It’s been a great tournament for the state of Ohio but one team must fall in the Sweet 16 and bettors feel it will be the Cincinnati Bearcats.
The Big East team faces Ohio State Thursday but recent history has not been kind to Buckeye bettors at this stage of the tournament. The past three OSU trips to the Sweet 16 produced an 0-3 ATS mark in Vegas.
"Of the eight games in the Sweet 16, this game has the most lopsided wagering action so far," said Mark Presley of OddsShark.com. "Currently, 65% of the voting wagers are on Cincinnati at +7.5 points."
That could be an indication of bettor concern with Ohio State or just the temptation of getting 7.5 points with a tough Bearcats team.
Cincinnati is on an 8-3 ATS run in its past 11 games as an underdog. Further, they are 8-1 ATS in their past nine games overall. Ohio State was favored by 7.5 points against Gonzaga as well last week and failed to cover the spread.
Predicted Score: 81-73 Ohio State
ATS Pick: OSU -7.5
How They Match Up:
Offensively, the game matches up Ohio State's No. 35 nationally ranked offense (74.8 points per game) against a Bearcats defense that sits as the No. 34 at 61 PPG. The Buckeyes have been averaging 48.2% from the field, more than the Bearcats have managed so far this season (42% on average).
Defensively, Cincinnati features the nation's No. 56-rated defense on the road, allowing 64.6 points per game. Ohio State, meanwhile, comes in at No. 49 nationally in scoring at home.
In their last action, Cincinnati was a 62-56 winner against Florida State. They covered the 3-point spread as underdogs. The Bearcats got 18 points from Sean Kilpatrick as Cincinnati ran past Florida State 62-56 on Sunday at Bridgestone Arena.
Ohio State was a 73-66 winner in its last match against Gonzaga. They failed to cover the 7.5-point spread as favorites. Ohio State got 18 points from Jared Sullinger en route to a 73-66 victory over Gonzaga on Saturday at Consol Energy Center.