Betting Purdue-Ball State: Can Cardinals Upset Another In-State Foe?

Betting Purdue-Ball State: Can Cardinals Upset Another In-State Foe? article feature image

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Ball State guard Tayler Persons

  • Ball State will travel to Purdue (-13.5) for an in-state matchup at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday night on BTN.
  • Cardinals will look to repeat what they did in an upset win as 19-point underdogs over Notre Dame last year.

On Dec. 6, 2017, Notre Dame was ranked No. 9 in the college basketball polls. Ball State guard Tayler Persons changed the tune of the Fighting Irish’s season that evening, drilling a 3-pointer with under two seconds left to hand the Cardinals a win as an 18-point underdog.

Ball State will attempt to knock off another top-25 program from Indiana on Saturday when it faces Purdue for the first time since December 2012. Let’s take a quick look at the matchup from a betting perspective, focusing on two critical areas: Pace and rebounding.

Ball State at Purdue -13.5 | O/U 147

8 p.m ET on BTN


Although the Boilermakers lost seniors Vincent Edwards, Isaac Haas, Dakota Mathias and P.J. Thompson, head coach Matt Painter still has one of the quickest teams in transition. Purdue averaged 15.4 Seconds Per Possession in its season-opening win over Fairfield, guided by guard Carsen Edwards’ game-high 30 points.

Edwards, named the preseason Big Ten Player of the Year, improved his 3-point percentage (40.6%) last season by 6.6 percentage points from his freshman campaign. He appears to have carried over his stroke into his junior season, hitting seven 3s in the 33-point victory. Wings Ryan Cline, Grady Eifert and Nojel Eastern are also perimeter threats, but their efficiency remains an unknown after limited shot volume last season.

The Cardinals yielded a 50% clip from deep in their contest against Indiana State, but they allowed only a 36.4 field goal percentage overall.

Ball State will aim to force a similar tempo, amassing 17.6 Seconds Per Possession with 1.22 Points Per Possession versus ISU.

Persons isn’t as explosive as Edwards, but he is still a productive floor general, averaging the 64th-highest Assist Rate in the nation last season. The 6-foot-3 point guard would’ve likely played for Purdue if not for former Boilermakers forward Caleb Swanigan, who took their final scholarship after decommitting from Michigan State.


Ball State should hang around because of its size inside. Despite the 7-foot-3 Matt Haarms roaming the paint for Purdue, the Cardinals showcase a starting lineup with three forwards, all of whom have at least 6-foot-7 frames. They notched a 44.4 Offensive Rebounding Rate versus the similarly-sized Sycamores.

Collecting second-chance points will be crucial, especially if the Cardinals can’t slow down Purdue around the 3-point arc. Ball State simply can’t let the Boilermakers leak out off missed shots. Arkansas transfer Brachen Hazen, who pulled down four offensive boards in the opener, could be a difference maker in this department.

Bets to Watch

  • Ball State +13.5
  • Over 147

Purdue is 1-11 against the spread in its past 12 games following a win. Even with a different core, I see that trend continuing against the Cardinals in a high-scoring affair.

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