NCAAB Pick: Indiana +7 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)
Maybe the best basketball rivalry in the Big Ten is renewed on Saturday as No. 17 Indiana visits No. 5 Purdue in a nationally televised prime-time matchup.
Which side of the 7.5-point spread has the best value at Indiana betting sites? We also have a play on the total.
Indiana Hoosiers vs. Purdue Boilermakers
Saturday, February 25, 2023 – 07:30 PM EST at Mackey Arena
It should be a very raucous sellout crowd Saturday night from West Lafayette as No. 5 Purdue looks for a little payback against in-state bitter rival and No. 17 Indiana in Big Ten action televised nationally by FOX.
Last Time They Met
Not too often you see the nation’s No. 1 team as an underdog, but Purdue was atop the polls on Feb. 4 when it visited Bloomington as a 1.5-point dog and lost 79-74 to No. 21 Indiana.
Jalen Hood-Schifino had a breakaway dunk to clinch with two seconds remaining. Hoosiers star Trayce Jackson-Davis had 25 points, seven rebounds, and five blocks, but Boilers star Zach Edey was even better with 33 points on 15-for-19 shooting with 18 rebounds and three blocks.
This is the best big man matchup in the nation by far with both likely first-team All-Americans, and they will finish 1-2 in voting for Big Ten Player of the Year. Yet neither likely will be a lottery pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Edey might not even go in Round 1 because scouts think he may get pushed around in the Association and because he has no perimeter game.
Purdue leads the all-time series 125-91. The schools have met 17 previous times with both teams ranked in the AP Top 25 with IU leading 12-5, including the past four. Only six of those 17 have been played at Mackey Arena. The home team is 7-3-1 ATS on the NCAAB odds in the past 11 overall.
Hoosiers Shaky On Road
Indiana (19-9, 10-7) is looking to finish in the Top 4 in the Big Ten and earn a double-bye in the conference tournament. It is tied for third with Maryland, Illinois, and Michigan.
ESPN bracketology currently lists IU as a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament’s Midwest Region and opening vs. No. 12 Oral Roberts – that would be a nightmare matchup for IU as the Summit League champion Golden Eagles are terrific. CBS Sports also has No. 5 Indiana vs. No. 5 Oral Roberts but in the West.
The Hoosiers are simply nowhere near as good on the road, losing three of their past four away following an 80-65 defeat at Michigan State on Tuesday. Indiana made only five three-pointers and was outscored by 15 points behind the arc. There’s your margin of victory. This is the team’s final true road game.
"We haven't given up 80 points in a long time," coach Mike Woodson said. "We gave up second-chance points, offensive rebounds where it was kicked out for threes. It was just one of those games.”
Jackson-Davis Put Up a Show
Star Trayce Jackson-Davis, the first IU player with 2,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds, certainly showed up with 19 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. It was the ninth time this season he led the Hoosiers in points, rebounds, and assists after doing that in just one game in his previous three seasons combined.
In Big Ten play, Jackson-Davis ranks second in the league with 21.9 points and 12.9 rebounds per contest and first in blocks at 3.1 per game. He’s +4000 to win the Wooden Award as the nation’s top player.
IU got all six points from its bench vs. Sparty. Could a reinforcement be on the way? Senior guard Xavier Johnson was a starter but hasn’t played since Dec. 17 when he suffered a fractured foot in Indiana's loss at Kansas and underwent surgery in the following day. He was at practice before the MSU game but it doesn’t sound like he will return yet.
One other concerning factor for Indiana: It has trailed by double digits in four straight games. The Hoosiers are 2-8 ATS in their past 10 road games.
Big Ten Title In Grasp for Purdue
Purdue (22-4, 13-4 Big Ten) would clinch no worse than a share of the Big Ten regular-season title with a win as it is two games up on second-place Northwestern with both having three games left including Saturday.
NU does hold the head-to-head tiebreaker thanks to a 64-58 home win over Purdue on Feb. 12. However, I think the Cats lose Sunday at Maryland and thus if Purdue wins and that happens, the race is over.
ESPN currently has Purdue as the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament’s East Region and CBS Sports the same. The program hasn’t been to the Final Four since 1980 but is +240 to make it this year. Not sure I like that wager as the team is too reliant on superstar Zach Edey, the -10000 favorite to win the Wooden Award.
What Else to Say About Zach Edey
The Canadian is averaging 22.1 points (seventh in nation), 12.7 rebounds (first), and 2.4 blocks while shooting 61.9% from the field – all in the paint.
In Sunday’s blowout win over Ohio State to snap a two-game skid, he had 26 points, 11 boards, and three blocks in only 26 minutes. It was his 13th game this season of at least 20 points and 10 rebounds. No other player nationally has more than nine.
Purdue Doesn't Mind Not Being No. 1
Purdue is now 174-7 under Coach Matt Painter when holding foes to 59 or fewer points, having won 18 straight games. Its six straight home wins have come by an average of 16.3 points per game.
When not ranked No. 1 in the country this year, Purdue is 15-1. That loss came at Maryland. The Boilers’ only loss at home this season was on Jan. 2 against Rutgers by a point.
Teams tend to get to the foul line more at home and Purdue has made 419 free throws this season, while opponents have attempted just 293. The Boilers are shooting 75.8 percent from the free throw line this season, tops in the Big Ten.
Pick and Prediction
Saturday marks the first time that Indiana and Purdue are ranked in the Top 20 in a Mackey Arena contest since Jan. 18, 1994. The 43 combined victories between the two teams equal the most in series history. Simply where this game is being played – Purdue is 4-0 ATS in its past four at home – is dictating my NCAAB pick.
The Boilers have been much better defensively at home and Indiana worse offensively away, so we expect a lower-scoring game than the first meeting but still comfortably over. I think this spread is just a bit too high in a rivalry game.
Score Prediction: Purdue 74 - Indiana 68
NCAAB Pick: Over 138 (-110) at BetOnline
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