Sunday College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions: Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Purdue Boilermakers Betting Preview
Emilee Chinn/Getty Images. Pictured: E.J. Liddell.
- Ohio State and Purdue clash in a battle of two of the Big Ten's best teams.
- The Buckeyes have already topped three tanked teams this season but are getting 10.5 points on the road against the Boilermakers.
- Doug Ziefel breaks down the game and gives his top pick.
Ohio State vs. Purdue Odds
|Ohio State Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The Big 10 takes center stage as two of the premier teams, not just in the conference but in the country, are set to square off.
Ohio State has quietly crept its way back into the top 25, and its resume shows that it is deserving of it. The Buckeyes have three victories over ranked opponents, with an upset over a top-ranked Duke team as the highlight. Now they’ll have another opportunity to add to that list, but it won’t come easy.
The Buckeyes are tasked with a Purdue team that has all the pieces to make a deep run into March, but its upset losses have caused the public to pump the breaks on the Boilermakers’ outlook. However, they enter this matchup having rebounded with two dominant offensive performances after suffering a loss to Indiana. Can Purdue keep riding its momentum? Or will the Buckeyes take down another giant?
The Ohio State big man, E.J. Liddell, entered the season with lofty expectations and has exceeded them to this point. Liddell has been a double-double machine as he averages over 19 points and nearly eight rebounds per contest. However, it’s not just the counting stats that are impressive, as he has made big strides in every area of his game.
He has increased his field goal percentage by over five percent by making more than half of his attempts. However, it is the range of those attempts that has seen the most significant jump. Liddell has upped his three-point percentage from 33.8 last season to 41 percent so far this season, and it is that ability to stretch the floor that will be key in this matchup.
Purdue’s twin towers of Zach Edey and Trevion Williams have been a difficult matchup for opposing big men on both ends of the floor. Their size and athleticism make it challenging to score down low on offense and hard to not foul when defending them. Though Liddell’s improved perimeter game could open up the offense for the Buckeyes as it will draw those two out of the paint.
Ohio State’s offense has been one of the most potent all-around offenses in the country, and it will have the opportunity to be on display here. The Buckeyes are 13th in adjusted offensive efficiency and are 11th in the country in effective field goal percentage. Match that up against a Boilermaker defense that is middle of the pack in every defensive metric, and we have seen their on-ball defense be putrid at times; all signs point to the Buckeyes being able to get their fair share of points.
Just as it will be in Ohio State’s best interest to utilize the whole court on offense, the Boilermakers will need to force the opposite and use their big men to control the inside.
As I mentioned earlier, the combo of Edey and Willams are not only highly efficient offensive weapons, but how they really help their team is by causing foul trouble. We have seen the likes of Kofi Cockburn and Trayce Jackson-Davis fail to defend them effectively and ultimately hurt themselves in the process. If Purdue can get into their offensive sets and allow their big men to get position on the low block, it will be hard for Liddell to stay in the ball game.
As seemingly as they do in every matchup, Purdue will have a significant edge on the boards. The Boilermakers are a top-20 rebounding unit on both ends of the floor, whereas the Buckeyes rank in the 120s. While the big men are centric to Purdue’s game, it would be a crime not to mention Jaden Ivey and how much of an impact he makes when on the floor. His range and ability to pull up off the dribble may be tough to stop as the Buckeyes have so much else to worry about.
Ohio State vs. Purdue Betting Pick
There is certainly a case to be made for both sides of this spread, with each team having a myriad of offensive advantages. The X-factor in this game, however, is E.J. Liddell. How he performs on both ends of the court will decide this game as the Ohio State offense will be dismal without him.
For all that being said, I am siding with Liddell and the Buckeyes in this spot. Ohio State deserves a bit more respect and should not be a double-digit dog here. Plus, I’m not ready to trust this Boilermakers defense against any above-average offense.
Pick: Ohio State +10.5
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