Penn State vs Purdue Odds, Picks: Nittany Lions to Keep it Close

Penn State vs Purdue Odds, Picks: Nittany Lions to Keep it Close article feature image

Justin Casterline/Getty Images. Pictured: Zach Edey

Penn State vs Purdue Odds

Wednesday, Feb. 1
6:30 p.m. ET
Big Ten Network
Penn State Odds
-110o / -110u
Purdue Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Mackey Arena may be one of the hardest places to play in all of college basketball right with the ongoing success of the Purdue Boilermakers. On Wednesday night, they host the Penn State Nittany Lions, who are presently 5-5 in conference.

This game will feature the two best offensive teams in the Big Ten. Purdue ranks fourth in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, per KenPom, while Penn State ranks 27th. Neither of these teams turns the ball over much on offense and barely turns over opponents defensively.

Penn State’s bread and butter is the 3-ball, in which it is shooting 38.5% and take threes on 47.6% of possession, ranking 10th in college basketball. Purdue gets the ball inside with the dominant force of Zach Edey. The Boilermakers are an elite rebounding team but sometimes have struggled guarding threes.

Penn State may have a tough road task ahead of them, but might have enough firepower to beat the spread as a big underdog against the nation's No. 1 team.

Penn State Nittany Lions

The Nittany Lions were able to shoot well against Purdue the last time out. They hit 36.4% from outside the arc but allowed Purdue to shoot over 60% on 2-pointers and 8-for-18 from 3-point range.

This team truly lives and dies by the three, and that can hurt them at times, but they proved last time out that they can find holes in the Boilermakers' defense. They rank 15th in spacing, per Shot Quality, and that exploits one glaring weakness in Purdue's defense, which ranks 181st in spacing.

Penn State actually led Purdue at halftime the first time these teams met, getting open looks from three like this triple from Jalen Pickett:

🔥 @PennStateMBB is on FIRE right now 🔥

— FOX College Hoops (@CBBonFOX) January 8, 2022

Penn State manufactures 1.07 points per possession (PPP) on catch-and–shoot threes. Purdue allows 1.03 PPP on these shots, so Penn State should have some open looks off the pass.

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Purdue Boilermakers

As good as Penn State can be offensively, the Nittany Lions can run into trouble on the defensive end and will need to shore up some of those issues against a lethal Purdue offense.

Penn State can do that by making the most of its personnel. The Nittany Lions rank 15th in Rim and Three Rate. They rank 11th in PPP at the rim, fifth on pick and roll ball screens and 33rd on cuts. All of these metrics are where the Boilermakers thrive on the offensive end.

Penn State is not very tall, but has shown it can defend the interior, allowing opponents to shoot below 47% from 2-points range.

Edey will always have the ball in his hands. The Boilermakers are first in the nation on post-ups. They have scored 21% of their points from the free throw line and over 50% from 2-point range.

Even if the Nittany Lions are able to contain Edey somewhat, their bigger issue is on the perimeter. Opponents are shooting 33% from 3-point range against them, and they allow a 3-point attempt percentage of 37.4%. With all of their energy and focus on Edey in the paint, as he dropped 30 on them last time, Purdue will have open shots around the arc.

Penn State vs. Purdue Betting Pick

Penn State has shown it can hang with Purdue if the 3-point shot is falling. Purdue shot 60% from 2-point range and 40% from 3-point range the last time these two teams met, and it's tough to predict the Boilermakers replicating that feat.

Take the Nittany Lions to keep it close on the road. I'd bet them to +9.5.

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