College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Wright State vs. Purdue: Why to Back the Raiders
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- After scoring 188 combined points in its first two games, No. 6 Purdue hosts Wright State in a non-conference duel.
- This may be Matt Painter's most complete roster yet, while Scott Nagy's Raiders lost leading scorer Loudon Love off of last year's team.
- D.J. James breaks down the matchup and offers up his best bet.
Wright State vs. Purdue Odds
|Wright State Odds|
With all of Matt Painter’s pieces in the right spot, the Purdue Boilermakers have a strong chance at making a 2021-2022 title run.
Wright State, however, is poised to make a push for the Horizon League Championship and potentially, a Cinderella run in the NCAA Tournament.
Purdue lost a role player in Aaron Wheeler from last season’s roster, while Wright State’s leading scorer, Loudon Love, graduated. Still, each return the rest of their core, which should make for an interesting early-season matchup.
Purdue plays at a slower pace than average, while Wright State pushes the ball up the floor quicker than almost every team in college basketball.
However, the Raiders could throw off the Boilermakers in the first half to make the game tighter than expected.
Wright State returns four starters who averaged at least nine points per game in 2020-2021. The Raiders fell short of Horizon League Tournament champion, Cleveland State, but led the way during the regular season.
Coach Scott Nagy added a key role player in C.J. Wilbourn from Milwaukee. The majority of the scoring distribution will come from starters Trey Calvin, Tim Finke, Tanner Holden and Grant Basile, though.
These guys like to push the pace. They ranked 52nd in adjusted tempo, per KenPom, last season and only held the ball for 16.3 seconds per each possession on offense.
They rank 10th in tempo thus far this season, but they have only allowed opponents 11.9 seconds to score. This is the fastest in hoops and explains their loss to Marshall in their second game.
That said, Marshall is a comparable team in the pace department. If Wright State has an opponent that meets their quickness, they may struggle. This is not the case with Purdue, which has ranked 223rd or lower in adjusted tempo since 2018.
Purdue can crash the glass, but Wright State can do the same. In fact, last season, the Raiders averaged 4.6 more rebounds per game than the Boilers.
Zach Edey is a more prominent figure in the Purdue offense, logging around 20 minutes per game, but outside of Wright State’s point guard, every starter is at least 6-foot-6. The Raiders have plenty of bodies to box out both Edey and Trevion Williams when needed.
The Purdue offense has historically thrived through a couple trees (big men) in the paint. The Boilermakers are far more complete now.
Jaden Ivey looks to be a more authoritative playmaker on offense this season. He already averages 19 points per game through their first two ballgames.
Edey has tied that figure himself.
Oddly enough, Williams, a First Team All-Big Ten member, has only averaged 7.5 points off the bench. He is only averaging 17 minutes per game, with much of the playing time going to freshman, Caleb Furst.
This gives Painter a strong bench player in a potential All-American, but it is something to keep note of. If Williams is not playing as often in this matchup, that is a neutralized offensive weapon for Wright State.
Wright State vs. Purdue Betting Pick
Purdue has dynamic offensive weapons across its lineup, and this is surely Painter’s most talented crew.
Even if that is the case, Wright State could cause early-season mismatches for the Boilermakers. The Raiders have enough height throughout their lineup.
Edey could cause issues, but Basile will be in the game long enough as a defensive antidote.
The most apparent issue Wright State will have will be a lack of time spent on defense. If Purdue is scoring early and easily, Wright State will be sunk. But given the Raiders’ pace, they could cause problems for a half, at least.
Take the Raiders at +18 and play it to +16.
Pick: Wright State +18 (Play to +16)
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