Texas vs. Purdue Odds, Picks: Your Betting Preview for Sunday Night’s NCAA Tournament Contest
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images. Pictured: Andrew Jones.
Texas vs. Purdue Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Matt Painter and Chris Beard will face off for the third time in their NCAA Tournament careers on Sunday as Texas takes on Purdue in Milwaukee.
Painter has been at Purdue for all three meetings, while Beard is now on his third different school. He upset Purdue in the first round with Little Rock in 2016 and then beat Purdue with Texas Tech in the Sweet 16 in 2018.
Virginia Tech was a trendy upset pick and closed as one-point underdogs against Texas following its ACC Tournament title, but the Longhorns dispatched the Hokies with relative ease in the first round.
Texas’ offense, which has been much maligned throughout the season and in Big 12 play, shined as it tallied 1.19 PPP and made 10 3-pointers.
Purdue will present a different set of challenges than Virginia Tech, given its dominant interior duo of Zach Edey and Trevion Williams and the superstar ability of future lottery pick Jaden Ivey.
The Boilermakers had no problems with Yale in the first round of the tournament, as the Bulldogs didn’t have enough size or athleticism to compete with Purdue over 40 minutes.
The biggest question surrounding the Boilermakers is always the defense, and that defense is why Purdue had failed to cover the spread in 10 consecutive games prior to Friday.
Beard’s no-middle defense has had a lot of success against Painter in the past by forcing the Boilermakers to beat them from the perimeter.
The Longhorns are top-20 on defense in finishing at the rim, and top-10 against post-ups, per ShotQuality. They swarm to the ball and apply a ton of ball pressure, and that’s a major reason why they have some advantages against the Purdue backcourt.
They’ll be able to frustrate Edey and Williams on the interior while also harassing Purdue’s guards who have not fared well when facing excessive pressure.
The most important matchup for the Longhorns defensively, though, is Courtney Ramey on Ivey. They can throw a few different looks at Ivey, and Ramey had a ton of past success against Kansas’ Ochai Agbaji.
In his two games against Texas, Agbaji had his fewest shot attempts of the season. He made only one field goal in the second game at the end of the regular season.
Ivey is at his best when he’s able to get to the rim and create for himself and others, but Ramey will deny the ball when possible and does an excellent job of keeping opponents away from the heart of the no-middle defense.
Most of the Big 12 has seen its offense improve considerably in the NCAA Tournament now that they haven’t had to grind and struggle against the elite defenses in the league that take away the rim so effectively.
It’s hard to be a great offense playing Texas Tech, Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma State every other game, but the Longhorns will not see any pressure or good defense at all in the game on Sunday.
It’s incredibly rare for a team with the defensive metrics of Purdue to go deep into the NCAA Tournament. The Boilermakers are just 89th in defensive efficiency and have serious issues guarding both ball screens and cutting action.
Texas doesn’t run a ton of ball screens, but it should find plenty of success offensively when it does run them. And Purdue’s defense is outside the top 100 at guarding cuts to the rim, per ShotQuality, which Texas runs at the seventh-highest frequency in the country.
Purdue’s defense doesn’t force many turnovers at all, and that’s a major reason why I’m expecting Texas to be able to run its offense effectively. The Longhorns have had issues when teams turn them over, but Purdue won’t be doing much of that. Painter’s defense also doesn’t guard the mid-range well, an area where Christian Bishop and Timmy Allen thrive offensively.
The major key for Purdue is getting the perimeter shooting going on offense, especially with Sasha Stefanovic and Mason Gillis. Stefanovic has been dealing with a finger injury though, and he’s made just 5-of-26 from beyond the arc in the last four games.
The Boilermakers also should be able to secure plenty of second-chance points from offensive rebounds due to how aggressive Texas’ defense is. The Longhorns will give up points against an elite Purdue offense, but the matchup suggests Texas can at least keep it in check.
Texas vs. Purdue Betting Pick
Most of the matchup-based analysis in the media for this game will be focused on the Texas defense and Purdue offense. Those are the two best units in this game, and that’s the strength-on-strength matchup.
The no-middle has given Painter problems in the past, but this Purdue offense is the best Painter has ever had.
The game will be decided, in my opinion, at the other end of the floor. Texas’ offense exploded against Virginia Tech, and we’ll have to see if that was a matter of finally facing a less physical defense or just a hot shooting day.
Texas won’t make more than half of its 3s again, but there’s a clear path to success for this Texas offense through cutting action, mid-range looks and getting to the rim.
Purdue’s defense isn’t about to force Texas into mistakes, and even in the Boilermakers’ victory over Yale, the defense continued to show cracks and allow plenty of open looks across the board.
Facing a superior team athletically, Purdue shouldn’t be favored by more than two points. I’d take the Longhorns at +3 or better.
Pick: Texas +3 or better
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