Michigan State vs. Purdue Odds & Pick: Lay the Points With the Boilermakers
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Purdue’s Brandon Newman.
- Purdue and Michigan State face off in a matchup path comes at a bad time for the Spartans.
- Michigan State has struggled offensively in conference play, while the Boilermakers have been strong from deep this season.
- Mike Randle lays out the case for backing Purdue as a home favorite.
Michigan State vs. Purdue Odds
Despite not being ranked in the current AP Top 25, Purdue possesses a solid NCAA Tournament resume.
The Boilermakers have played 16 Quadrant I/II games and have the 22nd-hardest strength of schedule in college basketball. They have also battled through injuries, holding an 8-4 record with all their key players available.
Michigan State has continued to struggle with a 10-8 overall record, including a disappointing 4-8 in conference play. The Spartans narrowly lost their first matchup with the Boilermakers, 55-54, at East Lansing.
Will the veteran Spartans team be able to keep this game close, or will the battle-tested Boilermakers blitz Michigan State in Mackey Arena?
Michigan State’s offensive struggles have been pronounced in Big Ten conference games.
The Spartans are dead-last within conference play in effective field goal percentage (44%), 2-point efficiency (43.3%), and second-worst in 3-point percentage (30.1%). As a result, the Spartans are just 1-5 away from the Breslin Center.
The Spartans have also struggled with turnovers, with an average of 13.6 per game (192nd nationally). Within Big Ten play, the Spartans rank 10th in offensive turnover percentage, per KenPom.
When Michigan State has struggled on offense the past few years, it has been able to rely on its elite defense. The Spartans have ranked 10th, ninth and 13th in adjusted defensive efficiency in each of the past three seasons, respectively. This season has been well below those standards.
Michigan State has allowed conference opponents to shoot a robust 50% from inside the arc, 10th-worst in the conference. Even in its valiant effort at Iowa, the Spartans allowed the Hawkeyes to shoot 59% (23-of-39) from 2-point range.
The Spartans’ struggle to defend bigs was clearly evident in their first game against Purdue.
Junior Trevion Williams dominated the Spartans at East Lansing, scoring 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the floor. The 6-foot-10 forward scored almost half of the Boilermakers’ 55 points.
The Boilermakers received a boost with the return of sharpshooter Sasha Stefanovic (10.1 ppg, 43.2% 3-point) in their last game against Minnesota. He was absent for 17 days after a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. In his place, freshman Brandon Newman (9.5 ppg) and Jaden Ivey (8.5 ppg) have delivered with increased playing time.
Newman is shooting 43% (34-of-79) from 3 on the season, including 11-of-19 (58%) since Stefanovic’s absence. Ivey tallied 14 points against Maryland and 20 points in the 75-70 home win over Northwestern.
The Boilermakers have battled to an 8-6 conference record despite playing a disproportional amount of games on the road. Purdue has played eight of its last 13 Big Ten games on the road. Matt Painter’s crew is still dominant at home, with a 5-1 record in the conference at Mackey Arena.
Purdue found ways to score without the 3-pointer during Stefanovic’s absence. The Boilermakers have only generated 27.5% of their points from 3-point land in Big Ten play and shot just 12.5% (3-of-24) from deep in the first meeting and still won. That number will certainly find positive regression at home.
Painter’s team has also excelled on the offensive boards, ranking 42nd in the country and second within conference play. Williams ranks ninth-best in the nation with 3.76 offensive rebounds per game.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Purdue at home has been a strong bet during Matt Painter’s coaching tenure, particularly as a favorite. Backing the Boilermakers as a favorite in Mackey Arena has provided an 18.5% ROI since the 2006-07 season (excluding Painter’s first season).
Even better? When Purdue is a home favorite against Michigan State during that time, the Boilermakers are 6-2 ATS.
The Spartans will again look to slow the pace down, much like they did in the first matchup. Head coach Tom Izzo’s squad led the Boilermakers, 31-16, at the half in East Lansing, the pace that optimizes their chance of winning.
However, Purdue’s freshmen have grown into larger roles and Stefanovic is an even more dangerous 3-point shooter at Mackey Arena.
Per the Action Network App, this line opened at Purdue -7 and has dropped to -5.5. I would wait to see if it drops even further as we approach tipoff.
I’m laying the points with the Boilermakers and taking the total under 135 points.
Pick: Purdue -5.5 or better. | Under 135.5 (down to 135).