20-12 overall, 12-4 conference, 1st Big Ten
Against the spread
13-13-1 (7-5 home, 6-3 away)
11-16 (4-8 home, 6-3 away)
2005 Season Summary
Nobody would ever confuse Ohio State as a basketball school but the fact remained that Ohio State basketball was on the upswing and becoming a perennial Big Ten Conference championship contender.
In addition to improving as a title contender, Ohio State was cranking out the cash for gamblers as evidenced by their record in 2004-05 of 20-12 straight up and 18-11-1 against the spread. The Buckeyes closed strong by covering eight of their final ten regular season games.
The next step
Ohio State was prepared in 2005-06 to take the next step towards a conference championship. With more experience and depth the likelihood was high that Ohio State would also be back “dancing” in March Madness with an NCAA Tournament bid. The only concern from a gambling perspective was whether or not the Buckeyes might be overvalued at the start of the season because it was no secret that the mainstream gambling public was aware of the preseason hype over Ohio State and that the Buckeyes would not be emerging from the bushes as a surprise team caught gamblers off guard.
A lack of value in preseason
Ohio State began the 2005-06 season with an unlined home win over Chicago State. This was followed by a close call against Butler, 79-69 in overtime as 14.5-point home overlays. The Buckeyes got the cash in their next game, a 69-56 home win over Virginia Tech as 11-point chalks. This was followed by a nice 81-74 win at St. Joseph’s in a pick’em affair. Back-to-back unlined home wins followed over Norfolk State and Belmont before the Buckeyes beat Iowa State 70-67 in a push as 3-point neutral court favorites. Ohio State was again a preseason overlay in a 74-65 win over Tennessee State as 20-point home chalks. Another unlined home win over Gardner-Webb followed and then the Buckeyes closed preseason with a 78-76 home win over LSU as a 5.5-point chalk. Ohio State proved to have a lack of value in the preseason as they went 2-3-1 against the spread as Big Ten play opened.
From preseason overlays to Big Ten Bargains
Ohio State began Big Ten Conference play in grand fashion with a 104-69 blowout home win over Penn State as 17-point chalks. This was followed by a 79-81 loss at Indiana in which the Buckeyes still covered as 5.5-point dogs. Ohio State next won at Purdue 80-64 as 11-point chalks. At home against perennial conference favorite Michigan State the Buckeyes were upset 59-62 in overtime as 5-point chalks.
The loss to Michigan State did not deter the Buckeyes, however, as they recovered with back-to-back wins and covers. Ohio State first beat Wisconsin 77-67 as 5-point home chalks and then won at Penn State 75-64 as 8-point favorites. The Buckeyes next lost at Iowa 62-67 as 2.5-point dogs before an unlined home win over Florida A&M. Ohio State then took their next three games both straight up and against the spread against Minnesota, at Michigan, and at home in a showdown against powerful Illinois, 69-53 as 2-point chalks, to make it eight payoffs in their last ten lined games.
Back and forth
Ohio State seemed to have left everything on the floor in their win over Illinois as they dropped their next two games against the spread in a loss at Wisconsin and a straight up home win over Northwestern. They then won and covered at Michigan State and at home against Michigan. The back and forth pattern continued with a win at Northwestern in which they failed to get the cash and a win cover over Purdue at home to end the regular season.
Out of gas in post season
It was apparent that Ohio State was losing steam as the regular season closed and this was proven in the Big Ten tournament as they beat both Penn State and Indiana but failed to cover the spread either time. In the Big Ten championship game the Buckeyes lost to Iowa 60-67 as 2.5-point chalks. In the NCAA Tournament they beat Davidson 70-62 as 10.5-point chalks and then were eliminated by Georgetown 52-70 as 2-point chalks. Ohio State was out of gas in post season and it showed as they finished 0-5 against the spread after their blowout loss to the Hoyas but they did capture the Big Ten regular season title and appeared on the upswing as a program.