Wednesday’s College Basketball Betting Previews: Purdue-Ohio State, VCU-Rhode Island

Wednesday’s College Basketball Betting Previews: Purdue-Ohio State, VCU-Rhode Island article feature image
Credit:

USA Today Sports. Pictured: Purdue G Carsen Edwards, Rhode Island G Fatts Russell

Just five ranked teams are in action on Wednesday night, but it’s other teams that are of greater intrigue. Purdue, winners of six of its past seven games, travels to Ohio State while Rhode Island hosts VCU.

Which sides of these matchups have more value? Let’s break them down.


>> All odds as of Tuesday night. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NCAAB odds and track your bets.


Betting Odds: Purdue Boilermakers at Ohio State Buckeyes

  • Spread: Purdue -1.5
  • Over/Under: 141.5
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET
  • TV: Big Ten Network

The Boilermakers (10-8 against the spread) have covered in five of their past seven games after an 0-4 ATS stretch. They’ll take on a Buckeyes team (7-10 ATS) that’s failed to cover in five straight contests — losing four outright.

The analytics are all over Purdue as the eighth-rated team in KenPom with the sixth-highest Adjusted Offensive Efficiency (119.8 points per 100 possessions).

But despite Ohio State’s slide in Big Ten play, the Buckeyes have limited conference opponents to the 13th-lowest scoring rate from both inside and beyond the arc.

With Matt Painter’s small-ball lineup constructed similarly to the Buckeyes squad, OSU coach Chris Holtmann is set up to deliver a get-right game defensively.

At the other end, the Buckeyes have surprisingly been more reliant on their perimeter offense while generating an above average 35.5% 3-point clip. Not only has Purdue struggled to defend around the arc all season, but it’s been particularly dreadful amid its Big Ten slate, giving up the 11th-highest in-conference percentage (37.3%).

Look for Ohio State to work the ball inside-out through Kaleb Wesson (15.9 points per game), who has struggled to establish his presence against some lengthier frontcourts recently. Even with fellow forward Kyle Young (stress fracture) out for the coming weeks, his absence could actually aid their floor spacing.

THE PICK: Buckeyes +1.5

Betting Odds: VCU Rams at Rhode Island Rams

  • Spread: Rhode Island -1
  • Over/Under: 132.5
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET
  • TV: CBS Sports Network

It turns out that three Rams teams are playing in big games over the next two weeks: The Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl 53 and … the VCU Rams (10-7-1 ATS) against to Rhode Island Rams (7-10 ATS) in an A-10 clash.

Mike Rhodes’ unit owns the fourth-rated Adjusted Defensive Efficiency (88.2 opponents’ points per 100 possessions) in the country. Its ball pressure and 23.5% opponents’ turnover rate should present Rhode Island with loads of issues given that its attack has struggled with miscues consistently.

VCU leading scorer Marcus Evans (13.4 points per game) is also its top ball hawk. Expect him to spurt the havoc against Rhode Island point guard Fatts Russell, who will be bothered by Evans’ length via his 5-foot-11, 165-pound frame.

Marcus-Evans
Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Marcus Evans

VCU thrives off transition opportunities and boasts a top-60 average time of possession because of them. VCU has also totaled the 88th-highest free-throw rate (FTA/FGA) in college basketball, getting to the line consistently when the team is pushing the pace. Meanwhile, Rhode Island has yielded the 75th-highest rate in that department.

Moreover, VCU has improved its perimeter shooting in conference play by 6.1 percentage points (34.8%) — despite the smaller sample size. It’ll be able to take advantage of Rhode Island’s more giving defense of late, allowing a 38.2 opponents’ 3-point percentage during its A-10 docket.

According to our Bet Labs data, Rhodes’ bunch is 4-2 (66.6%) ATS as a dog this season. Expect that trend to continue in Kingston.

THE PICK: VCU +1