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Picks, predictions for Ohio State vs. Rutgers on Sunday, January 15

Two teams that are receiving votes in the polls look to crack the Top 25 with a win.

Ohio State Buckeyes forward Zed Key reacts to a play during the first half of the men s NCAA division I basketball game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Value City Arena. Joseph Scheller/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Ohio State Buckeyes and Rutgers Scarlet Knights head to The RAC in Piscataway, NJ for a crucial Big Ten matchup on Sunday. Tip-off is set for 2:15 p.m., and the game will air on Big Ten Network

Let’s take a look at the odds and lines on DraftKings Sportsbook and make some picks.

Ohio State vs. Rutgers odds

Spread: Rutgers -3.5
Over/Under: 135
Moneyline: Rutgers -165, Ohio State +140

The Ohio State University (10-6, 2-3 Big Ten) are underperforming their power rankings so far, as they sit 15th in KenPom overall, but have lost their last three to Purdue, Maryland, and a stunning 70-67 loss to Minnesota at home on Thursday night. Forward Zed Key returned for the Bucks, but it was to no avail as they allowed 28 points and seven rebounds to Dawson Garcia of the Gophers. OSU can score (No. 3 nationally in adjusted offense), but it’s defensively they’ll need to improve, as they’re 99th in adjusted defense.

The Scarlet Knights (12-5, 4-2 Big Ten) lost to Iowa at home last Sunday before a midweek win at Northwestern. Nigerian junior Cliff Omoruyi (13.2 points, 10.0 rebounds per game) gives them a post option that doesn’t need the ball, while senior Cam Spencer (3.6 assists per game) is a steady backcourt presence with nearly a 3-to-1 assist/turnover ratio. RU sits at 14 in KenPom, but lost the previous matchup in Columbus 67-66 to today’s opponent.

The Pick: Ohio State +3.5

Sometimes it’s just about who needs this more, and in a league as tough as the B1G, the Buckeyes know their backs are against the wall presently. They showed flashes against Minnesota of a team that’s willing to defend at a high level, and with 72 hours to adjust Key back into the system, they should be able to get a few more stops today. Expect plenty of points both ways, but enough for OSU to at least be close enough to steal one they really need on the road.