Odds & Pick for Michigan vs. Purdue College Basketball: Even as Road Favorites, Wolverines Are Smart Play (January 22)

Odds & Pick for Michigan vs. Purdue College Basketball: Even as Road Favorites, Wolverines Are Smart Play (January 22) article feature image
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Nic Antaya/Getty Images. Pictured: Michigan coach Juwan Howard high-fives Franz Wagner.

  • Purdue takes a four-game winning streak into its home showdown with Michigan, which rebounded from its first loss with a win over Maryland on Tuesday.
  • Two of the best big men in the conference, Trevion Williams and Hunter Dickinson, will go head-to-head in a matchup to watch.
  • Tanner McGrath previews the game below, including a pick and prediction for the Friday night Big Ten battle.

Michigan vs. Purdue Odds

Michigan Odds -3.5 (-105)
Purdue Odds +3.5 (-115)
Moneyline -161/+135
Over/Under 126.5
Time, TV Friday, 7 p.m. ET, FS1
Odds as of Thursday evening and via BetMGM. Get an INSTANT $500 deposit match at BetMGM today.

No days off in the Big Ten.

The conference’s top team, Michigan, is traveling to West Lafayette Friday to take on a red-hot Purdue team.

After posting four straight wins, Purdue is just two games back of Michigan in the conference. I’d imagine Matt Painter is expecting a home victory tonight.

Meanwhile, Michigan’s dominant victory over Maryland proved the loss to Minnesota was an anomaly. At the moment, the Big Ten title goes through Ann Arbor.

Michigan opened as two-point favorites and the line has moved to 3.5 in some spots. I rarely bet road favorites, but this one might have some value.

Michigan by the Numbers

Michigan currently sits atop the Big Ten at 7-1, just a half-game ahead of Iowa (6-1). The Wolverines are currently ranked No. 7 in the AP Poll, and I think that is too low.

Michigan is my pick to win the Big Ten. The Wolverines pair an elite offense with an elite defense, and no other team in the conference does that.

The Wolverines join Baylor as the only teams in the country that rank in the top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, per KenPom. Moreover, in conference play, they rank first in both offensive and defensive effective field goal percentage.

Overall, Michigan is 10-3 against the spread (ATS), 8-2 ATS in their last 10 and 4-1 ATS in its last five. The Wolverines have played just three road games this season but are 2-1 straight-up and ATS in those matchups.

The Wolverines’ lone loss this season came last Saturday when they lost by 18 on the road to Minnesota. However, Michigan shot just 6-for-22 from the 3-point range that game and 7-for-14 from the free-throw line.

For a team that shoots 37.6% from 3 and 76.4% from the stripe, those nights won’t happen often.

Juwan Howard’s team responded to the loss by beating Maryland by 24.

This is the best Wolverines team in years. There are very few teams in college basketball that are as efficient and effective, both offensively and defensively, as Michigan is.

Purdue by the Numbers

The Boilermakers haven’t been overly impressive this season.

Overall, Purdue is 11-5 SU and 7-8-1 ATS. At home, the Boilermakers are 8-0 SU but just 4-3-1 ATS. On the road, they are 3-5 both SU and ATS.

In conference play, Purdue ranks just ninth in offensive efficiency. The Boilermakers are shooting 52.3% from inside the arc, 31.2% from 3-point range and 69.1% from the free-throw line.

However, the Boilermakers are on a hot streak.

Purdue is 4-0 SU and ATS in its last four games, winning three of those four outright as road underdogs (Ohio State, Indiana, Michigan State).

Moreover, Purdue sports a 6-3 conference record despite just two of those games being at home. It won both of those games, beating Maryland by three and Penn State by eight.

It’s difficult to paint a clear picture of the Boilermakers at this point in the season. But, their recent success proves the team has a high ceiling.

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The ‘Big’ Matchup

A huge matchup in this game is between the team’s two centers: Purdue’s Trevion Williams and Michigan’s Hunter Dickinson.

Williams has been incredible recently, averaging 19.3 points and 9.3 rebounds while shooting 60% from the field in Purdue’s last four games. At 6-foot-10 and 265 pounds, he’s a dominant force inside and the leader of the Boilermakers’ offense.

Williams will have his hands full against Dickinson. Michigan’s freshman star has been a revelation for the Wolverines. Standing 7-foot-1 and weighing 255 pounds, he’s leading the team in both scoring and rebounding while adding 1.5 blocks per game.

A deciding factor of this game will be whichever big man can impose his dominance over the other.

The X-Factor

Michigan’s most important player is senior forward Isaiah Livers.

Since the beginning of last season, Michigan is 35-4 when Livers plays and just 5-5 when he doesn’t. Howard’s NBA-style offense thrives with an athletic wing who is elite on both ends of the court, and Livers is just that.

Livers is averaging 14.1 points per game this season on 48.8/43.5/96.8 shooting percentage splits.

In Michigan’s most recent win against Maryland, Livers scored 20 points on an efficient eight shots from the floor. Additionally, he added five rebounds, three assists and didn’t commit a turnover.

Painter has a few different bodies he can throw at Livers, as his starting guards and forwards all stand 6-foot-4 or taller. The key to this game will be whether or not any of them can contain the 6-foot-7 Livers.


Betting Analysis & Pick

Many might be weary to bet the Wolverines after their most recent road game, and betting home underdogs is often the sharp play.

However, the Wolverines are the smart play here.

In the last 10 games played between these two teams, Michigan is 7-3 SU and 9-1 ATS. Moreover, Michigan is 7-0 ATS in its last seven against Purdue as the favorite.

Additionally, Dickinson is talented enough to contain Williams on the interior, and I believe Livers is going to feast on Purdue’s perimeter defense. Personnel-wise, Michigan has the upper-hand.

At the time of this writing, the line has already shifted from Michigan -2 to Michigan -3.5. I love this play and would bet Michigan up to -4.5.

Pick: Michigan -4.5 or better.

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