Iowa vs. Purdue NCAA Basketball Preview and Best Bet

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Trevion Williams #50 of the Purdue Boilermakers. Justin Casterline/Getty Images/AFP

Two of the top offenses in the country will clash as the unbeaten Iowa Hawkeyes take on the No. 2 team in the country, Purdue, in the Big Ten Conference opener on Friday night in Mackey Arena. Iowa is looking to get a resume-building upset win after a series of non-conference blowouts, while Purdue wants to make a case to rise to the top spot in the rankings for the first time in program history.  Read to check the NCAAB odds, get some expert analysis, and cash your college basketball picks!

Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Purdue Boilermakers    

Friday, December 03, 2021 – 09:00 PM EST Mackey Arena 

Two of the top offenses in the country will clash as the unbeaten Iowa Hawkeyes travel to Mackey Arena to take on the No. 2 team in the country, the Purdue Boilermakers, in the Big Ten Conference opener on Friday night. Iowa is looking to get a resume-building win after a series of non-conference home blowouts to start the year and a one-point win at Virginia in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. 

Purdue is also coming off a win in the Challenge, blowing out Florida State. The Boilermakers also have wins over Villanova and North Carolina in the non-conference slate. With top-ranked Duke already losing this week, Purdue wants to make a case for the No. 1 spot in the poll, which would be the first time in program history the Boilers have reached that height.  

New Look Hawkeyes 

Iowa was one of the most feared offenses in the country last year, led by Luka Garza and Joe Wieskamp. Both players left for the NBA, and the Hawkeyes lost two other starters to transfer, returning only three players who had started any games for Iowa. The new-look Iowa team added a transfer from North Dakota and a pair of recruits but otherwise is looking for development from its returning players to help provide production for this year’s team.  

The transition has been eased by a very soft early-season schedule. Iowa has played three teams ranked in the 300s in the Torvik rankings, and Virginia was the first non-Quad IV (the weakest opposition) opponent the Hawkeyes have faced. "We haven't fought as much adversity as a lot of teams have early on," Keegan Murray said. After starting just four games in his freshman season last year, Murray has exploded, averaging close to 25 ppg so far this season.  

Murray hurt his knee late in the Virginia game but is expected to be on the floor for the Purdue game. The Hawkeyes also depend on Jordan Bohannon, who returned for his sixth season and moved from the point to shooting guard. He’s hitting 45 percent from three, including 6-of-9 in the Virginia game.  

Thanks in part to the talent on the roster and in part to the low quality of opponents, Iowa is near the top of the list in most offensive categories. The Hawkeyes are No. 5 in efficiency, No. 8 in shooting, No. 2 in ball security, and No. 23 in three-point accuracy.  

The Best in the Nation? 

Purdue has built an offensive juggernaut. Despite playing one of the toughest schedules in the early season, the Boilermakers lead the country in shooting, are No. 2 in three-point accuracy and efficiency, No. 2 in two-point accuracy, and No. 4 in offensive rebounding rate. The Boilermakers have shot over 50 percent in all seven games this season. They present a matchup problem for Iowa, and anyone else they’ll face this year. 

"Purdue is probably as deep a team as I've seen, and I mean over a long period of time," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. "They've had nine different guys start. They have a quality player at every position and a quality backup at every position. All of them can score. They have multiple 3-point shooters. They have a lot of sizes. They have experience.” 

Purdue has three post players in 6-foot-10 senior Trevion Williams, 6-foot-10 freshman Caleb Furst and 7-foot-4 sophomore Zach Edey. They lead the Big Ten in rebounding margin. Furst is averaging close to a double-double at 9.1 ppg and 7.4 rebounds, while also hitting 5-of-11 from three. Edey is averaging 16.9 ppg and hitting nearly three-quarters of his shots. Guard Jaden Ivey is a breakout star in his sophomore year, averaging 15.4 ppg and hitting half of his shots.  

The Pick 

Iowa will try to speed things up against Purdue. The Hawkeyes run at the No. 38 tempo in the country, while Purdue is at 220. The Boilermakers have hit 90 points in six of their seven games, though, so they can speed it up when necessary. For your NCAAB picks, look for Purdue to get a big home win over an untested Iowa team.  

NCAAB Pick: Purdue -13 (-108) with Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Purdue -13 (-108) 
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