College Basketball Odds & Picks for Liberty vs. Purdue: Boilermakers Have Value in Season Opener
Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Trevion Williams.
- The ASUN's Liberty Flames will play the Big Ten's Purdue Boilermakers on Wednesday, with the game tipping off at 6 p.m. ET.
- The Flames have been dominant in their conference recently, but the Boilermakers' big men could cause plenty of problems inside.
- Check out BJ Cunningham's full betting preview with updated odds below.
Liberty vs. Purdue Odds
|Liberty Odds||+9.5 [BET NOW]|
|Purdue Odds||-9.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+400/-530 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||124 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Wednesday, 6 p.m. ET|
|TV||CBS Sports Network|
Liberty and Purdue meet in Melbourne, Florida, on Wednesday night in the Space Coast Challenge.
Liberty is coming off the best season in program history, going 30-4 before postseason play was canceled due to COVID-19. It’s won two straight Atlantic Sun titles and is poised to make it three this season. This will be the Flames’ third game against a Power Five school in the last two years. Last season, they upset Vanderbilt on the road but lost at LSU to end their 14-0 start.
Purdue had an up and down 2019-20 season, finishing 16-15 and 9-11 in the Big Ten, which is a step down from where the Boilermakers have been the past few seasons. However, Purdue did play the sixth-toughest schedule and was the 24th-rated team, according to KenPom. The Boilermakers bring back three starters and five players from last season’s nine-man rotation, so they are poised to be a threat in the Big Ten yet again.
If the Flames are going to repeat as Atlantic Sun champions, they’ll have to replace their entire frontcourt. The good news is that guards Elijah Cuffee and Darius McGhee are back to lead the Liberty’s backcourt.
Scoring is going to be the Flames’ Achilles heel for this season. They are ranked in the bottom half on KenPom in offensive efficiency. In 2019, Liberty was in the top 20 in effective field-goal percentage (eFG%) and 2-point FG%. However, those numbers are likely to drastically decrease due to their frontcourt losses.
According to KenPom, Liberty ranks 166th entering the season. It does not have the talent to replace four seniors (Caleb Homesley, Scottie James, Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz, Myo Baxter-Bell), so it may be tough sledding for the Flames to start the season.
Liberty was the second-slowest team in the country when it comes to pace in 2019. With both guards coming back, it’s projected to be extremely slow again. The Boilermakers are also below average in pace, so Liberty should be able to play at a comfortable pace on Wednesday.
Purdue is poised for a bounce-back season in 2020. The Boilermakers return three starters and added two four-star recruits to their roster. Purdue is rated 17th on KenPom in terms of offensive efficiency.
Power forward Trevion Williams is set to lead the Boilermakers with the departure of center Matt Haarms. Williams will be a problem for Liberty on Wednesday, as the Flames do not have any clear candidates to guard him.
Guards Eric Hunter and Sasha Stefanovic will lead the Purdue backcourt and are dead-eye 3-point shooters. Both shot over 35% from beyond the arc last season. However, Hunter injured his knee and will be out until the middle of January, so Purdue is going to be a little shorthanded going into the season. Stefanovic will still present a challenge for Liberty, which will most likely have to double Williams in the post and will thus give Purdue opportunities on the perimeter.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Purdue is dealing with a couple of injury issues going into the game with Hunter out and four-star freshman Ethan Morton questionable.
Despite that, I think Purdue will be able to dominate this game with Williams and its frontcourt. The Boilermakers opened at -11 but were quickly bet down to -9.5 with Hunter out.
I have Purdue projected as -11.26 favorites, so I think there’s value on the Boilermakers at -9.5. However, I wouldn’t play it any higher than that number.
Pick: Purdue -9.5.