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Indiana vs. Ohio State Prediction: Can Buckeyes Snap Four-Game Skid?

Written by: Andrew Norton
Published February 6, 2024
10 min read

The Ohio State Buckeyes (13-9, 3-8 in Big Ten) look to end a four-game slide on Tuesday night when they host the Indiana Hoosiers (13-9, 5-6 in Big Ten) for a Big Ten showdown. Ohio State is all but out of an at-large bid to the 2024 NCAA Tournament; however, the Indiana Hoosiers still have a small chance if they string together several conference wins, beginning with this bout. Find our Indiana Hoosiers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes prediction below, featuring an in-depth analysis of each team and the game’s projected outcome!

Indiana vs Ohio State Prediction

Indiana Hoosiers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Betting Odds for Tuesday, Feb. 6

The Ohio State Buckeyes are sizable 6.5-point home favorites against the Indiana Hoosiers on Tuesday night. The point total for this Big Ten battle rests around 144.5 points, with the Over (-115) holding a slight advantage over the Under (-105.)

Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Indiana Hoosiers +6.5 (-115) N/A Over 144.5 (-115)
Ohio State Buckeyes -6.5 (-105) N/A Under 144.5 (-105)

Odds from BetMGM Sportsbook. Use our BetMGM promo code WSNMGM - bet $5, get $158 in bonus bets.

The current state of the Indiana Hoosiers basketball program could most aptly be described as “in complete disarray” after they dropped a home game to a below-.500 Penn State team that was missing their best player. 

Yes, the Nittany Lions went into Assembly Hall, one of the most hostile environments in college basketball, and laid the hammer down on the Hoosiers without Kanye Clary, who averages 18.4 points per game on a 47/38/83 shooting split; he is by far the most efficient player on an otherwise inefficient Penn State team. 

Here’s where things get even more grim for the Hoosiers: Penn State (minus Clary’s 3PAs) shoots 30.5% from behind the arc, which would rank 311th in the nation (out of 362 teams) but was able to knock down 12 three-pointers on 22 attempts (54.5%) against Indiana. It would be one thing if the Nittany Lions got hot on their home floor and had an outlier game there, but this was on the road. 

Now, Indiana has dropped five of its past seven games, with single-digit home wins against Iowa and Minnesota being the only bright spots during an otherwise dark, tumultuous stretch. Head coach Mike Woodson has been quick to blame the team’s injuries; however, that is nowhere near the whole story. For most of the season, IU has had Kel’el Ware, Malik Reneau, and Mackenzie Mgbako, three former five-star recruits, starting in the frontcourt. Further, the Hoosiers have had senior combo guard Trey Galloway available; he should be able to command an offense by this point.

Unfortunately, the Hoosiers have been dragged around at home and on the road against teams that should have no business playing with them from a talent standpoint. Perhaps some of their issues could be attributed to Woodson’s antiquated two-big offense or the fact that they shoot the 11th-fewest three-pointers of any team in the country, forcing them to be consistently dominant in the paint to stay remotely competitive against most teams.

This is likely where the wheels fall off for the Hoosiers, a team that had been holding on by a thread for a large portion of the non-conference season. It was fairly obvious this fall was coming after they were barely winning their “buy games” and were getting blown out by any quality opponent that they faced, including Auburn and UConn. The Hoosiers’ only chance to make the 2024 NCAA Tournament is by stringing together several wins, and it has to start with this one.

Meanwhile, Ohio State has been even worse this season, winning merely three of its 11 Big Ten conference games thus far. The Buckeyes have yet to register a road win and have dropped seven of their past eight games. While five of those games came on the road, and two out of their three home games were against ranked teams (No. 10 Illinois and No. 11 Wisconsin), that stretch is still unforgivable.

Ohio State actually has a solid offensive attack, ranking 42nd in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency metric behind its trio of Jamison Battle, Bruce Thornton, and Roddy Gayle Jr. The Buckeyes aren’t the most efficient team, but they rebound their own misses at a high level (54th in offensive rebounding percentage), which has helped them consistently put points on the board. Ohio State’s offensive rebounding prowess could be problematic for an Indiana team that is often inconsistent on the defensive glass.

See our prediction and betting picks for this game below!

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Indiana Hoosiers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Prediction and Betting Pick

All season long, Indiana’s M.O. has been to pass the ball in the post to either Kel’el Ware or Malik Reneau to try and use their offensive talents to create isolation opportunities for them. Their entire offensive philosophy is to avoid shooting threes and instead pound the ball inside. 

The Hoosiers’ half-court offense has virtually no meaningful movement, making it all the more challenging for Ware or Reneau to have any advantages because opponents can just dig into the post on their first dribble and force guys who are standing on the perimeter to knock down catch-and-shoot shots. But they refuse even to shoot those.

Indiana does not have anyone on the team who can consistently hit threes, especially since sixth-year senior Xavier Johnson will likely miss this game due to an elbow injury. Without Johnson, the Hoosiers’ offense is even more limited because few guys can get a foot in the paint or knock down perimeter shots.

On the other end of the floor, the Hoosiers have not been able to defend the three-point line consistently enough (213th in opponent 3P%) to keep up with opposing offenses that are shooting threes and not relying solely on contested shots in the post. 

While Indiana could always turn the corner after an embarrassing home loss against a poor Penn State team, it is much more likely that the Hoosiers will get rolled, as it doesn’t appear that Woodson is interested in changing anything.

How to Watch Indiana Hoosiers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

  • When: Tuesday, Feb. 6 @ 4:00/7:00 p.m. PT/ET

  • Where: Schottenstein Center, Columbus, OH

  • TV: Peacock

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AUTHOR

Andrew Norton

151 Articles

Andrew has always been an avid sports fan and followed his hoop dreams all the way to college. He’s well-versed in everything betting with multiple years of experience and is qualitatively and quantitatively knowledgeable in sports statistics and analytics.

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