Bowling Green Falcons vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Prediction & Game Preview -- 11/15/2021

by Chuck Sommers

Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Value City Arena, Columbus, OH
Where to watch: Big Ten Network

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Ohio State -16
BetMGM: Ohio State -15.5
Caesars: Ohio State -16

Season record
Bowling Green: 1-1
No. 17 Ohio State: 2-0

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Bowling Green - Ohio State preview and analysis


Recent form
Bowling Green: won 101-60 vs. Ohio Wesleyan on Friday
Ohio State: won 84-74 vs. Niagara on Friday

College basketball season always has that team or three that come out of the gates struggling, making you wonder if it’s legit or not.

The Ohio State Buckeyes appear to be of that group coming off two wins that were far closer than the 17th-ranked Buckeyes would like. But the Buckeyes will look to close this three-game homestand to start the season strong when they host the Bowling Green Falcons on Monday in Columbus.

After a narrow one-point victory against the Akron Zips in their season opener, Ohio State followed that with a hard-fought matchup against the Niagara Purple Eagles, winning 84-74 on Friday.

Had it not been for Buckeyes star E.J. Liddell, who’s to say if the Buckeyes would be where they are? Liddell opened the season with 25 points and 11 rebounds in the win over Akron before fouling out. He followed that with 29 points, three assists, four blocks and five rebounds against Niagara.

"I thought our guys had some really good responses and some really good moments," Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. "This was a hard-fought win."

The Buckeyes led by only one at halftime before eventually pulling away in the second half. Zed Key was the only other starter to score in double figures with 11 points and seven rebounds, but the frontcourt of Liddell and Key combined for seven of Ohio State’s eight blocks.

Based on how the first two games played out, it’s clear the Buckeyes are going to run through Liddell with everyone else playing contemporary. They could have a tough time facing a Bowling Green squad that relies on its depth.

Led by Daeqwon Plowden, the Falcons are coming off a 41-point victory over Ohio Wesleyan on Friday. Plowden, an All-MAC Third Team selection last season, had 14 points and six rebounds in just 23 minutes. Last year’s conference Sixth Man of the Year Trey Diggs had a team-high 20 points to lead six Falcons in double figures.

Bowling Green had a 52.7 percent shooting night while going 10 of 24 from the 3-point line. To be frank, we shouldn’t be holding a game against Ohio Wesleyan to such high standards. One look at the box score for the game shows the Battling Bishops played every single player in the rotation, had four starters, got outrebounded 57-29, and did not take a single free throw.

So what you’re saying is this group won’t be making the NCAA Tournament any time soon. Got it.

Prediction


Keep an eye on how Ohio State responds to this game. There’s no reason why the Buckeyes shouldn’t win by double digits, especially if Liddell is that much of a terror right now. If Ohio State doesn’t cover, we may need to start having some conversations of the validity of this group. Ohio State by 20

Betting trends


Bowling Green is 11-6 ATS the past three seasons as an underdog.

Bowling Green is 8-20 ATS following a game where it failed to cover.

Ohio State is 26-4 straight up the past three seasons as a home favorite or pick, while 18-12 ATS.

Projected starting lineup


Bowling Green:
PG: Myron Gordon
SG: Brenton Mills
SF:
Trey Diggs
PF:
Daeqwon Plowden
C:
Joe Reece

Ohio State:
PG: Jamari Wheeler
SG: Justin Ahrens
SF:
E.J. Liddell
PF:
Zed Key
C:
Kyle Young

Statistical leaders


Bowling Green:
Points: Daeqwon Plowden -- 16.0
Rebounds: Daeqwon Plowden -- 9.5
Assists: Myron Gordon -- 3.0

Ohio State:
Points: E.J. Liddell -- 27.0
Rebounds: E.J. Liddell -- 8.0
Assists: Jamari Wheeler -- 3.5

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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