College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for North Carolina vs. Purdue: Why to Back Boilers at Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament

College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for North Carolina vs. Purdue: Why to Back Boilers at Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament article feature image

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  • No. 6 Purdue squares off against No. 18 North Carolina at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut as part of HOF Tip-Off Tournament.
  • The Boilermakers have flexed their depth and size so far this season, while the Tar Heels have struggled on defense.
  • Doug Ziefel breaks down the marquee top-20 matchup and offers up his best bet.

North Carolina vs. Purdue Odds

Saturday, November 20
4 p.m. ET
North Carolina Odds
-105o / -115u
Purdue Odds
-105o / -115u
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The Air Force Reserve Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament features four of the premier programs in the country and will deliver multiple marquee games. The second showdown on Saturday has a March Madness preview written all over it.

The Purdue Boilermakers take on the North Carolina Tar Heels. Both teams enter this game undefeated as they each have rolled over lesser opponents.

This matchup will be the first real test for both programs and how it plays out will tell us a lot about just how far these two teams will go.

North Carolina Tar Heels

Tar Heels' Experience Leading the Way

First-year head coach Hubert Davis has quite the shoes to fill as he takes over for the legendary Roy Williams.

The pressure was certainly not relieved when his Tar Heels trailed the Charleston Cougars at halftime. Fortunately for Davis and the rest of the North Carolina faithful, his team cleaned up their act and stormed past the Cougars in the second half.

Much of the comeback can be credited to two players who have stepped up early, Armando Bacot and Caleb Love.

Bacot has shown signs of taking an even bigger leap forward as a junior than he did as a sophomore. Davis expected Bacot to become the veteran leader of this team and he has fulfilled that role early on.

The forward is currently averaging 18 points and just over nine rebounds per game. He is also shooting 82% from the field.

As previously mentioned, Bacot was a big factor in the win against Charleston, but he not only contributed on the offensive end, he announced his presence as a defender as well. Bacot had six blocks against the Cougars and now has 10 through three games.

Watching Bacot down low in this matchup will be a treat as the Boilermakers have imposing big men of their own.

The other player that has seemingly gotten it going this season is guard Caleb Love. The former McDonald's All-American had a tough transition his freshman year, but now as a sophomore, he looks poised to breakout.

Love is currently the team's leading scorer and showed his ability to take over a game against Charleston. He poured in 18 of his 22 points in the second half.

What is interesting about this North Carolina team is that it'll run seven players deep and none of them are freshmen. The depth and experience of this team is the perfect pairing for a first-year head coach.

The Tar Heels are not reliant on one guy to get a bucket as we have seen already. Senior forward Brady Manek has been deadly from deep while also doing a solid job on the boards. Sophomore guards Kerwin Walton and R.J. Davis have each shown their ability to get to the basket, which includes a 26-point performance from Davis already.

For all the offensive firepower that the Tar Heels have shown early on, Purdue is one team that can certainly slow them down. The Boilermakers are second in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency and have held opponents to just 43 percent in effective field goal percentage.

Not to mention the Boilermakers absolutely dominate on the glass, as they are second in opponent rebounds allowed per game.

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Purdue Boilermakers

Boilermakers Built Around The Big Men

If you thought that North Carolina was a deep and experienced team, well this Purdue team runs nine men deep and over half of them are averaging double figures so far this season.

There is no secret to the Boilermakers' success when you look at the pure size of this team.

It all starts with the sophomore center Zach Edey, who stands at a towering 7-foot-4. He has shown this season that he is much more than an imposing presence. Edey is averaging nearly 19 points and over 10 rebounds per game.

Joining Edey down low is senior Trevion Williams and freshman Caleb Furst. Both Williams and Furst are nearly averaging a double-double this season.

The Boilermakers' trio of guards can't be forgotten, though, as they have each shown they can get buckets.

Sophomore Jaden Ivey could be considered the point guard — as he is their lead playmaker — but he has also shown his ability to carry the team with a 27-point performance against Indiana State.

Senior Sasha Stefanovic is the sharpshooter of the team. He is currently shooting 57 percent from 3 and has shown he can pile them up as he posted a 23-point performance in Purdue's season opener.

Last, but certainly least is sophomore, Brandon Newman. Newman has been a bit streaky through three games but the stretches where he finds it can be troubling for the opposition. He possesses excellent touch from the outside and has become a great sixth man off the bench.

Yes, we are dealing with a small sample size here but the numbers show just how dominant this Boilermakers team can be. They are fifth in points, 13th in assists, ninth in rebounds and most importantly, sixth in shooting efficiency.

This offense will go up against a North Carolina team that has allowed low-major teams to score and shoot efficiently against them.

North Carolina vs. Purdue Betting Pick

This matchup is going to be a treat. I will personally have my popcorn ready to watch Edey and Bacot duel down low, though the scoreboard will eventually prove that the Boilermakers are too much for the Tar Heels to handle.

The size, ball movement and shooting efficiency give Purdue a sizable edge here.

Bart Torvik has the Boilermakers as an eight-point favorite and I would take that number. All of the factors above could create a Purdue run that North Carolina won't be able to recover from.

Pick: Purdue -8 or better

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Nick Sterling
Jun 16, 2024 UTC