Purdue’s Zach Edey (15) and Illinois’ Kofi Cockburn vie for position under the basket during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Michael Allio)
Purdue is a 13.5-point favorite over Northwestern on Sunday
Northwestern is 1-5 straight up and ATS in its last six games
Read below for analysis and a betting prediction
No. 4 Purdue (15-3, 4-3 Big Ten) is a 13.5-point home favorite against Northwestern in a Big Ten game at 1 pm Sunday on the Big Ten Network. The Boilermakers had a three-game winning streak broken in a loss at Indiana on Thursday.
Northwestern (9-7, 2-5) owns the biggest upset in the Big Ten this season, in a 64-62 victory at Michigan State as a 9.5-point underdog on Jan. 15. It is the Wildcats’ only victory since a 90-50 romp over NCAA Division II Illinois-Springfield on Dec. 20.
Northwestern vs Purdue Odds
Over 150.5 (-110)
Under 150.5 (-110)
Odds from BetMGM on Jan. 22
Purdue is a 13.5-point home favorite over Northwestern, with the total set at 150.5, the highest in a Northwestern game this season and the highest the Boilermakers only once in the last 10 games . The -900 moneyline on Purdue means that it has a whopping 90% implied win probability. Northwestern is +600 on the moneyline, which translates into a meager 14.3% implied win probability.
Boilers Look to Recover
Purdue had a nine-game winning streak against arch-rival Indiana broken the last time out in a 68-65 loss. The Boilermakers led only once in the final 30 minutes, 65-63 on a Mason Gillis layup with 1:11 left, before Rob Phinisee hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 16.5 seconds remaining and Jaden Ivey missed a pair of potential game-tying shots in the final seven seconds.
The Boilers’ biggest advantages are their depth and their superior board play. They have a plus-12.2 rebounding margin, second to Kentucky in Division I, and have four double-digit scorers led by projected NBA first-round draft choice Ivey (16.7 points) while shooting an even 50 percent from the field as a team.
What makes Purdue unique, however, is the way coach Matt Painter rotates his big men. sophomore 7’4 Zach Edey and senior 6’10 Travion Williams. They are almost never on the floor at the same time despite both having plus skills.
Edey starts, and the Boilers play through him when he is on the floor. He is averaging 15.4 points and 7.6 rebounds and is shooting 71.2 percent from the floor, but logs only 18.3 minutes a game. Williams (12.3 points, team-high 8.3 rebounds) plays 20.4 minutes per game.
Edey played 25 minutes against but was not on floor in crunch time against the Hoosiers.
Northwestern vs Purdue Head-to-Head Results
Purdue has owned the series recently, winning the last nine straight up with a more modest 5-4 ATS. The Boilers have won the last five straight up but are 2-3 ATS, always as a favorite of at least eight points. and eight of the last nine in West Lafayette but are 2-3 ATS in the last five and are 5-4 ATS over the longer span.
The Wildcats have covered the last two series games, as an eight-point road underdog in the lone meeting last season and a 5.5-point home underdog in the second meeting of 2019-20.
The total has gone under in seven of the last nine.
Northwestern Does the Little Things
Northwestern plays a smart-guy game. The Wildcats defend well, make the extra pass and do not turn the ball over. They are holding opponents to 40.2 percent shooting from the floor and they lead Division I with a 2,02:1 assist-to-turnover ratio. The Wildcats commit 9.0 turnovers per game, the fourth-fewest in Division. I.
If the Wildcats were not in the loaded Big Ten, it would translate into a better record.
Get you a guard that can do both 😈 @booboo_buie is the only player in @B1GMBBall to average at least 14.5 ppg and 4+ apg 🏀#GoCats | @coach_collins pic.twitter.com/gDHt0S1DmP
— Northwestern Basketball (@NUMensBball) January 22, 2022
Mobile big man 6’10 Pete Nance leads in scoring (16.6) and rebounding (7.6) and is one of four double-digit scorers. Guard 6’2 Boo Buie (14.9 points, 5.6 assists). Reserve big man 6-10 Ryan Young (10.2 points, 4.7 rebounds) gives the Wildcats another big body down low.
Guard 6’4 Chase Audige (13.0 points) has started all nine games since returning from a hip injury, and his addition is a plus. He led the Wildcats in scoring and steals in 2020-21 and had 14 points against Michigan State.
Neither team has been a go-with recently. The price is ofter inflated on the Boilermakers, who have been favored in every game except their 96-88 double-overtime victory at Illinois last Monday as a 1.5-point underdog.
The Boilers are 3-8 ATS since rolling over Florida State 93-65 on Nov. 30 and are 2-4 ATS in the Big Ten. Purdue has won the game after its two losses but is 0-2 ATS in them.
Northwestern is 2-7 ATS in its previous nine, with both covers coming on the road against league opponents Maryland and Michigan State. The Wildcats lost to Wisconsin 82-76 at home as a 2.5-point dog the last time out Monday.
Your weekly reminder that @ryanyoung2323 is a BEAST 😤#GoCats | @coach_collins pic.twitter.com/2aSVl4iuf8
— Northwestern Basketball (@NUMensBball) January 22, 2022
Purdue’s three losses have come by two points on a half-court buzzer-beater at Rutgers, by five points to No. 8 Wisconsin and late at Indiana.
Northwestern vs Purdue Prediction
Neither team inspires much confidence when going against the number, but Northwestern has played well in this spot as a Big Ten road underdog this season and has some interior height to bang with Purdue. The Wildcats are the play against a Boilermaker team that has covered only one of its last five while carrying a big number at home.
The pick: Northwestern +13.5 (-110)