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Ohio State vs. Wisconsin prediction and odds for Big Ten Tournament first round

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Ohio State’s season was torpedoed when it lost nine straight Big Ten games, but now it enters the conference tournament with the eyes of being a spoiler for some NCAA Tournament hopefuls.

The Buckeyes first round matchup is against Wisconsin, a team firmly on the bubble of making or missing the tournament all together. A loss to Ohio State, who has won two of three, could end their hopes of making the “Big Dance,” will the Badgers respond and pull a minor upset in the eyes of oddsmakers?

Here are the odds for the Big Ten tournament first round matchup:

Ohio State vs. Wisconsin odds, spread and total 

Ohio State vs. Wisconsin prediction and pick

While Ohio State has gotten out of its month-plus slump with a handful of impressive showings, I don’t believe it should be favored on a neutral court against Wisconsin.

The Badgers have made a living of staying close to teams, but struggle to get over the hump late in games.

However, the team’s prodding style of play has made every game a grind, evident in some of their recent losses to Purdue by two, Rutgers by one and a pair of overtime defeats to Michigan and Nebraska on the road.

The Badgers defense has struggled to slow teams down at the rim, right around the national average, but Ohio State has a propensity to settle for below average looks in the mid-range. While the team has bucket getters like Brice Sensabaugh, the team has been a below average two-point offense in league play.

The Wisconsin offense isn’t great either, the offense is stagnant and settles for 3s way too often, but the Buckeyes have been one of the worst perimeter defenses in the country over the past months, allowing opponents to hit on more than 39% of their shots from beyond the arc.

Wisconsin doesn’t turn the ball over, posting the lowest turnover rate in the Big Ten, and its shot profile can give it an edge against an Ohio State team that settles often. In a game with low possessions, and the Badgers propensity to stay close to teams, getting a bucket feels advantageous.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.