Indiana has five wins when not favored this season, which makes it a dangerous road underdog against Purdue at Mackey Arena Wednesday night. Check out this NCAA Basketball preview and our final pick.
Indiana had its four-game win streak snapped last time out in suffering a 82-70 defeat to Ohio State as nine-point road underdogs Sunday, which is important to consider when making your NCAA basketball picks, as it attempts to win another game when tipping off as an underdog.
The Hoosiers have knocked off Butler, Illinois, Maryland, Nebraska and Ohio State when getting points on the odds board in 2014-15, while it ranks 12th in the country in averaging 81.4 points per game.
Since the start of the 2012-13 campaign, the program is 3-3 SU and 3-2-1 ATS as road underdogs of three or fewer points, with the OVER going 4-2 in that situation.
Purdue can be difficult to back as small favorites due to its inconsistent play, which can’t be ignored when looking over the NCAA basketball odds lines, as it has alternated wins and losses over its last four contests.
In their last six games, the Boilermakers are 68-of-117 from the free throw line, as they attempt to match last year’s win total in Big Ten Conference play—entering this matchup with a 4-3 record.
Matt Painter’s squad has been out-rebounded by 23 boards in the last two games, which could spell trouble against a foe that has posted a +3.7 margin in that category over its last 11 contests.
It’s important to point out that the school is 4-1 SUATS as home favorites of three or fewer points.
The Hoosiers are averaging just 11.8 turnovers on the season, which is far different than their finishing number of 15.1 during the 2013-14 campaign.
Indiana has also gone from knocking down 5.5 three-pointers per game to 9.2 this year, which makes it one of the top perimeter teams in the country due to its 41.0 shooting percentage from beyond the arc.
The Boilermakers own a significant height advantage over the Hoosiers, but they’ll need center A.J. Hammons to perform at a high level, as he’s recorded 11 of his 12 career double-doubles in Big Ten play.
Purdue may have to go with a smaller lineup over the course of the game, as Indiana often goes to a five-guard lineup, with James Blackmon Jr. and Yogi Ferrell combining to average 32.5 points.
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Hoosiers as one of their top basketball predictions, as they’ve covered the number in four of the last five installments of this in-state rivalry.
Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Indiana Hoosiers +3 at Bookmaker