Nebraska vs. Purdue NCAA Basketball Odds, Preview and Prediction

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Lat Mayen #11 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Rey Del Rio/Getty Images/AFP

Friday Night Lights this time of year means action on the NCAA basketball picks schedule, and grabbing the early spotlight for the evening is a Big Ten clash between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Purdue Boilermakers.

Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Purdue Boilermakers

Friday, January 14, 2022 – 6:30 PM EST at Mackey Arena

Nebraska and Purdue may not be on opposite ends of the current Big Ten standings, but in terms of talent and expectations, the Cornhuskers and Boilermakers are night and day. Still winless in conference play, Nebraska would be dragging a 9-game losing streak into Friday’s fracas if not for a win over Kennesaw State of the ASUN Conference just before Christmas.

Purdue is fifth in the latest Ken Pomeroy rankings and fifth in the coach's poll but sits in the middle of the Big Ten with a 2-2 record. Among the favorites on the preseason NCAA basketball futures odds, this matchup with Nebraska is one the Boilermakers can ill-afford to let slip away.

‘Huskers Routinely Losing Glass Battle

A 10-point spread between Power 6 schools is a sign of pronounced disparity for the programs. When that gap grows to 20, the amount Purdue is favored against Nebraska, it’s getting into the area of extreme inequality. This one will be available on Fox Sports 1, and most shops are carrying 155½ for the total.

Fred Hoiberg has put his Cornhuskers up against Power 6 teams 10 times this season, and Nebraska has come out on the losing end of the NCAAB scores all 10 times. Sure, there was that exciting quadruple overtime game in Raleigh against North Carolina State early on the schedule, and the Cornhuskers hung with Michigan State for about 23 minutes a week or so ago, but the end result was another loss.

It looked like Nebraska might be ready to change that earlier this week at home against Illinois before things went awry. BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review) favored the Fighting Illini by 12½, and the Cornhuskers held an advantage several minutes into the second half and stood tied with about four minutes left.

That’s when things went south, however, as Illinois closed the contest on a 16-6 run for the 81-71 triumph. Nebraska shot well overall, and connected on 6-of-12 tries from beyond the arc, but lost the rebounding battle as usual. The Cornhuskers are getting beat by about 9 rebounds per game and allowed the Fighting Illini to pull down 15 offensive boards in the loss.

Boilers a Woeful 1-7 ATS Last Eight Trips to Floor

Matt Painter’s troops have been sitting around for about a week after Purdue saw its Tuesday tilt at Michigan canceled due to a virus issue within the Wolverines’ program. That layoff is about to change abruptly as the Boilermakers play four times over the next 10 days, including road games at Illinois and Indiana sandwiched between tonight’s contest with Nebraska and a home date with Northwestern.

After falling at home 11 days ago to Wisconsin, Purdue traveled to Penn State last Saturday and pulled back even in the Big Ten standings with a 74-67 win. The Boilermakers weren’t able to cover the college basketball odds, which made them 10-point chalk and needed to close the matchup with a 10-2 run over the final 3:48 just to leave Happy Valley with the Dubya.

That marked the fourth consecutive game and seventh time in the last eight for Purdue backers to be left tearing up their bet slips. The matchup feature two half-court squads but still made it past a 138-point total.

'Over' a Winner in Six of Last Nine Meetings

Last year’s scheduled matchup at Purdue got called because of the flu, making this the first clash in West Lafayette since February 2019. Purdue has won four of the last five, but Nebraska has covered the spreads at the top sportsbooks in four of the last six. The Boilermakers have a 17-6 all-time lead over the Cornhuskers and are 11-4 in the matchups as Big Ten opponents.

Nebraska and Purdue were able to get together in Lincoln last season, and the Boilermakers posted a 75-58 triumph to easily cover the 7½-point spread. Purdue didn’t really take charge of the contest until about eight minutes into the second half, and neither team managed to score in the final 2½ minutes to keep the contest from reaching a 137½-point total.

As bad as the Cornhuskers are, for the Boilermakers to cover this spread they will have to shoot lights out in addition to the expected dominations on the glass. And with the busy schedule coming up, Painter will also be looking for ways to rest his starters if Purdue has a big lead late. I’ll play the visitors plus the points.

NCAAB Pick: Nebraska +20 (-108) with Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Nebraska +20 (-108)
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