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Indiana vs. Ohio State prediction and pick for Thursday's Big Ten showdown. Handicapper Lightning Locks previews the game and gives their pick for this matchup between the Hoosiers and Buckeyes.
ANALYSIS

Indiana vs. Ohio State Prediction: Will We See a Soaring Score?

Indiana vs. Ohio State Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

Date: Thursday, January 6, 2022

Game Time: 7:00 pm ET

Where to Watch: FS1

Click Here for Indiana vs. Ohio State Odds

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Indiana vs. Ohio State Prediction

It's not Hickory, Indiana. There is no Jimmy Chitwood tonight or Isiah Thomas or even Calbert Cheaney, but the Hoosiers and the Buckeyes will have a good old-fashioned Big 10 shootout in Bloomington tonight.

We all know COVID affects teams and coaches as they have to figure out what works. Ohio St. Coach Chris Holtmann has admitted it saying, "I do think there's a conditioning element that you lose when you don't have the chance to play games, and you don't have the time and the conditioning that comes with playing games. I think that's natural. There will be some of that." Ohio St. didn't play a game for pretty much a month as they played Wisconsin December 11, and then their next game was the overtime thriller on January 2 at Nebraska.

Teams can't just go out there and act like they are full strength, and it's a lot harder to play defense than it is to play offense. Ohio st this year is an offensive team as they are scoring almost 77 a game and hitting nearly 40% from the 3 point line, and they are 2nd in the Big 10, shooting 49% from the field. The defense is giving up 69 a game which is good for 199th in the country. Hence, as we mentioned, they are an offensive team this year clearly led by EJ Liddell, who is coming off his worst game of the year so expect him to double his 10 point outing against Nebraska tonight in Bloomington. We also have to see if Malaki Branham is for real as he is coming off the best game of his career, scoring 35 and hitting six 3-pointers. If he can get close to that, this is a new weapon in the offense as he played more minutes last game than he has all season and should see plenty tonight.

The Hoosiers are the favorites over #13 Ohio St. tonight because this game is at home, obviously where they are 9-0 this year, and we all know how well home conference teams do in the Big 10. Speaking about their offense, they are averaging almost 76 a game and shooting 48% from 2 and 36% from 3, which is very similar to Ohio State stats.

Indiana is coming off a loss as they just played the slow-paced Penn St team and shot 4-17 from 3 point range, so we expect that performance to improve tonight dramatically. Coach Woodson has been talking about how bad their rebounding was and how it cost them the game, so we expect that to improve, and if you rebound, you can go right up with it and get some easy baskets. Don't forget Archie Miller was fired for the awful offense and, of course, losing, and when Woodson came in, he said he would improve the offense. He has as last year they were around 200th in almost every offensive category and now top 100 in everything except ft shooting.

Indiana is also getting their best bench guy in guard, Trey Galloway, back today, so that should help the depth tonight. Indiana is coming off a bad loss, and the last two times they lost, they won the next game by 13, and 32 so expect a good performance from them. This team hasn't lost at home, and Ohio St. has only lost at Xavier on the road, so we feel this is an evenly matched game and a possibility for overtime or fouling in the last minute, which always helps push the total over if needed.

With two offensive teams and one coming off its worst or the second-worst game of the year (they scored 59 against Wisconsin and came back to score 81 in the next game), and Ohio State scoring over 70 the last five games and the coach admitting they need to get in better shape means less defense because these guys want to save their energy for offense, we fully expect both teams to score over 70 tonight as they are both averaging well over 70 on the year as we mentioned earlier.

The total sitting at 139 currently gives us what we need as we expect a game in the high 140's. So take the over and watch and win on FS1 again.

Indiana vs. Ohio State Pick

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