national championships with Florida. Prior to the loss to Michigan State, Meyer was 24-0 with the Buckeyes. It will be hard for the Buckeyes to bounce back from that loss.

Meyer did not coach in a bowl last season, as the Buckeyes were banned, but in his career as a coach Meyers is 7-1 AU as well as ATS.

The Tigers are 10-2 SU and 6-6 ATS. Clemson started the season 6-0 and had national title hopes as well. However, the Tigers were embarrassed against Florida State at home 51-14 and lost to South Carolina.

The total points on Bovada are sitting at 70.5 and for good reason. The Buckeyes average 46 points per game, while the Tigers score 40 per game. Both are in the top 10 in the nation in that category.

On most books including topbet, sportsbook.com and betonline, the line is currently -3 for Ohio State. The Buckeyes opened at -5, but money for Clemson quickly lowered it to its current 3.

Ohio State has the No. 3 rushing offense in the nation thanks to Carlos Hyde who has 1,408 yards and Braxton Miller their dual threat a quarterback who has 1,033 yards.

The Buckeyes should be able to pound the ball against Clemson, which has a must smaller defensive line than Ohio State’s offense.

Miller will be a dual threat on the ground and through the air that Clemson must contain or he can turn the game around by himself in minutes.

Clemson is ranked No. 11 in the nation in passing offense averaging 329 yards per game. Tajh Boyd the team’s senior quarterback is one of the best in the nation. His favorite receiver is Sammy Watkins who had over 1,235 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns.

Motivation could be a problem for Ohio State in this matchup after losing to Michigan State. It appears that same thing happened to Alabama in their loss on Thursday in the Sugar Bowl to Oklahoma.

Nevertheless, I am leaning toward the Buckeyes and this and definitely taking the OVER.

Buckeyes look to avoid Upset against Northwestern

The No. 4 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes enter their game against Big 10 rivals Northwestern on Saturday undefeated and as confident as ever.

The Buckeyes are 5-0 SU and 3-1-1 ATS. Ohio State has won four straight matchups with Northwestern both outright and against the spread.

However, this season Northwestern is ranked No. 16 and the Wildcats come in as prepared as ever to take on one of their biggest nemesis’ the Buckeyes.

Ohio State has covered the last four meetings with Northwestern by over 23 points a game. However, this season should be different, the Wildcats should give Ohio State all they can handle and could even upset the Buckeyes.

Most online sportsbooks such as Bovada and betonline have the Buckeyes as 7-point favorites after opening at 5.5.

Online sites topbet and sportsbook.com have had most of the action come in for Ohio State, with very little if any Northwestern money. The Buckeyes are a popular public team and most think of Northwestern as the doormat of the Big 10.

Most smart money bettors believe Northwestern is a good team, but have not faced any team with the kind of strength Ohio State possesses and will be a test for the Wildcats.

Ohio State on offense has fast receivers against an average secondary for the Wildcats. Both Devin Smith and Corey Brown have five catches each for touchdowns for Ohio State.

One advantage that Northwestern might have is they are well rested and that could help late in a close game. The Wildcats had last weekend off, while the Buckeyes defeated a talented Wisconsin team.

The Wildcats will also be getting Venric Mark back. He ran for 12 touchdowns and 1,366 yards last season, but has missed two games due to a turned ankle.

Northwestern has averaged nearly 250 yards per game on the ground, but against must less talented defenses. Treyvon Green has a 7 yards per carry average on the ground, and has scored five rushing touchdowns.

However, the Buckeyes were able to hold Wisconsin, which is a running team, to only 104 yards on the ground. Ohio State is ranked No. 8 nationally, allowing just 85 yards on the ground per game.

Ohio State offensively is averaging 48 points a game and will face a defense that is No. 87 in the nation in points allowed. Braxton Miller returned under center last week and threw four passes for touchdowns.

Ohio State loves the first quarter, outscoring their opponents this season 116-21.

Northwestern has a 6-0 ATS record in its past six games against conference teams. The Wildcats are also 9-2 ATS over their past 11 games at home and 14-3 ATS over their past 17 games overall.

Prediction: Ohio State 42-28

Ohio State is a solid choice versus San Diego State

The Ohio State Buckeyes are ranked No. 3 in the nation and face the San Diego State Aztecs at home today.

San Diego State had a solid season last year winning nine games and making another appearance in a bowl game.

The Aztecs were supposed to win handily against Eastern Illinois last week in their opener but were shocked by the FCS team losing by three touchdowns. The Aztec loss was to a team that over the past three seasons had won a combined 11 games.

San Diego has now become a 28-point underdog on most sportsbooks including Bovada, topbet, betonline and sportsbook.com in today’s matchup against Ohio State. Those online sites offer bettors an array of different betting options from what team scores first, to the score at halftime to what play will be run next.

San Diego State is trying to focus their thoughts on one thing; one game does not define their entire season.

However, that could come true, if they were to defeat the Buckeyes. An Aztec win would end the hopes of the Buckeyes reaching the national championship game and give San Diego State their biggest upset of the season.

San Diego State, regardless of their hiccup last week, is a formidable opponent. The Aztecs put 35 points on the board per game last year. The up tempo offense ran 99 plays for the Aztecs last week, which was tied for the most in any game played.

The Aztecs threw 66 passes, which is far more than last season when they averaged just 24 per game, but much of that was due to an injury to their leading rusher Adam Muema and playing catch-up football. Muema had 1,500 yards last season and was expected back for the game today.

Ohio State took on the lowly Buffalo Bulls last week and won 40-20. The Buckeyes looked sluggish, disinterested and complacent after the first quarter. Ohio State jumped out to a 23-0 lead early in the game and just set the control to cruise, instead of putting the pedal to the medal.

The Buckeyes scored in three straight possessions to start the game with 117 yards through the air and 99 on ground in just over six minutes. After that, Buffalo outscored the Buckeyes 20-17 over the last three quarters of the game.

Urban Meyer the head coach of Ohio State was clear with his players this week that mental lapses and easing up is not acceptable.

This game should be dominated from start to finish by the offensive power of Ohio State, but look for San Diego State to perform better and have a stronger rushing attack than last week.

The current line has the Buckeyes favored by 28 points with the point total on 56. Smart money takes the Ohio State and the OVER.

Urban Meyer Exposed?

The Aaron Hernandez situation isn't doing Urban Meyer any favors as his time at Florida is being dissected.

If you had money on current Ohio State Head Football Coach Urban Meyer speaking up before National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell would then you are the big winner! Collect your prize at the door on the way out and thanks for playing!

The former Univeristy of Florida head coach broke his silence regarding former Gator Aaron Hernandez’s arrest on murder and gun-related charges in the June death of Hernandez’s ‘friend’ Odin Lloyd. Why Meyer would be required to speak on the issue at all is only because of the attention to Hernandez’s time in Gainesville as a member of the football program that won two national titles under Meyer.

It’s been reported by numerous media outlets that Hernandez failed numerous drug tests at Florida but they were covered up. Meyer’s text message to the Columbus Dispatch is that, “Hernandez was held to the same drug testing policy as every other player.” Take from that what you will but a bigger picture has emerged about Meyer’s tenure at Florida.

The New York Times’ Greg Bishop reported that there were 31 arrests at Florida while Urban Meyer was the head coach from 2005 through 2010. One of the major incidents during Meyer’s coaching career in the blue and orange came in 2007. Aaron Hernandez was a 17-year old freshman who may have been involved in a shooting outside a nightclub that left two men wounded.

According to ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,” police in Boston are working with police in Gainseville in an attempt to find out just what Hernandez’s level of involvement was in the incident. Two other former Gators that were allegedly present were Tim Tebow and Maurkice Pouncey. Tebow in a bar with Hernandez? I can’t imagine it either…

Jenkins probably thought his comments were helping Urban Meyer but I don't think so.

Regardless of Hernandez’s involvement in that case, Meyer has now put himself out there in defense of his Florida years. Perhaps the biggest indictment of Meyer running a less than stand-up program came from often troubled Gators’ defensive back Janoris Jenkins. Jenkins, who is now with the St. Louis Rams in the NFL, played for Coach Meyer but was kicked off the team when new coach Bill Muschamp came to Gainesville.

In a 2011 article in the Orlando Sentinel, Jenkins basically outed Meyer after he was booted from the team. “No doubt, if Coach Meyer were still coaching, I’d still be playing for the Gators,” says Jenkins, a star cornerback and a potential first-round draft pick whom Muschamp booted from UF’s team after being arrested twice for possession of marijuana during the offseason. “Coach Meyer knows what it takes to win.”

That isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement. It appears both Meyer and the University of Florida put winning and the almighty dollar ahead of anything having to do with the word ‘discipline.’

So where does this leave the Ohio State University? For right now, it leaves them unaffected. The problem is that OSU is already coming off a period of probation because a head coach known for ‘discipline’ did nothing to stop his players from getting tattoos in exchange for memorabilia. Expectations are extremely high for the Buckeyes who come off a 12-0 season. They are ranked in the top five of many preseason polls and are favored to play for the Big Ten Championship.

Should the Hernandez investigation open more ‘Pandora’s Boxes’ that further implicate Meyer as a guy who didn’t have control over his Gators, then it could get ugly again in Columbus. The passionate OSU fan base doesn’t deserve another major crisis in the football program but winning apparently is everything in college football today. Be careful on futures’ wagering with the Buckeyes as this story unfolds.




Saturday Elite Eight Games

After a grueling two-week gauntlet, eight teams have emerged as college basketball’s true elite, but only four will be bestowed the honor of cutting down the nets before packing their bags for Atlanta.

Four of the eight squads remaining in the NCAA Tournament will take the floor today and two will advance. Who will keep dancing and who will be sent home? Today we’re taking a look at match-up before the elite eights teams take the court and are, as always, providing our point-spread picks. Check ’em out!

(4) Syracuse Orange -5 vs. (3) Marquette Golden Eagles +5

Against most bettors’ predictions, the East regional final has turned into a Big East rivalry game, as the Syracuse Orange and the Marquette Golden Eagles have advanced to meet each other in the Elite Eight.

Of course, Marquette got the better of the Orange in their only other meeting this season, winning 74-71 back on Feb. 25. However, with the Orange playing their best basketball of the season – coming off a win against many’s favorite to win the whole thing, Indiana – they will have a good chance to avenge that defeat.

After squeaking by in its first two games, Marquette proved it has a powerful knockout punch against two-seed Miami, as it dominated the game from start to finish.

Considering the Eagles are used to playing in close games and considering they’ve already defeated Syracuse this year, there’s no way we can go against them here. Even if Marquette doesn’t win, take it cover +5 today against Syracuse.

(9) Wichita State Shockers +5 at (2) Ohio State Buckeyes -5

The West region of the bracket has been by far the wildest, so it’s a shame that we will see the last game out of the West with the regional final today, but it should be another barn-burner, especially with Wichita State involved.

Another the Shockers might actually know their way around a barn better than the Buckeyes, it’s been Ohio State who has played in more close games during the tournament, as OSU has escaped two defeats in the closing seconds, relying on clutch three-point makes just ticks away from the horn sounding.

The bad news is Ohio State could be in for another close call, but the good news is it is plenty experienced in such situations. It’s been fun to watch Wichita State wade its way through a tough and zany West region, but I’m afraid the buck stops here, not the Buckeye. Take Ohio State to take this one, covering -5.

Sweet 16 Thursday Games

The hard-hitting action of the NCAA Tournament returns to the hardcourt today as the Sweet 16 round gets underway with four extraordinary games. Four teams will advance to the Elite Eight and four teams will see their season come to and end. And as always, these games present some excellent betting opportunities, so check our breakdown of each contest and find out who to take on those point spreads.

Marquette Golden Eagles +5 vs. Miami Hurricanes -5

After two rounds in the tournament, the Hurricanes are looking more and more like a legitimate title contender, whereas the Golden Eagles can consider themselves lucky to still be playing at all. Bases on what we’ve seen so far, it would be easy to take the Hurricanes to cover -5, but Marquette has shown a great deal of resilience and ability to keep games close down the stretch, which forces us to take a closer look at the match-up.

The biggest glaring knock against Miami in this one is that the Canes will be without their leading rebounder Reggie Johnson, who will be out with an injury. This will give Marquette far more opportunities in the paint on offense and will likely give it plenty of offensive rebounds and second-chance buckets.

Marquette may not have enough talent on its side to earn the win and the upset, but look for this to be one of the more highly contested games of the day and take Marquette to cover +5.

Arizona Wildcats +4 vs. Ohio State Buckeyes -4

After seeing Gonzaga go down last round, the Buckeyes are now the heavy favorite to take down the West region, but they’ll have another tough test to pass today against the Arizona Wildcats.

The Cats have looked strong in their first two games, but they haven’t faced a team yet with the capabilities of Ohio State. Arizona’s wins over Belmont and Harvard may have made the school look a little better than it really is.

However, Ohio State proved to be plenty vulnerable in its near-loss to Iowa State last week, relying on an Aaron Craft buzzer-beater to advance.

Whatever happens and whoever prevails, one thing is certain. This game will also be a nail-biter, so take Arizona to cover +4 here.

Syracuse Orange +5.5 vs. Indiana Hoosiers -5.5

The Hoosiers are another team that narrowly escaped an early round exit last week, but they still bring one of the country’s most experienced and balanced teams into today’s match-up against the Orange of Syracuse.

Even though Indiana has all the weapons and the pieces to win a title this season, Syracuse is playing its best basketball of the season right now and if the Orange continue to bring their A game into today’s battle, they’ll have a great chance to knock off the Hoosiers and claim the East region.

I expect another close here. Take Syracuse to cover +5.5 and don’t be surprised if the Orange win outright.

La Salle Explorers +4.5 vs. Wichita State Shockers -4.5

Both the Explorers and Shockers have impressed tournament watchers and hoops fans thus far with their upset victories, but Wichita State seems to have the more athletic squad and the tournament experience needed for a deeper tournament run.

La Salle has thrived on the three-point line so far during the tourney, but once it starts missing, it will die on the three-point line as well and with the Shockers’ quick and pesky defense, that could easily happen today. Look for Wichita State to take control in the second half and cover -4.5 in the win.

Spartans Visit Buckeyes in Big Ten Showdown

Keith Appling and the Michigan State Spartans will look to rebound from a midweek loss to Indiana with a trip to Ohio State on Sunday afternoon.

#4 Michigan State travels to Columbus on Sunday to take on #18 Ohio State in a must win game for both schools. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:00 PM ET from Value City Arena.

Michigan State’s 72-68 loss at home to #1 Indiana on Tuesday leaves the Spartans one game back of the Hoosiers at the top of the Big Ten standings. With a season sweep of the East Lansing side, Indiana holds a decisive tie-breaker.

A win over Minnesota on Wednesday put an end to a streak of three losses in four games for Ohio State, but that downturn now has the Buckeyes looking up at four other Big Ten schools. In danger of being swallowed into the mid-level tournament berths, Ohio State needs to put together some wins to improve its standing.

The two schools met on Jan. 19 at Breslin Center in East Lansing, with the Spartans scoring a 59-56 win.

Last season, the two sides split a pair of regular season games, each winning on the other’s home court. Michigan State earned the last laugh though, defeating Ohio State 68-64 in the Big Ten championship game.

Since 1979-80, Michigan State leads the head-to-head series 37-26.

Ohio State (14-2 home) enters the game favored over Michigan State (6-3 road). The Buckeyes however have fared poorly against teams ranked in the AP top 25, going 1-7 in such games. The school’s only win against a ranked opponent came on Jan. 13, against the Spartans’ bitter rival, Michigan. Michigan State has gone 4-4 against ranked opponents this season.

The spread opened at 4½ points. Neither school has been particularly good at covering the spread this season, which will make things that much more awkward for bettors trying to separate these sides.

Ohio State is 13-11-0 ATS all told this season, with a 9-6-0 ATS record at Value City Arena and a 11-9-0 ATS record when entering  the game as the favorite.

Michigan State is 11-12-1 ATS in all games this season, with a 5-5-1 ATS record on the road and a 4-2-0 ATS record as the underdog.

The total opened at 129. Like the spread, bettors will have a tough time picking over or under in this one. Ohio State (10-12-1) favors the under while Michigan State (12-11-0) favors the over. Neither is particularly decisive though.

After Sunday’s game at Ohio State, Michigan State will have three games left on the schedule: a trip to Michigan (Mar. 3) followed by home games against Wisconsin (Mar. 7) and Northwestern (Mar. 10).

Meanwhile, Indiana still has four games on the schedule. The Hoosiers will face Minnesota (Feb. 26) and Michigan (Mar. 10) on the road, and Iowa (Mar. 2) and Ohio State (Mar. 5) at home.

It’ll be a tall task for the Spartans to overtake the Hoosiers to finish with the top berth heading into the Big Ten tournament, but it’s not yet impossible. One thing is for sure; the Spartans need to win in Columbus on Sunday afternoon.


In Brief…

The Spartans’ rivals, #7 Michigan (22-4, 9-4 Big Ten) will also look to improve its position in the Big Ten standings. The Wolverines will face a resurgent Illinois (20-8, 7-7 Big Ten) side that has won five straight games, ending a dreadful streak of six losses in seven games. The hometown Wolverines are favorites (-11) with the total at 138.

With #2 Miami (FL) suffering its first conference loss of the season on Saturday, #6 Duke (23-3, 10-3 ACC) can sneak one game closer to the Hurricanes at the top of the ACC standings with a win over lowly Boston College (12-14, 4-9 ACC) on Sunday afternoon. The Blue Devils bounced back from last weekend’s loss to Maryland with a 88-56 win over Virginia Tech on Thursday and will enter this one as the favorite (-16½).

With a win over #8 Syracuse on Saturday and #17 Marquette slipping up against Villanova, #11 Georgetown is now in sole possession of the Big East lead. At two games back, #25 Notre Dame (21-6, 9-5 Big East) will look to make up some ground as the Irish hosts Cincinnati (19-8, 7-7 Big East), losers of four of the last five. The Irish is a one-point favorite in this one, with the total at 124.

#20 Pittsburgh (20-7, 8-6 Big East) will also be looking to make up ground in the conference. With two losses in a row, the Panthers are in danger of losing their AP status, so a win over St. John’s (16-10, 8-6 Big East) is essential at lunchtime on Sunday. Pittsburgh is the favorite (-7) with the total at 124½.


Saturday’s AP Top 25 Results

#2 Miami (FL) 65, Wake Forest 80

San Diego 50, #3 Gonzaga 81

Arkansas 54, #5 Florida 71

#11 Georgetown 57, #8 Syracuse 46

TCU 48, #9 Kansas 74

Seton Hall 61, #10 Louisville 79

Washington State 56, #12 Arizona 73

#13 Kansas State 81, Texas 69

#14 Oklahoma State 73, West Virginia 57

#16 New Mexico 91, #22 Colorado State 82

#17 Marquette 56, Villanova 60

Southern Miss 73, #21 Memphis 89

Stanford 66, #23 Oregon 77

#24 Virginia Commonwealth 75, Xavier 71


Sunday’s AP Top 25 Schedule

#4 Michigan State @ #18 Ohio State

Boston [email protected] #6 Duke

Illinois @ #7 Michigan

#20 Pittsburgh @ St. John’s

Cincinnati @ #25 Notre Dame