Skip to main content
Ben Gregg #33 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs reacts as we offer our Gonzaga vs. Purdue prediction and pick for the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament on Friday.
Ben Gregg #33 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs reacts during the second half against the Kansas Jayhawks in the second round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Delta Center on March 23, 2024 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images via AFP.

The No. 1 seed Purdue Boilermakers face off against the No. 5 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs in the Sweet 16 of the 2024 NCAA Tournament, as we offer our best Gonzaga vs. Purdue expert pick and prediction based on the best March Madness odds.

The top-seeded Purdue Boilermakers (31-4) haven't faced much of a challenge through the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament after last year's epic collapse. Their March Madness run could come to an end in Friday's Sweet 16 matchup with the Gonzaga Bulldogs, which tips off at 7:39 p.m. ET from Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Mich. According to our best sports betting sites, Purdue is favored by 5.5 points.

Purdue looked every bit like a title contender with its 39-point victory over Utah State - the largest by any team in the Round of 32 since 1999 and fourth-biggest win in that round in tournament history. Gonzaga has looked like a juggernaut, too, with a pair of 21-point wins to set up Friday's clash in the Midwest Region.

As part of our March Madness predictions, here is our best Gonzaga vs. Purdue expert pick (odds via our best March Madness betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

For more Round 3 betting action, see our Sweet 16 expert picks, and our Sweet 16 player props and best bets.

Gonzaga (5) vs. Purdue (1) game info & odds

  • When: Friday, March 29
  • Tip-off: 7:39 p.m. ET
  • Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Mich.
  • How to watch: TBS / truTV
  • Favorite: Purdue -5.5 (odds via Betway)

Gonzaga vs. Purdue expert pick

Gonzaga +5.5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Best odds: -110 via Betway

Earlier this week, we highlighted Gonzaga in our March Madness upset picks as a potential Sweet 16 spoiler against Purdue. So, naturally, we like the Zags' chances to cover what feels like an inflated number ahead of this one.

Sure, the Boilermakers have looked as impressive as any team in this tournament through the first two rounds. Zach Edey, the clear favorite by the latest March Madness MVP odds, is averaging a ridiculous 26.5 points and 17.5 rebounds on 67.9% shooting as the 7-4 center takes advantage of overmatched competition.

That'll be tougher against the Bulldogs, who feature three starters standing at 6-8 or taller, not including talented freshman Braden Huff (6-10, 242 lbs). That size has helped Gonzaga boast a top-10 defense inside the arc while daring opponents to win from the outside - a proven recipe for pulling a March Madness upset, especially against a team that wants to dominate inside like Purdue.

The Zags also boast one of the few offensive units in this tournament with the balance and firepower to keep pace with Purdue, ranking seventh in adjusted efficiency with four players averaging 12-plus points and six scoring nine per game or more. They rarely turn it over (and the Boilermakers rarely force the issue), and they've been blocked on just 6.3% of shot attempts this season.

This is a heavyweight fight, even if oddsmakers aren't pricing it that way. Since losing to Saint Mary's on Feb. 3, Gonzaga has won 11 of its last 12 games and ranks as the eighth-best team in the country - one spot below Purdue - with an even better offense (third) than the Boilermakers (fourth).

With this contest projected as a 4-point margin via KenPom and a 5-point result via T-Rank, I'll gladly take the 5.5 points from Betway in a game with sneaky upset potential.

Betway boost for the Sweet 16

Betway is boosting the odds for UConn, UNC, Illinois, and Tennessee all to win in the Sweet 16 from +494 to +600. Offer valid for eligible U.S. users outside of New Jersey and Iowa.

Not intended for use in MA
Affiliate Disclosure:
Sportsbook Review may receive advertising commissions for visits to a sportsbook

Gonzaga vs. Purdue spread & Over/Under analysis

Purdue is favored by 5.5 points over Gonzaga ahead of their Sweet 16 matchup on Friday in Detroit, even with most projection models having this game as a 4-5 point margin.

That may not seem like a big deal on the surface, but a betting market strongly influenced by those models reveals a clear public bias toward the Boilermakers after an eye-popping result in the Round of 32. It also ignores that, outside of Purdue, Gonzaga might be the hottest team in the tournament with the talent to keep pace for 40 minutes.

This game's betting total of 153.5 is the highest of any contest on Friday and the second-highest of the Sweet 16 behind only Alabama vs. UNC. Even that number is 5-6 lower than the projections for this matchup, which features two of the five best offenses in the country over the last two months.

Gonzaga-Purdue prediction made Wednesday at 12:45 p.m. ET.

Here are our best March Madness betting sites:

(21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER)
* Bonuses not applicable in Ontario.

Related pages