Purdue The Right Play At Northwestern

Purdue Boilermakers player in action

Sunday, March 5, 2017 3:37 PM GMT

Favored in next week's Big Ten Tournament after earning the regular season title, Purdue is also favored by the NCAA basketball odds today in the season finale at Northwestern.

Can you believe we're only a week from Selection Sunday? Better than that, can you believe we're finally going to see the Northwestern Wildcats receive an invite to the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament?

Yes, Northwestern appears to be safely in the mix for its first Big Dance, the Wildcats projected to nab a No. 8-9-10 seed currently. It wouldn't hurt their résumé, however, to add a victory over the Purdue Boilermakers to close the regular season, however, the two foes tipping today at Welsh-Ryan Arena a little past 4:30 PM (ET) on CBS. Bookmaker started the Boilermakers out -3½, .and the spread remains right there with the total sliding up from the initial offer to139.

A rematch of their February 1 meeting in West Lafayette, Purdue will be looking for its 4th-straight win in the series this afternoon after easily taking that earlier matchup, 80-59. Caleb Swanigan's double-double (24 pts, 16 reb) fueled the Boilermakers who were 9½ point favorites. All three of their wins in the stretch cashed for 'under' bettors, with totals ranging from 129-141½.

 

Can 'Cats Build Off Upset vs. Michigan?

Purdue (24-6 straight up, 16-9-2 against the spread) wrapped up the Big Ten crown with an 86-75 victory over Indiana earlier this week, the final pushing the -11 point closing line on the NCAA basketball odds. The decision helped the Boilermakers bounce back from an 82-75 loss at Michigan last week to keep Matt Painter's troops from possibly lingering in a late-season malaise, and give them the top seed in next week's conference tourney for the first time in over 20 years.

Northwestern (21-9 SU, 18-9 ATS) reversed recent road losses at Illinois and Indiana with a thriller this past Wednesday, taking down the Wolverines by a 67-65 count with a buzzer-beating winner. Head coach Chris Collins is hopeful that upset provides a boost for his Wildcats after they dropped five of their previous seven.

 

'Under' A Winner In 5 Of Last 6 Collisions

The teams are playing their first game in Evanston in more than two years after meeting only once last season in Indiana. Purdue won that matchup on this floor in January 2015 by a 68-60 count, the line closing with the Boilermakers giving up two. Prior to that, Northwestern won and covered the previous two contests at Welsh-Ryan Arena, once going into overtime for the victory as small home 'dogs and the other as slight home chalk.

Purdue has a commanding 126-46 advantage in the rivalry and has won eight of the last 11 get-togethers overall, but the Wildcats have made it tough on the Boilermakers on this floor recently by winning four of the last nine here. I'm counting on the visitors in this one for my free college basketball pick.

 

Free NCAAB Pick: Purdue -4Best Line Offred: at 5Dimes

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