Purdue vs. Nebraska Odds & Predictions: Expect a Boilermakers Blowout
Photo by Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Zach Edey (Purdue)
Purdue vs. Nebraska Odds
-110o / -109u
-110o / -109u
The Nebraska Cornhuskers did not keep the momentum going after beating in-state rival Creighton. With Sam Griesel sidelined due to an illness, they dropped their Wednesday night game at Indiana.
On Saturday, they play host to the undefeated Purdue Boilermakers. The Boilermakers have double-digit victories over Duke, Gonzaga and West Virginia. Outside of Marquette, no one has come close to truly testing them.
Much of this has to do with potential Wooden Award Winner Zach Edey. Edey is 7-foot-4, so he's a mismatch for virtually every team in the country. He will be in this game, as well, with Nebraska not having a starting center to negate his impact on the ball game.
With Griesel possibly out again, Nebraska is short-handed. If he does give it a “full go," he may not even be 100%.
Even with him on the court, expect Purdue to own the glass and expect Edey to have another dominant performance.
Purdue has the best Adjusted Offensive Efficiency in the country, per KenPom. Edey’s influence stretches both inside and out as he can be a distraction that opens up the perimeter game for the Boilermakers.
Fletcher Loyer, Braden Smith and Brandon Newman have really stepped up to fill major holes in the backcourt. The three are averaging nearly 30 points per game combined, and Loyer and Smith usually handle the point guard duties with over three assists per game each.
All of this has led to the Boilermakers shooting 35% from downtown and 54.2% inside the arc. Smith, Loyer and Newman are all shooting over 37% from deep, while Edey and Caleb Furst come into this game shooting over 60% on 2-pointers.
This is such a solid distribution of points that even if Edey is having a bad game, the others have proven they can be alternative scoring options. That is still the case even with Mason Gillis potentially being out with an injury.
In addition to that, the Boilermakers get to the free-throw line at the 58th-best rate in the NCAA. Nebraska rarely fouls (third in the NCAA on defense), so this could be the only area the Cornhuskers eliminate a source of scoring for Purdue.
Photo by CBB Analytics
On the Nebraska side, it needs to get the ball inside. The Huskers shoot 55% on 2-pointers and 31.4% collectively from 3-point range. Keisei Tominaga and C.J. Wilcher shoot over 35% from outside, but Purdue is forcing opponents into shooting around 27% on 3s.
The Cornhuskers will have to somehow find a way around Furst and Edey in the post.
With that being said, only Blaise Keita and Wilhelm Breidenbach are 6-foot-10 and above, and they average 24 minutes per game combined. Unless Fred Hoiberg assumes they can fill a larger role in this offense all of a sudden, the Cornhuskers' scoring chances inside may be few and far between.
Zach Edey with another monster performance😈 @zach_edey
– 23 points
– 18 rebounds pic.twitter.com/gyqBPJYAK4
— B/R Hoops (@brhoops) December 8, 2022
Lastly, Nebraska rarely gets to the line, ranking 235th in free-throw attempt percentage. Purdue ranks seventh in this metric on defense, so it's hard to envision where any of the Cornhuskers’ points lie.
Purdue vs. Nebraska Betting Pick
Regardless of if Griesel plays in this game for the Cornhuskers, look for Purdue to dominate on the road.
The Boilers may lack the points from the free-throw line they are used to, but Nebraska does not have the offensive wherewithal to go point-for-point with them.
The Huskers also do not have the size to stop Edey or the shooters that Edey can kick too when he draws attention.
Take the Boilermakers to win this game by a sizable margin. The Griesel announcement will likely move the line a bit, but Purdue should cover with or without him.
Take Purdue from -8 (-110) to -10 (-110).