NCAA Basketball Pick: Santa Clara, Purdue ‘under’ 142

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, March 25, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

Santa Clara is moving up in company tonight to take on a Big Ten defense while Purdue has had trouble at times putting the ball in the basket this year, so go ‘under’ in the CBI Monday.

Look for a lower scoring game than the posted total suggests in the CBI Tournament Monday night when the Santa Clara Broncos (22-11, 7-5 away) pay a visit to the Purdue Boilermakers (16-17, 14-6 home) at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, IN at 7:00 ET.

The posted total at Bookmaker Sportsbook is 142 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ posted at -110.

Santa Clara advanced to this round by beating Vermont 77-67 last Tuesday, continuing a tremendous turnaround that now has the Broncos at 22 wins this season after going 8-22 including 0-16 inside the West Coast Conference one year ago.

The Broncos improved that to 9-7 inside the conference this season, although they did go 0-6 vs. the top three WCC teams in Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s and BYU. They also faced a weak non-conference schedule that ranked 299th in SOS according to the Pomeroy Ratings, so while Santa Clara deserves credit for nearly tripling its win total over last season it really has not beaten much.

With that in mind, its nice offensive production of 73.7 points per game must be taken with a grain of salt, and the Pomeroy Ratings bear that out to as the Broncos rank a modest 74th in offensive efficiency and 91st in effective field goal percentage, lower that you would expect given the raw point total. And the Broncos need to look no further than what happened to Gonzaga to see what happens when a WCC team goes up in class vs. a good defense.

Santa Clara owns one win over a Pomeroy Top 100 team all year, and that was way back in the second game of the season over Saint Louis. They are now stepping up to play a Big Ten team on the road, and even though Purdue has just an average defense by Big Ten standards, it is still probably the best defense that the Broncos have seen all year, so do not expect them to approach their usual scoring average tonight.

The Purdue defense would be much higher regarded if it was not compared to the great defenses in the Big Ten. The Boilermakers are ranked 57th in the country in defensive efficiency and 38th in effective field goal percentage against, which may pale compared to the Big Ten teams in the NCAA Tournament but should still be good enough to keep a WCC offense at bay.

Even with that, this game is not a slam dunk for the Boilermakers because of their offense. You see, Purdue is ranked only 270th in effective field goal percentage, 255th in two-point shooting at 45.6 percent and 234th in three-point shooting at 32.6 percent.

That kind of shooting has us very leery giving points with Purdue vs. anyone, but it does have us liking the ‘under’ quite a bit on this CBI Tournament clash on Monday.

[gameodds]14/225234/93-238-19-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

NCAA Basketball Pick: Santa Clara, Purdue ‘under’ 142 (-110)