Purdue vs. Old Dominion Betting Guide: Can Monarchs Pull NCAA Tournament Shocker?

Purdue vs. Old Dominion Betting Guide: Can Monarchs Pull NCAA Tournament Shocker? article feature image
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USA Today Sports. Pictured: Old Dominion Monarchs guard Ahmad Caver and Purdue Boilermakers guard Carsen Edwards.

#3 Purdue vs. #14 Old Dominion NCAA Tournament Betting Odds

  • Spread: Purdue -12.5
  • Over/Under: 126
  • Date: Thursday, March 21
  • Time: 9:50 p.m. ET
  • TV: TBS
  • Location: Hartford, Conn.

>> All odds as of Wednesday evening. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and live win probabilities on your bets.


Before digging into each team’s profile, I’d just like to go on record with a bold statement: This is one of my favorite potential upsets of this round. I am not naive enough to guarantee Old Dominion wins, as there are an infinite number of ways this can play out. Purdue winning by 30 is, of course, possible.

What I will say is that there are specific indicators present in this game that lead me to believe Old Dominion is undervalued as both a side and especially as a moneyline bet.

Purdue Will Present New Challenge for Old Dominion

Carsen Edwards is an excellent scorer who is also an all-conference player, but his recent performances have left a lot to be desired. In his past three games, he’s shot just 17-for-66 (25.7%) from the field, and 7-for-33 (21.2%) from 3.

In both non-conference and Big Ten play, Purdue was very deliberate, with slow tempo and offensive time of possession numbers, but incredibly efficient with the possessions it did have.

The Boilermakers take a very high number of 3s relative to their overall shots, and score 37.3% of their points from beyond the arc. Old Dominion is a reasonable 3-point defensive team, ranking in the top 100 in percentage allowed, but that’s still an advantage for Purdue and where it will attack.

It’s worth noting that in Old Dominion’s two strong non-conference wins vs. VCU and Syracuse, it didn’t have to worry about opposing 3-point shooting, as those two teams are in the bottom 10% of the entire country in 3-point percentage. Purdue will present different challenges than those teams did.

Old Dominion Has Rebounding Edge

The Monarchs rank 325th in adjusted tempo and 316th in offensive time of possession. Purdue plays deliberately as well, hence a very low total.

Old Dominion does not shoot well, but its advantage in this game is clearly the offensive glass, an area where Purdue really struggled in conference play. The Boilers were ninth in Big Ten play in OREB% allowed, and Old Dominion was the best in C-USA at securing them.

In a game that should have a very limited number of possessions due to tempo, gaining extra ones thru offensive rebounding is absolutely Old Dominion’s path to competitiveness. It will need Purdue to miss some 3s too, but that’s only half of the equation.

The Two Purdues

The most compelling factor for me in this game, aside from Matt Painter’s relative lack of tournament success despite talented teams, is how insanely different Purdue was at home vs. on the road/neutral courts this season.


In non-conference play, Purdue played six road/neutral games and went 2-4, with wins over App State and Davidson. It lost to Notre Dame on a neutral court, in a game that still perplexes me to this day.

The profile becomes more compelling in conference play, where the Boilers went 6-4 in true road games. That may sound perfectly reasonable, but the team was the beneficiary of an incredible number of lucky bounces in close games. They won two games in overtime — at Wisconsin and at Penn State — then won at Indiana by two and at Nebraska by three.

There are a handful of possessions that could have turned their profile into an 8-9-10 seed, something like what Minnesota has on paper right now. Their splits are just too compelling to ignore across the entire season and the entire profile is being inflated significantly by what they did at home, and I don’t think there’s any evidence that’s the type of team you’re going to get in Hartford on Thursday.

Taking the Points

With two teams playing slow and the favorite relying heavily on the 3-point shot (and struggling away from home), I think that creates the recipe for extreme volatility, which makes Old Dominion’s moneyline worth a shot at +800.

Also because the total is so low (and rightfully so), I think 12.5 is too high of a number as well, considering how few possessions there will be. Making an adjustment for Purdue’s home-road splits, I make this number closer to 9-9.5, and would play Old Dominion down to that range.

Ken’s Pick: Old Dominion +12.5/+800

Our Spread Projection

Get point spreads for this game and every possible tournament matchup with our bracket simulator built by Sean Koerner, our Director of Predictive Analytics, a former oddsmaker and FantasyPros’ most accurate in-season fantasy football ranker from 2015-2017.

  • Spread: Purdue -15
  • Total: 133
  • Proj Score: Purdue 74 | Old Dominion 59
  • Win Probability: Purdue 94.9% | Old Dominion 5.1%

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game is from the individual writer and are based on his research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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