Purdue Looking to Bounce Back Against Spartans

Purdue Boilermakers

Mark Lathrop

Saturday, February 10, 2018 5:22 PM UTC

Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018 5:22 PM UTC

A great game is surely at hand with top ranked Purdue and Michigan State facing off in a B1G Conference classic on Saturday. Our NCAAB handicapper, Mark Lathrop, is coming off of a win and ready to grab another.

Purdue Boilermakers vs Michigan State Spartans

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Free NCAAB Pick: Purdue +1.5 First HalfBest Line Offered: at Bovada

A fascinating matchup between two top 5 teams will play out on Saturday evening, as the 23-3 (12-1) Purdue Boilermakers travel to the 23-3 (11-2) Michigan State Spartans. Purdue had their school record 19-game winning streak broken in their last game as they fell to Ohio State at home. I had coverage duties in that game and wisely stayed away from the side, instead taking the winning Under total. Just like in that game, these two teams play some of the best defense in the country, with Purdue holding opponents to 68.6 points per game on the road and the Spartans holding teams to just 63.7 points per game at home. Purdue and Michigan State rank 3rd and 4th in the B1G Conference in defensive efficiency, respectively.

That isn’t to say that this game will be a slow and prodding affair, because the offenses for each team are just as potent. Purdue is the #1 3-point shooting team in the country with a 43.9% completion percentage, while Michigan State comes in second over 3% less at 40.8%. The Spartans have 3 players shooting over 40% from three, but Cassius Winston in 2nd in the country with a blistering 52.5% 3-point completion percentage. 2-point conversions in conference play are just as lethal, with Michigan State ranked #2 at 52.9% and Purdue ranked #3 at 52.7%. Needless to say, these teams don’t miss much which has me slightly discounting the apparent rebounding edge that advanced stats are tilting toward the Spartans. Also tilting that apparent advantage is 7’ 2” Purdue center, Isaac Haas.

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📰 PREVIEW: No. 3 #Purdue ready for Saturday showdown with No. 4 Michigan State. #BoilerUp 🚂

🔗 https://t.co/OI2yMxIX25 pic.twitter.com/sp2TEtUyrb

— Purdue Men’s Basketball (@BoilerBall) February 9, 2018

The Boilermakers are an experienced team who start four seniors and one sophomore in 5’ 10” guard, PJ Thompson. As a sophomore, you will get to start if you are the best 3-pt and free throw shooter on the team. Michigan State is on the opposite end of the spectrum, as they start four sophomores and one freshman in 6’ 11” forward, Jaren Jackson. They have a lot of experience under their belt at this point in the season, so they should not be discounted for that reason.

The opening odds have the Spartans listed as 3 to 3.5-point favorites across the board. After opening at 148.5, the O/U total has sagged to 148 at many books, such as 5Dimes. I happen to believe these lines are rather sharp on the full game, and will be looking to the first half line for an edge with Purdue available +1.5-points. Purdue happens to be the best 1st half team in the country according to teamrankings.com power rankings, and I’ll take them in the first half in what should surely be a very entertaining game.

2017-18 NCAAB Record: 30-24 +4.45 Units

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