Two streaking Big Ten schools will collide in Columbus on Saturday when the 14th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (12-1) host the eighth-ranked Michigan State Spartans (11-2) as small home underdogs at sportsbooks.
Both are unbeaten in conference play so far, with the Buckeyes winning six straight games overall following their lone loss to the Syracuse Orange while the Spartans have reeled off seven in a row.
College basketball point spread: The Spartans opened as 1.5-point favorites; the total is at 146.5, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
College basketball betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 79.9-66.6, Spartans (College basketball picks on every game)
Why the Spartans can cover the spread
Michigan State has won six of the past eight meetings with Ohio State straight up, covering the spread in seven of the last nine head-to-head matchups.
The Spartans have won six of their previous seven games by double digits since falling to the Louisville Cardinals 82-78 on the road in overtime on November 27 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Their three conference wins have been decided by an average of nearly 20 points.
Why the Buckeyes can cover the spread
Ohio State has beaten Michigan State in two of the last three games, including the last one 80-64 almost exactly a year ago at home.
The Buckeyes were 6.5-point underdogs and pulled off the upset behind a career-high 32 points from Keita Bates-Diop when the Spartans were ranked No. 1 in the country at the time.
They have a more balanced scoring attack this season, with seven players averaging 7.4 points or more, led by sophomore forward Kaleb Wesson (16.5).
In an 82-64 rout of High Point last Saturday, senior guard C.J. Jackson totaled a game-high 20 points while Wesson added 17.
Smart betting pick
Michigan State has played better than Ohio State lately and will be out to avenge the last loss in the series.
The Buckeyes are 1-3 against the spread in their last four games, while the Spartans are riding a 3-0 ATS run and have gone 6-1 ATS in their previous seven.
The last three games for Michigan State have been especially impressive considering the team was a double-digit favorite each time. Look for the Spartans to start strong and flex their muscles this time, winning and covering the spread.
College basketball betting trends
Michigan State is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games.
Michigan State is 7-2 ATS in its last nine games when playing Ohio State.
Ohio State is 2-4 ATS in its last six games at home.
All college basketball odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.