Purdue vs. Minnesota Odds & Pick: Expect Plenty of Points On Thursday
Rich Schultz/Getty Images. Pictured: Marcus Carr.
- The Purdue Boilermakers travel to Minneapolis to face the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Thursday afternoon.
- Minnesota is 12-1 at home this year, but 0-6 on the road.
- With two teams jockeying for NCAA Tournament position, there should be plenty of points.
Purdue vs. Minnesota Odds
|Purdue Odds||+2.5 (-110)|
|Minnesota Odds||-2.5 (-110)|
|Time | TV||Thursday, 5 p.m. ET | ESPN2|
A pair of really good offensive teams meet in Minneapolis on Thursday night in what should a very exciting Big Ten contest.
This will be the second meeting between Minnesota and Purdue in the last 12 days, with the Boilermakers taking the first game in West Lafayette, 81-62.
Purdue (13,7, 8-5 Big Ten) comes in ranked 24th in the AP Poll and projects to safely makes its way into the NCAA Tournament field thanks to a number of impressive wins on the season. The Boilermakers are tied for fourth in the Big Ten standings and boast a pair of victories over fourth-ranked Ohio State.
Minnesota (12-7, 5-7 Big Ten) isn’t quite as safe in the NCAA Tournament picture and needs to stack a few more quality wins onto their resume.
The Golden Gophers’ biggest issue is winning on the road, as they’re 0-6 away from home this season. They’ve been excellent at home, however, with a 12-1 record at Williams Arena, including a 5-1 mark in Big Ten play.
Beating Purdue at home would give the Gophers a NET Quad 1 victory that would go a long way on Selection Sunday.
When Purdue has the ball
The Purdue offense takes its time but is very effective. The Boilermakers rank 284th in adjusted tempo and 31st in adjusted offensive efficiency, per KenPom.
One of the reasons Purdue likes to play slow is that their best player, Trevion Williams, is an old-school, back-to-the-basket big man and an incredible scorer in the low post. Williams is averaging a near double-double with 15.4 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. The Boilermakers will often run their offense through him out of the low post as he is a gifted passer as well.
Purdue is slightly above average as a team shooting the 3 but has arguably the best 3-point shooter in the nation in Sasha Stefanovic. Stevanovic is 44.1% from deep on very heavy volume, already sinking 93 triples on the season.
He recently missed three games due to COVID-19 precautions but came back to the court on Saturday against Northwestern. Purdue went 1-2 in his absence, struggling to find offense in losses to Michigan and Maryland.
A major reason Purdue’s offense has been better this season is that they’re getting more consistent production from their guards. Point guard Eric Hunter Jr. has been steady handling the ball and has increased his assist rate and assist-to-turnover ratio from last season.
A pair of freshmen — Brandon Newman and Jaden Ivey — are playing major roles for Matt Painter’s club. Newman (43.4%) has been very good from 3 and is able to take some pressure off Stefanovic.
Ivey has been a less-consistent shooter but has played better ball as of late and had a monster game in their upset win at Ohio State. Ivey came in off the bench for 15 points against the Buckeyes and hit the game-winning three-pointer with five seconds remaining.
Minnesota has been strong defensively, ranking 46th in defensive efficiency. The Gophers play significantly faster than Purdue (98th in tempo), and as a result, give up more points per game than most top-50 defenses (72.4).
They normally defend the 3-point line fairly well but really struggled in that area in the first matchup against Purdue. The Boilermakers made eight 3 in the second half against the Gophers and finished 8-of-15 (53.3%) for the game. This was all without Stefanovic, so the Gophers will really have their hands full defending the three with him back in the lineup on Thursday.
When Minnesota has the ball
The Gophers also boast a top-50 offense, ranking 42nd in adjusted efficiency. The offense has performed much better in Williams Arena, with Minnesota averaging 77.2 points per game at home in conference play, compared to just 64.3 on the road.
Minnesota shoots it really well at the free-throw line (75.6%), but has struggled with consistency from the field (40.5%) and from 3-point range (29.4%).
Unsurprisingly, its shooting splits at home versus the road are much different. The Gophers are 43.7% from the field in home games compared to just 34.7% on the road, per teamrankings.com, . From 3-point range, Minnesota is 30.1% at home and 28.1% on the road.
From a personnel standpoint, the Gophers possess one of the Big Ten’s top inside-outside duos in Marcus Carr and Liam Robbins. Carr averages a hair fewer than 20 points per game to go along with 5.4 assists. Those marks rank third and second in the conference, respectively.
Robbins transferred in from Drake this season and has been a blessing for coach Richard Pitino. He’s putting up 13.2 points and a team-best 7.2 rebounds per game. Robbins can score inside but also has the ability to step out and hit 3s, which he’s done at a high level this season (37%).
This makes him a difficult cover for anybody, but Purdue, in particular, could struggle to contain him. Williams and Zach Edey aren’t very quick and don’t like to step out on the perimeter defensively, and Purdue’s other options don’t have the size to hang with him in the post.
Purdue has been strong defensively, ranking 25th in adjusted efficiency. They allow just 66.5 points per game and hold opponents to less than 42% shooting from the field. They also have a strong three-point defense, limiting the opposition to 32.4% from beyond the arc.
Purdue owes a lot of its defensive success to cleaning up the glass. They rank 30th nationally in rebounding margin, grabbing 6.6 more rebounds per game than their opponent. If Minnesota struggles from 3, Purdue will be in a great position to win as it doesn’t allow many second-chance opportunities.
Betting Analysis & Pick
With Minnesota’s superior play at home, they should give the Boilermakers a much better fight than they did in the Jan. 30 loss at Mackey Arena. The line reflects the Gophers’ home success, as they opened as a short favorite.
The way to take advantage of the home Gophers in this spot is to play the over. Despite a bad shooting night from Minnesota and Stefanovic’s absence for Purdue, the first meeting went for 143 total points.
Carr and Robbins both struggled in West Lafayette, combining for 21 points on just 27.6% shooting. Containing this duo a second time is a very difficult task, and I expect a much better offense performance from them at home in round two.
I think it’s a mistake for this total to be lower than the outcome of the first game with Stefanovic now back in the lineup.
I’m expecting a high-level game with plenty of offense from both sides on Thursday night.
Pick: Over 138.5 (up to 141).