Purdue vs Michigan Odds, Picks | Dickinson to Win Battle With Edey
Pictured: Hunter Dickinson #1 of the Michigan Wolverines. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
Purdue vs Michigan Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The Purdue Boilermakers, winners of six straight in Big Ten Conference play, are back atop the AP Poll.
There’s no rest for the weary in a conference as loaded as the Big Ten. Purdue’s final 11 games will all come against teams in KenPom’s top 65, with the Boilermakers sporting a massive target on their backs.
That slog continues Thursday night with a trip to Ann Arbor and a date with a hungry Michigan Wolverines squad. Purdue hasn’t won at Michigan since 2018.
Juwan Howard and his Wolverines would love to keep that streak alive, bettering their case for an NCAA Tournament berth this March.
Any way you want to slice it, Purdue center Zach Edey is the frontrunner for every National Player of the Year award. He’s averaging 21.5 points, 13.2 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. Standing at 7-foot-4, Edey changes the game at both ends of the floor with just his presence.
His verticality at the rim — offensively and defensively — can alter every possession. Edey leads the nation in offensive rebounding rate, creating new possessions for Purdue time and time again.
Edey commands so much attention that he constantly opens additional space for Purdue’s freshman guard due. Fletcher Loyer, brother of former Michigan State Spartan and current Davidson Wildcat Foster, has been fearless with the ball in his hands, especially in big moments. He’s a crafty shot-maker with a nose for buckets.
Loyer is joined in the backcourt by fellow first-year man Braden Smith, who is hitting 45% from long-range and dishing out five assists per night.
Edey’s dominance in the paint, coupled with Smith and Loyer’s playmaking, makes the Boilermakers offense sharp every time they step on the floor.
It’s been a confusing season for the Wolverines. Michigan is just 3-6 against top-60 teams, with all three wins coming in the comfort of its home arena. In fact, Michigan has won only one true road game in four tries, topping a miserable Minnesota team.
The confusion starts with Michigan’s best player, Hunter Dickinson. The junior center has been one of the premier big men in the Big Ten his entire career, yet has not had the linear progression you’d expect from a returning star. His points, rebounds and blocks per game are nearly identical to last season, while his assists have dipper. It’s hard to expect more than 19 points and nine rebounds per night from a star big man, yet he is not elevating Michigan’s ceiling the way many expected him to this year.
On the perimeter, he’s flanked by a trio of underclassmen who have, at times, struggled to acclimate to the college game.
Juwan Howard’s son, Jett, has added an element as a shooter, but drifts through games at times. He didn’t score in 16 minutes against Maryland and averages under three rebounds per game as a 6-foot-8 forward.
Michigan feels like a team that has the talent to pop at some point, but the light bulb hasn’t clicked on quite yet for the Wolverines.
Purdue vs Michigan Betting Pick
Purdue is a very difficult team to project on a game-to-game basis purely because of how the referees officiate Edey in the paint. Every single time down the floor, on either end of the court, a referee can talk themselves into calling a foul on Edey or the player trying to wrestle with him.
Michigan, in theory, is one of the teams best suited to handle Edey as Dickinson is one of the best pure post defenders in college basketball.
The proposition of slowing Edey down gets a lot scarier, however, if Dickinson is whistled for a few early fouls. Ideally, you’d hold your bet until the game is a few minutes in, with an eager eye on Dickinson’s foul count.
I’m feeling OK starting with something on Michigan though, based on recent history. Purdue is just 5-12 ATS as a favorite this season and only 1-3 ATS as a road favorite. Since 2016, Matt Painter’s Boilers are 13-24-1 as road favorites in Big Ten play.
If Dickinson finds himself in early foul trouble, I’m not afraid to cash out or flip sides here. Juwan Howard ranked 338th in playing his guys with two fouls before halftime last season, per KenPom.