The Cincinnati Bearcats and Ohio State Buckeyes meet Thursday night for a sweet sixteen showdown. Lets see what odds the sportsbooks have laid out on the table for us as we try to decide which side of the lines we want to be on.

The Cincinnati Bearcats have notched an 8-1 spread record in their last nine games, including cashed tickets in the team’s first two rounds of NCAA Tournament action. Mick Cronin’s crew heads to the East bracket’s “Sweet Sixteen” in Thursday’s matchup at Boston’s TD Garden against the Ohio State Buckeyes, who have seen the ‘over’ collect at 4-1 in its five postseason affairs.

Sportsbooks opened Ohio State as a 7.5 point favorite, while first setting the ‘total’ at 131. EarlyNCAA basketball betting action on the Buckeyes and ‘under’ moved the numbers to eight and 130, respectively.

Buckeyes get past Gonzaga

Ohio State rallied from an early seven-point deficit in Saturday’s 73-66 victory against the Gonzaga Bulldogs. The Buckeyes allowed 39.3 percent field shooting from Gonzaga, who held on to cover for my followers as an eight-point underdog.

Buckeyes forwards Jared Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas notched 18 points each, while uniting for 11 rebounds. The duo’s backcourt mate Aaron Craft piled in a double-double, with 17 points and 10 of his squad’s 13 assists.

The contest’s combined 139 points leaped above the ‘total’ of 135.5. Ohio State sank 14-of-18 free throws, while being edged out in boards, 31-26. 

Bearcats upset Florida State 

Cincinnati vs. Ohio StateCincinnati staged a late 13-6 run to pull off Sunday’s 62-56 triumph as a two-point underdog against the Florida State Seminoles, giving cashed tickets to my followers. Both squads shot 38 percent from the field, while the Bearcats outrebounded FSU, 30-28. 

Bearcats guard Sean Kilpatrick logged a team-high 18 points, draining 4-of-6 buckets beyond the arc. Cincinnati’s Cashmere Wright and Jaquon Parker united for 14 points, while adding five steals and 11 boards, respectively. 

The tight affair’s combined 118 points dipped below the ‘total’ of 129, making the ‘under’ 7-3 in Cincinnati’s last 10 games. Bearcats guard Dion Dixon hit a perfect 4-of-4 at the foul line, finishing with 15 points, while mate Yancy Gates notched 10 points and five boards. 

Back Cincy to get the money 

Thursday’s tip is scheduled for 9:45 p.m. (ET), with CBS providing the national television coverage.

I am adding the Bearcats to my NCAA Basketball picks, taking the sizable number and continuing a ride on the team’s money train. Cincinnati has continued to be undervalued by the oddsmakers, collecting at 6-1 ATS in its last seven contests that followed a victory.

The Bearcats have held their last three foes to 55 PPG, while winning the rebounding battle in its first two “Big Dance” contests. Cincinnati has been an eight-point dog only once before this year, picking up its 71-68 victory in this month’s Big East Tournament against the Syracuse Orange.

Ohio State should meet its defensive match in this spot, finding it challenging to build a lengthy lead. Cincinnati has trailed by five or less points in three of its last four contests, bringing one of the tourney’s stingiest squads to “Beantown” despite being the East’s lowest-remaining seed.

Look for the Bearcats to find the rims just enough here en route to cashed tickets, staying within striking range down to the battle’s final minutes.

My Pick: Add the Bearcats to your picks