Purdue Boiling Hot in Big Ten Play as It Hosts Michigan

purdue michigan

Mark Lathrop

Thursday, January 25, 2018 1:40 PM UTC

Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018 1:40 PM UTC

Our NCAAB handicapper Mark Lathrop has hit a cold patch with his SBR pick assignments. He's hot otherwise, so don't count him out just yet as he focuses on another first-half play in a marquee Big Ten matchup Thursday night.

2017-18 NCAAB Record: 25-18 (+5.85 Units)

No. 25 Michigan Wolverines at No. 3 Purdue BoilermakersFree NCAAB Pick: Purdue 1HBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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The superlatives that one can bestow on the Purdue season thus far are astonishing. Since losing a bit of focus in the Bahamas to start the year, the Boilermakers have been on a 15-game winning streak. This streak has vaulted them to 3rd in the AP rankings, matching their highest point in 39 years. It is of no surprise to me, then, that the Boilermakers have opened as steep 12-point favorites at home over the No. 25 Michigan Wolverines (17-5 SU, 12-9 ATS). The listed total has opened at 133.5 at early-moving sites such as BookMaker.

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.@BoilerBall's @Cboogie_3 runs the most efficient offense in the conference, and he's the reigning B1G Player of the Week.

Carsen Edwards joined @Meesh_McMahon to discuss how he's handling Purdue's success and the Midwestern cold. pic.twitter.com/FTDYGBAlXZ

— Purdue On BTN (@PurdueOnBTN) January 25, 2018
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There are plenty of reasons to like Purdue here, even if it barely beat Michigan on the Wolverines' floor a few short weeks ago at a score of 70-69. One reason is the Boilers' incredible balance as they have held 12 opponents in a row to under 70 points – ranking #3 in defensive efficiency in Pomeroy rankings. The Boilermakers are also ranked #4 in offense and own the best 3-point percentage in the country. They are also nicely settled in for this situation on their home court, where they have won the first half of those games by an average of 16.4 points. Even in the close game with Michigan, Purdue was able to immediately jump out to a large margin, leading by 14 points at one point in the first half.

Purdue is led by … well it is led a lot of players which is why it is so good. In their win over Iowa, the Boilers had 4 players hit 3 or more 3-point shots and they have 4 players averaging over 12.7 points per game. They also have 5 players who shoot better than 40.5% from 3-point range, and every single player who has seen time in 21 games shoots better than 40.2% from the field. With an 8-man rotation that is quite fantastic. People gravitate towards 7’ 2” senior Isaac Haas because of his NBA future, but 6’ 1” sophomore guard Carsen Edwards is the 7th-ranked player in the country, according to KenPom, and 6’ 8” senior forward Vincent Edwards is ranked 9th in the country. Top-ranked Villanova is the only other team in the country with two players ranked in the top 10.

A quick note about Michigan is that it is the best defensive rebounding team in the Big Ten. For a team to get a rebound, though, the opponent must miss a shot. That alone will mitigate the advantage for the Wolverines on paper against Purdue. They will also be facing a home crowd that will be rocking.

Even though I am 3-7 ATS in my last 10 SBR write-ups, those who follow me on Twitter (@mlathrop3) know that I have been doing just fine with 1H and 2H plays. For this game, I will stick to that strategy and back the Boilermakers to come out hot and cover their 1H point spread as my free Thursday NCAA Pick.

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