In the midst of the Big Ten conference season, a historic rivalry takes place in the state where basketball just means more. The top-ranked Purdue Boilermakers head off to Bloomington to face their rival in the 21st ranked Indiana Hoosiers. This rivalry means a lot to many in the state of Indiana. Purdue comes in looking like the strongest team in the country which gives them plenty of bragging rights. Indiana has the national championships in their history they can always fall back on that Purdue is still searching for. Purdue has only one loss this season so far and has not had a lot of scares. A rivalry game can always raise the stakes a little bit more though. They will be coming into this game off of a big win against Penn State.
Indiana is ranked 21st in the country and will enter this game after a tough loss at Maryland. They were on a 5-game win streak prior to that loss so they may have gotten their bad loss out of the way before playing Purdue, which will require them to play near perfect to come out with a win. This will certainly be a star matchup game against Trayce Jackson-Davis and Zach Edey as well that we will get into later. This game not only means a lot for rivalries but could affect the Big Ten Standings moving forward. Let’s jump into this game’s picks and predictions:
Purdue vs. Indiana Betting Odds
The line is not published just yet and it will be very interesting where it gets published at. There are a lot of factors going into this game. For one, Purdue is the top team in the country, but Indiana has been playing very great basketball as of late and is the only other ranked Big Ten team. This game is also at Indiana and Assembly Hall is a very tough place to play and considering this is a rivalry game, that can throw a lot of analytical factors out the door. Purdue only has one loss on the season but they have had a lot of close calls considering a buzzer beater win against Ohio State and narrowly escaping against Michigan State. Indiana recently beat both of these teams on their winning streak. To a surprise, ESPN Analytics is giving Indiana a slim chance to win this game with a 53.4% chance to win at home against the No. 1 team. I’m sure the home factor is certainly playing into that. This will depend on how Indiana plays offensively, if they can keep up with the Boilermakers offense. Looking at Kenpom’s analytical rankings, Purdue is currently ranked 3rd where Indiana is ranked 21st so both are in the top 25 in those rankings. I think the spread line will be close and be around 5 or 4 points or maybe even less. I do think Purdue will be entering this game as the favorite with those lines just due to how good they have looked and being the No. 1 team in the country.
The over/under line is still not published yet either but we can speculate what that would be based on each team’s scoring averages. Purdue averages 73.8 PPG while Indiana is averaging 77.5 PPG. This gives Indiana a bit of advantage from a scoring standpoint. Looking at defense however, Purdue is allowing 60.3 PPG with Indiana letting 67.3 points on average. I’d expect this over/under line to be placed right around 140.
Purdue vs. Indiana Picks & Predictions
My Pick: Indiana ML
I think this game will be a fight all the way to the finish and I think if Indiana didn’t just lose to Maryland I would pick Purdue, but I think this will be one of those crazy rivalry games and we will see a big Indiana win at home against a Purdue game that has been so hot, they are due for another loss on the season. I will discuss TJD vs. Edey in the next section but I want to discuss the other role players and side stars that will make impacts. Indiana is still struggling with guard Xavier Johnson, but shooting guard and freshman standout Jalen Hood-Schifino has become the next man up for the Hoosiers. He had a cold game against Maryland but was able to put up 24 points in the game prior against Ohio State. He is averaging 12.3 PPG and will need to have a big game to keep Indiana in it from the top of the key since there will be a lot of action in the post. Sharpshooter Miller Kopp for Indiana also needs to be able to provide offense and is Indiana’s best 3 point shooter when he isn’t hesitant to shoot. Purdue is led by Edey obviously, but guards like Fletcher Loyer and Braden Smith are also huge for this team averaging 12.4 and 9.5 PPG. Indiana will need to work on taking them out of the game to have a chance. Mason Gillis is also a great player for Purdue and while only averaging around 6 points a game, will be entering this game off of a 29 point game against Penn State. This game will come down to the wire but I think in the end, Indiana will not be slowed down offensively and get a victory.
Trayce Jackson-Davis vs. Zach Edey
The biggest showdown is between these two great big men in college basketball: Zach Edey and Trayce Jackson-Davis. Both these players are currently contenders for Wooden Player of the Year with Edey the strong favorite at the moment. TJD has had some momentum as of late however with big games on their win streak. TJD is currently averaging more points in Big Ten conference play than Edey but Edey has the season advantage. Edey is currently averaging 22 PPG and 13 RPG which are unbelievable numbers. TJD also has crazy numbers with 19.5 PPG and 11.2 RPG. It will be interesting to see if these two guard one another since Edey does have the clear height advantage but both will certainly be leading their teams in this game of a historic college basketball rivalry.