Davidson vs Purdue Odds, Picks | College Basketball Preview & Prediction (Saturday, Dec. 17)
Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Caleb Furst of the Purdue Boilermakers.
Davidson vs Purdue Odds
Coming off a 27-7 record and an Atlantic 10 Conference regular season championship, the Davidson Wildcats have started 7-3 to open the 2022-23 basketball season. Next up for Davidson: A date with the Purdue Boilermakers on Saturday evening.
However, the Wildcats have only faced one KenPom Top 100 team thus far, a 23-point loss to the College of Charleston. Davidson will be in for quite the step in class tonight in Indianapolis.
Purdue survived a road scare last Saturday when it needed overtime to hold on and pull out a 65-62 victory at Nebraska. Now, it is the newly minted No. 1 team in the country in both the AP Top 25 and the Coaches Poll. The Boilermakers are also the No. 4 team in the country, according to Kenpom.
This matchup is part of the inaugural Indy Classic, hence the neutral site, and features a matchup of brothers as Foster Loyer and the Wildcats take on Fletcher Loyer and the Boilermakers.
Who will gain bragging rights in this meeting of siblings?
Foster Loyer and forward Sam Mennenga are the two returning starters from last year’s team and each have taken their play up a notch this season. Loyer is averaging 19.5 points, 5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 2.3 steals and is shooting 41.3% from beyond the arc. He will be a strong contender for A-10 Player of the Year after a late season injury hurt his chances last season.
Mennenga is averaging 16.6 points and 7.2 rebounds (up from 8.4 and 5.3 last season) and he has maintained his efficiency as well. He is shooting 55.7% from the field and 44.4% from there. Sophomore Desmond Watson and junior Grant Huffman have stepped into larger roles this season. Watson is averaging 8.5 points and 3.4 rebounds while Huffman is averaging 7.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 2.9 assists.
Last year, Davidson was one of the most lethal 3-point shooting teams in the country. This year, the Wildcats are shooting just 36.2% from beyond the arc and as a result are far less efficient on offense. This season, Davidson is 79th in adjusted offensive efficiency, down from 11th nationally last season.
Davidson has also slipped at the defensive end, ranking 215th in adjusted defensive efficiency and 266th in defensive rating. The Wildcats are offering very little resistance in the paint. They rank 360th in blocks percentage and opponents are making 51.1% of their two-point attempts.
Davidson is also being outrebounded by 4.1 rebounds per game. It ranks 321nd in offensive rebound percentage and 298th in defensive rebounding percentage. Davidson could be in for a long evening on the glass against Purdue.
While Davidson may have the A-10 Player of the Year on its side, Purdue may have the National Player of the Year in Zach Edey. The junior center is averaging 22 points, 13.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks this season. He is also shooting 61.3% from the field and he is up to 71.2% at the free throw line.
The younger brother in this matchup, Fletcher Loyer, is averaging 13.1 points per game and he is coming off a 22 point performance at Nebraska. He also is earning the trust of head coach Matt Painter as he knocked down some pivotal buckets in overtime.
The Boilermakers have been without forward Mason Gillis for the past three games with a back injury, but head coach Matt Painter said he was back at practice on Thursday His two-way game and floor spacing will be a welcome addition to the Boilermakers’ lineup.
However, Purdue is still playing at a high level on both ends. It ranks second nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency and 28th in adjusted defensive efficiency. Purdue is making 54.2% of its 2-point attempts and is also one of the better free throw shooting teams in the country at 76.3% from the stripe.
Purdue ranks sixth nationally in rebounds per game and is outrebounding its opponents by 12.4 rebounds per game. The Boilermakers are 11th nationally in offensive rebound percentage. Having Edey helps, but it is a group effort on the glass for the Boilermakers. Five different players are averaging at least four rebounds per game this season.
Purdue has done an excellent job of defending without fouling this season. To illustrate this, Edey has blocked 23 shots this season and committed only 19 fouls. Purdue is allowing just 10.5 free throws per game, which ranks seventh nationally. It is also holding opponents to just 27.3% from 3-point line. Defending the 3-point line will be key against Davidson.
Davidson vs Purdue Prediction & Pick
Purdue has won four of its five home games by 19 points or more. While this one is not at Mackey Arena, Purdue will be very familiar playing at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in front of a very pro-Boilermakers crowd. Purdue is the best team Davidson has played so far by a significant margin. It should dominate on the glass and in the paint with Edey.
Davidson will need a barrage of threes to hang close here. However, it has not shot the ball as well it did last season. Purdue has also defended the 3-point very well this season. I like Purdue to win comfortably in this one.