Rising Penn State to Cover as Big Road Dogs vs. Slumping Purdue

Willie Bee

Sunday, February 18, 2018 2:15 PM UTC

Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018 2:15 PM UTC

Looking to get back in the March Madness conversation, the Penn State Nittany Lions aim for an upset as they travel to Purdue to face the sixth-ranked Boilermakers.

Sunday College Basketball: Penn State vs. PurdueFree NCAAB Picks: Penn State +9; 'Under' 143½Best Line Offered: Heritage

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Penn State (19-9 SU, 13-10-1 ATS) and Purdue (23-5 SU, 15-12 ATS) spent Thursday night participating in a pair of Big Ten upsets. Fortunately for Patrick Chambers, his Nittany Lions were on the good side of their upset vs. Ohio State, while Matt Painter and the Boilermakers were left scratching their heads after a third consecutive loss in what was supposed to be a relatively easy win over Wisconsin.

Purdue is now left to try and pull out of its dive against a Penn State team that is coming on strong as the regular season winds down. The sixth-ranked Boilermakers are favored by 9 on the college basketball odds board, with 143½ for the scoreboard target.

Totals Running 2-11 O/U In Purdue’s Last 13 Contests

A four-game win streak has the Nittany Lions slowly climbing up the conference standings, presently sixth and only a couple of games behind Nebraska for fourth, which would give them a pass into the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament. Penn State still needs to do more to really make a case for receiving an invite to March Madness, however, and with a matchup against Purdue tonight plus Michigan coming to State College later this week, the opportunity is there for Chambers’ crew.

The Boilermakers are safely in the field of 68, but if they can’t stem the tide of this three-game skid, they could fall out of a top-four slot in the Big Ten heading into the league tourney that begins 11 days from now in Madison Square Garden. Thursday’s loss to Wisconsin came as 10½-point home chalk, the sixth time in seven games Purdue failed to cover and the third time in four contests Painter’s squad was beaten on the glass.

Rivalry History and Final Thoughts

Purdue swept the season series from Penn State last season, and enters tonight's scrape with five consecutive wins over the Nittany Lions to up the all-time advantage to 35-12. The matchup in West Lafayette needed extra time to complete before the Boilermakers posted a 74-70 win as 7-point favorites. Despite going to overtime, the final still didn’t reach a 146-point total, giving "under" bettors their 20th payday in the last 26 clashes and 12th winning ticket in the last 14 at Mackey Arena.

That "under" trend in both the series and Purdue contests the last couple of months will continue again tonight if the Boilermakers shoot as poorly as they have been. It makes for an easy NCAAB pick on both Penn State and the low side of the total.

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