College Basketball Odds, Pick & Preview for Purdue vs. Iowa (Thursday, January 27)
Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images. Pictured: Zach Edey (Purdue)
- Purdue travels to Iowa City to take on the Hawkeyes in a Big Ten duel.
- The Boilermakers and Hawkeyes played already this season in a game that was closer than expected despite Iowa not having Keegan Murray.
- Jim Root breaks down where the value lies in this affair.
Purdue vs. Iowa Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
It’s rematch season in conference play. The Big Ten will feature a battle of prolific offenses: Purdue (No. 1 in KenPom’s Adjusted Offensive Efficiency) heads to Iowa City for the return matchup against Iowa (No. 7).
The first meeting was a game of runs. Still undefeated at the time, Purdue got out to a 17-point lead before halftime. Iowa fought back in the second half, cutting the Boilers’ lead down to eight.
The Boilers then appeared to turn the game into a laugher, extending it to a 63-44 advantage. Stunningly, Iowa cut that deficit all the way to two before Purdue salted the game away late.
Minor note: Iowa played without All-American forward Keegan Murray. He’s only averaging 22.8 points per game, third-most in the entire country.
Considering that absence and Iowa’s dismal 5-for-21 shooting from deep, it’s remarkable that game was ever close. It should give the Hawkeyes plenty of confidence and motivation in the rematch.
They can play with the Boilers.
The clear Big Ten favorite entering conference play, the Boilermakers have faced far more turbulence than anticipated. Currently just 5-3 in the league, they need to string together some wins to have a shot at the league title.
As in nearly every matchup, the Boilers have a clear size advantage in the paint. Iowa has no real answer for the Zach Edey/Trevion Williams platoon, and center Filip Rebraca unsurprisingly fouled out in just 20 minutes in West Lafayette.
The Hawkeyes did limit that duo’s scoring output, though, holding them to a combined 19 points. Only Indiana has held the pair to a lower sum. They did, however, amass 25 rebounds, dominating the glass on both ends.
Purdue needs to find ways to create more chances for them. Iowa forced their post touches away from the hoop and trapped hard when they dribbled. Edey, especially, needs to catch in positions to score quickly, as he’s nowhere near the passer that Williams is.
The Hawkeyes are a terrific home team. Over the past five seasons, Iowa is a stellar 42-30-2 against the number at Carver-Hawkeye Arena (58.3%). Not bad.
It’s not quite “auto-bet” material, though, especially with a team like Purdue coming to town.
Fran McCaffery pulled out multiple clever tricks in West Lafayette without his star. Rebraca’s foul trouble necessitated the use of Josh Ogundele, a 6-foot-11, 265-pound behemoth.
Ogundele played 16 minutes in a massive Big Ten game. Over the rest of the season, he’s logged 37 minutes total. He helped hold the fort, though, and McCaffery may need him once again.
The other more crucial shift that nearly won the game was a full-court press that shockingly laid waste to Purdue’s ball-handlers. Born mostly out of desperation while facing that 19-point deficit, Iowa forced 17 turnovers and forced a bevy of quick shots.
Purdue will surely be more ready for such a tactic, but it could still be a useful change of pace.
Of course, the biggest storyline is having Murray back. He and his twin brother, Kris, present matchup issues for Purdue given their combinations of size and skill. Purdue only has one — Mason Gillis.
Purdue vs. Iowa Betting Pick
I somehow have yet to mention Jaden Ivey, Purdue’s dynamite guard who sat out the Northwestern game on Sunday with a hip flexor issue. He expects to play, though, so that should not swing the handicap much.
To me, this is more about how well (relatively speaking) Iowa played Purdue in the first matchup sans Murray. The Hawkeyes should enter this one brimming with confidence to get a massive home victory.
More than the side, though, I like the over. The first meeting went under at just 147 points versus the total of 158, but some underlying indicators paint a positive picture for a points parade.
That game had 76 possessions — well above the KenPom projection of 69 for this meeting. Add that to Iowa’s poor 3-point shooting and the teams missing 17 combined free throws, and the over actually becomes quite appealing.
Last point in favor of the over: both teams just played two crawling half-court games against slow Big Ten foes. Both should be willing to stretch their legs and run in this one.
Pick: Over 158.5 (Play up to 161)
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