Within Tuesday’s 42-game college hoops slate, there’s a top-10 Big Ten affair with No. 5 Purdue at No. 10 Wisconsin. Let’s dive into my college basketball best bets for this contest.
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Purdue Boilermakers at Wisconsin Badgers
Not only are Boilermakers coming off a last-second loss at Michigan State, but they also fell to the Badgers at home on Jan. 3. Hence, this game represents a motivational spot for Matt Painter’s bunch, sitting one game back of Wisconsin in the conference standings.
Stardom vs. Subpar Defense
Wooden Award candidate Johnny Davis () went off for a season-high 37 points in the first meeting, carrying the Badgers’ offense to 1.10 points per possession (PPP). Nevertheless, anticipate Matt Painter pinning Mason Gillis on Davis throughout in this one — with the 6-foot-6 forward developing into Purdue’s top on-ball defender.
Moreover, Greg Gard doesn’t utilize nearly as much ball-screen continuity as other Big Ten programs. While I’ve criticized the Boilermakers defensively, their isolation set-up bodes well for this matchup.
On top of that, Davis & Co. are outperforming their shooting metrics by five wins (via ShotQuality). That’s tied with USC, Saint Mary’s and Chattanooga for the third-most among programs with at least 20 victories.
Painter’s Interior Advantage
On the flip side, Purdue’s attack owns the top-rated Adjusted Offensive Efficiency (AdjO) in the nation. It plays through bigs Zach Edey and Trevion Williams before handing off the keys to likely lottery pick Jaden Ivey.
- Adjusted Efficiency accounts for the estimate efficiency (points scored or allowed per 100 possessions) a team would accrue or allow against the average Division I opponent.
Wisconsin’s post-up defense is the worst in the conference, as Edey tallied 24 points in the first go around. There’s no reason why the Boilermakers won’t replicate that success. Look for Purdue’s floor-spacing to open up as a result, especially for sharpshooter Sasha Stefanovic, considering the Badgers allow the Big Ten’s fifth-highest open 3-point rate.
Although these teams’ NCAA tournament odds are overvalued, Painter’s crew should earn revenge and step in front of Wisconsin’s path to clinch the Big Ten regular season title.
Eli’s College Basketball Best Bets: Purdue -2 (-110; placed on Monday night at FanDuel Sportsbook)
Best Available Line: Purdue