NCAA Basketball Picks Indiana vs. Purdue

Willie Bee

Saturday, February 15, 2014 2:23 PM GMT

It has been something of a forgettable season for both the Indiana Hoosiers and Purdue Boilermakers. Stuck near the bottom of the Big Ten standings with identical overall and conference records, at least one of them can salvage some Hoosier State bragging rights Saturday when they meet in West Lafayette.

ESPN will begin its broadcast from Mackey Arena at 4 PM (ET), and Indiana is positioned as 1 point road chalk. SBR's live NCAA basketball odds is showing 138.5 for the total.

This is the only meeting between the Hoosiers and Boilermakers this season, unless by some chance they happen to storm through the Big Ten Tournament in March to reach the semifinals or finals. Indiana won both regular season matchups each of the past two seasons, and Saturday's clash is the 201st between the longtime rivals.

The tilt that took place at Mackey Arena last year goes into the no contest column as the Hoosiers cruised to a 97-60 victory, the largest margin of defeat at home in Purdue history. Laying 7.5 on the road, Indiana used a 13-0 run late in the first half to take control of the game that saw all five starters score in double figures.

That contest easily surpassed the 136.5 point total to leave 'over' bettors 7-4 in the last 11 meetings. The Hoosiers have covered seven of the last nine.

Crean's Crew Reaches Purdue On 2-Game Skid

Indiana (14-10 straight up, 11-11-1 against the spread) started the Big Ten portion of the schedule in a 0-2 hole, and Tom Crean's club has never been able to dig itself out. The only highlights so far are upsets in Bloomington over Wisconsin and Michigan who were ranked No. 3 and No. 10, respectively.

Wednesday's setback at home to Penn State was the second straight loss for the Hoosiers who were giving up seven in the 66-65 loss to the Nittany Lions. Indiana let an 11-point lead midway through the second half slip away, and went the final five minutes of the contest without a field goal while committing five of its 20 turnovers.

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Yogi Ferrell committed four of those giveaways himself while missing nine of his 13 field goal attempts. The rest of the team shot better than 60% (17-of-28). Ferrell leads Indiana averaging 17.5 PPG, but the sophomore guard has topped the 17-point plateau just twice in the past seven contests.

Fewer points from Ferrell in that span has definitely been a boon for 'under' bettors who have cashed in all seven games. The Hoosiers are 8-14 O/U for the campaign.

Boilers Out To Break 3-Year Home Drought Vs. Hoosiers

Indiana's 0-2 start to the conference schedule was mimicked by Purdue (14-10 SU, 8-13 ATS), and Matt Painter's club enters Saturday's affair with only one win in its last six trips to the floor. The Boilermakers will close the regular season with four ranked teams among their final six matchups, including trips to face the Iowa Hawkeyes and Wisconsin Badgers.

The good news is they are back home where they have triumphed three of the last four times out. Purdue last hit the hardwood a week ago in Columbus, and the Ohio State Buckeyes dished out a 67-49 bruising. The Boilermakers stayed in the game until midway through the second half when they only trailed by three, but OSU closed with a 19-4 advantage on the scoreboard.

It was so kind of the oddsmakers to give us a total well in advance of the tip, and to celebrate that gesture I'm going to offer up two free NCAA basketball picks on this game. Give me the Boilermakers plus a point as well as the low side of the scoreboard hurdle for this collision between Big Ten rivals.

My pick: Purdue +1, Under 138.5

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