It’s easy to take a glimpse at Ohio State’s résumé and write this team off entirely, particularly with just two games left in an otherwise wasted regular season.
Yet that would be underselling the upside for these Buckeyes — and the significance of Wednesday’s home-road splits for both them and the visiting Maryland Terrapins.
All year long, the advanced metrics have liked Ohio State (12-17), even when the losses continued to pile up amid one of the toughest schedules in the country.
Ohio State vs. Maryland pick
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And after Sunday’s win over Illinois — which snapped this team’s nine-game losing streak — the Buckeyes ranked fifth in adjusted efficiency among all teams with a losing record.
They also improved their home record to a surprising 9-6 mark, which comes in sharp contrast to this team’s 3-11 record on the road.
We’ve already seen Ohio State score outright home upsets over Rutgers, Iowa and now Illinois, with the latter two wins coming by 16 and 12 points, respectively.
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Next up is Maryland (20-9), which has similarly been unbeatable at home but struggled mightily on the road.
The Terrapins are 2-7 straight up in true road games (3-6 against the spread) with a 1-7 road record in conference play, including an overtime loss at middling Nebraska on Feb. 19 in their last road test.
I won’t be surprised to see another outright loss on Wednesday.