Purdue is hot, with six wins and seven covers its last seven times out, while Indiana is sputtering, alternating wins and losses over the last couple of weeks. The Big Ten rivals, both trying to track down NCAA tournament bids, meet Thursday night in Bloomington.
Boilers-Hoosiers Betting Odds
The NCAA basketball odds opened Indiana as a five-point favorite for this game, with a total of right around 145, and those numbers were holding firm in the early betting.
Those thinking Purdue might win this game outright could get +190 on the moneyline at Heritage.
Purdue finished last in the Big Ten last season, and figured to finish near the bottom of the league again this season. And the Boilers started slowly. But things are beginning to click, and suddenly Purdue has won six of its last seven games, climbing the Big Ten standings in the process.
The Boilers started 8-5 through non-conference play this season, then split their first six Big Ten contests. At 11-8 an invitation to the Big Dance seemed a longshot. But Purdue then beat Iowa, Indiana, Northwestern and Ohio State consecutively, before suffering a four-point loss at Minnesota. The Boilers then won at Rutgers 71-61 and, last time out, beat Nebraska at home 66-54.
Purdue covered four of those games at home, and three on the road.
The Boilers only shot 39 percent from the floor Sunday, but hit eight of 21 shots from long range and committed just 11 fouls, while the Cornhuskers committed 22, leading to a 30-9 advantage in free-throws for Purdue.
At 17-9 overall, 9-4 in conference play the Boilers are tied for second place in the Big Ten with Maryland and Michigan State, three games behind first place Wisconsin. However, with a weak RPI and strength-of-schedule Purdue isn't assured of anything yet, when it comes to the NCAA tournament.
Indiana started 10-3 through non-con season, then won five of its first six Big Ten games. But the Hoosiers then lost four of their next six games, as the defense let them down. Last time out IU got hot and beat Minnesota 90-71, covering as a four-point favorite. The Hoosiers shot 59 percent from the field Sunday, hit 18 of 32 three-pointers and won the battle on the boards by a 35-17 margin.
At 18-8 overall, 8-5 in conference play Indiana is tied with Ohio State for fifth place in the Big Ten, and with a very respectable RPI and SOS the Hoosiers, barring a collapse, appear headed back to the NCAA Basketball Tournament, after missing out last season.
Purdue took the first meeting between these teams this season, 83-67 back in West Lafayette three weeks ago. The Boilers shot 59 percent from the field that night, while Indiana shot just 38 percent.
Purdue covered as a four-point favorite, and that game played OVER its total of 148 by a bucket.
Last season the Boilers took the only meeting between these rivals, 82-64, easily covering as one-point favorite at home.
By the Numbers
Purdue is shooting 46 percent from the floor this season, just 32 percent from 3-point land and 68 percent from the FT line. The Boilers are also holding opponents to just less than 40 percent FG shooting.
Indiana is shooting 48 percent from the floor, 42 percent from 3-point range, which ranks third-best in the country, and 73 percent from the line, but is allowing opponents to shoot 46 percent.
Boilers-Hoosiers Betting Trends
Purdue has leaned toward the UNDERS by a 13-8 margin this season, as Boilers games have averaged 135 points.
Indiana has skewed toward the OVERS by an 18-6 margin, as Hoosiers games have averaged 152 points.
Boilers-Hoosiers Free Pick
Indiana owns the edge on offense, but Purdue plays better defense. And in cases like this we like going with the better defense. Plus, the Boilers are hot, while the Hoosiers, despite shooting the hell out of the ball last time out, have just been treading water as of late. We'll take the dog and the points in this spot for our college basketball picks.
Free College Basketball Pick: Purdue +5 at 5Dimes