Marquette vs. Purdue Odds, Picks: Ride the Mackey Arena Crowd
Photo by Ben Solomon/NCAA Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Zach Edey.
Marquette vs. Purdue Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
For many power conference teams, early season tournaments and “challenge” events act as the first major measuring stick each season. That’s true of both Purdue and Marquette, who will meet as part of the Big Ten and Big East’s clash in the annual Gavitt Games.
Both teams return notable players from last season, yet had plenty of production depart via the NBA Draft and graduation.
Two excellent coaches in Matt Painter and Shaka Smart will need to craft new game plans for their re-tooled teams. Which will be more ready for this showdown Tuesday night?
In the third year of Shaka Smart’s tenure at Marquette, the Golden Eagles find themselves in a familiar place for teams rustling in the middle of the pack of a power conference.
Last year’s roster returns many key pieces, though Smart is without leading scorer Justin Lewis, second-leading scorer and defensive ace Darryl Morsell, and defensive anchor Kur Kuath.
Without the additions of any showstopping freshmen and no notable arrivals via the transfer portal, Marquette’s outlook will depend on the progression of players within Smart’s program. If they develop, especially if those who looked good last year can see some linear progression, the Golden Eagles can claw through the Big East and fight for a tournament bid.
Things are rarely that simple. The players being relied upon don’t have hefty track records in college basketball. Tyler Kolek scored 8 points per game last year after transferring from George Mason. Oso Ighodaro scored 5.5 points per game last year. Olivier Maxence-Prosper added 6.6 points per game. Sophomore David Joplin only had 90 points total last year as a freshman.
If you trust Smart and think these pieces can develop year-over-year, there’s something to like here. Even if that happens, I have a hard time seeing it come to pass before conference play. Thus far, Marquette has looked mostly alright against inferior competition.
If you look at the list of Boilermakers who departed Matt Painter’s program after last season, you’d think this year is a rebuilding zone. Jaden Ivey was a lottery pick in the NBA Draft, Sasha Stefanovic started 80 games for Purdue, and Trevion Williams tallied over 1,400 points as a Boilermaker.
Despite those critical departures, the cupboard is not bare.
Zach Edey, standing every bit of 7-foot-4, returns for another season, looking to further polish and perfect his game around the rim. When he first saw minutes at Purdue, Edey was raw but seemed to generally understand how to impact the game. As he’s grown into his body, Edey has become a major factor on offense, defense, and on the glass. For any team to beat Purdue this year, stopping Edey is a must.
He’s joined by a cadre of role players that will have a chance to expand into more prominent places in the rotation. Mason Gillis, Ethan Morton, and Caleb Furst have meaningful minutes under their belts. Sophomore guard Brandon Newman has a promising future in West Lafayette.
Two newcomers could greatly impact this team’s ceiling. Freshman guard Fletcher Loyer, brother of once-Michigan State and now-Davidson guard Foster Loyer, is a highly touted prospect. In two games, he’s already hoisted 17 deep balls.
From the transfer portal, Painter plucked one of college basketball’s most travelled veterans. David Jenkins comes to Purdue, his fourth school since starting his freshman year in the fall of 2017. That year, he played some beautiful pick-and-roll with mid-major legend Mike Daum at South Dakota State. After two years there, he followed head coach TJ Otzelberger to UNLV. Following a season scoring 15 points per game, he packed up for the Pac-12, playing for Utah last year.
Now Jenkins comes to Purdue, with all the experience gained in his half-decade long cross country trek. He could be a very interesting piece for Painter, especially in big games.
Marquette vs. Purdue Betting Pick
Smart and the Golden Eagles are going to try to push the pace against Purdue. The Boilers have always been fairly methodical under Painter, and that should only increase this season, with an offense tooled around the lumbering Edey in the middle.
The Golden Eagles will look to beat Edey down the floor and work his legs down to keep him from scoring in the post. Marquette’s only big man taller than 6-foot-9 is freshman Ben Gold. Third game of your career is no time to try to wrestle with Zach Edey on the road.
In the always raucous environment of Mackey Arena, I like Purdue to cover — with one exception. If Edey catches early foul trouble, Marquette could hang around. If you’re watching the game with eyes on a live line, monitor that situation.