College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Purdue vs. Rutgers: Will Boilermakers Crush Scarlet Knights?
Justin Casterline/Getty Images. Pictured: Jaden Ivey.
- Purdue and Rutgers go head-to-head in a Big Ten showcase.
- The Boilermakers have been the best team in the country in the early going of the season.
- D.J. James breaks down the matchup and offers up his best bet.
Purdue vs. Rutgers Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The Rutgers Scarlett Knights have looked lost without one of their stars in Geo Baker. They dropped their first road contest to the Illinois Fighting Illini, losing by a margin of 35 points, making it four of five losses in a row for them.
They somehow pulled off a victory at home against Clemson, but the Purdue Boilermakers are the best team in the country right now and have matchup nightmares for the Scarlett Knights across the board. They should be able to come away with a wide margin of victory in Piscataway, New Jersey on Thursday.
Purdue has shown in every game they are true title contenders and should do so again in this game. They distribute the ball very well and have four players averaging at least 12 points per game. Trevion Williams even took a step back to play off of the bench for the Boilers, and it has not hurt them at all.
Purdue has the best offensive team in the country–even better than Gonzaga. Their Effective Field Goal Percentage ranks first in all of college basketball as they have threats in both the front and backcourt. Zach Edey is a matchup concern for Rutgers, as he is seven-foot-four-inches tall and nearly 300 pounds.
Rutgers big man Cliff Omoruyi will have his hands full guarding an opponent five inches taller than he is. This essentially frees up Trevion Williams, Purdue’s next tallest player. He is almost averaging a double-double each game and could be matched up with Ron Harper, Jr.
Purdue’s massive advantage comes from behind the 3-point line. As a team, they are shooting 44% from downtown. The Purdue back court leads the 3-point assault on most teams as Sasha Stefanovic, Brandon Newman, Isaiah Thompson, and Jaden Ivey all have made at least fourteen treys this season.
Even even though Rutgers is a strong defensive team, long distance shooting will cause them havoc. The Scarlett Knights allow a 34.7% three-point percentage, so this game could get out of hand quickly.
Losing Geo Baker knocks Rutgers down a couple of pegs. They could have been in line for another NCAA Tournament birth, but until he returns, they will not right the ship. Baker has not practiced much, if at all, so his return could not come soon enough for the Knights.
Playing at the RAC (Jersey Mike’s Arena) is usually a significant advantage for Rutgers, but they lost to Lafayette at home somehow in November. In total, Lafayette and Rutgers combined for 104 points in that game, so playing against Purdue is a much taller task.
Rutgers needs to improve its offense as it ranks 320th in Effective Field Goal Percentage. The Scarlet Knights need to make buckets to upset a team like Purdue, and since their strength only lies on the defensive end, they will not be able to do so.
Finally, the Scarlett Knights do not have a very deep team. Ron Harper, Jr. and Cliff Omoruyi are quality scorers, but with Edey, Williams, and Caleb Furst on the block, they will struggle to find inside scoring chances. Unless they suddenly light it up from outside, they easily could be limited to fewer than 60 points.
Purdue vs. Rutgers Betting Pick
It is impossible to picture a path forward for Rutgers to pull off an upset against Purdue or even cover their spread at +11.5 (-110). The Boilermakers have far more depth than the Scarlett Knights and have the defensive weapons to stop Rutgers at every turn.
If Matt Painter’s squad begins to knock down shots from beyond the arc early, this game could be over in the first half. Take Purdue at -11.5 (-110), and play to -14 (-110).