Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Mackey Arena, West Lafayette, IN
Where to watch: FS1
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Purdue -20
BetMGM: Purdue -20.5
Caesars: Purdue -20
Nebraska: 6-11 (0-6 Big Ten)
No. 7 Purdue: 13-2 (2-2 Big Ten)
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Nebraska - Purdue preview, analysis and prediction
Nebraska: lost 81-71 vs. Illinois on Tuesday
Purdue: won 74-67 at Penn State on Jan. 8
If you’ve been feeling uneasy about the Purdue Boilermakers over their past couple of games, let this matchup against the Nebraska Cornhuskers put your minds at ease.
Purdue may not be creeping toward the No. 1 spot in the country for a while, but the No. 7 Boilermakers will at least be able to handle these lower-tier teams in the Big Ten. After losing to Wisconsin on Jan. 3, Purdue rebounded with a 7-point win at Penn State last Saturday.
Purdue’s two losses this season are conference games; a miracle heave from Rutgers ended their short stay as the top team in the country, and then a home loss to probably the sleeper of the Big Ten in Wisconsin.
Purdue has found success this season from their depth. The Boilermakers average 18.5 assists per game which leads them to make greater than half their shots per game. Against Penn State, Purdue had only 14 assists but still made 48.3 percent, which is good on normal occasions.
But even when the top scorers falter a bit, the depth comes from everywhere. Trevion Williams carried the load against Penn State with 21 points off the bench, with leading scorer Jaden Ivey held to just 5 of 15 in 37 minutes. Big man Zach Edey had four fouls in nine minutes, finishing with six points and six rebounds.
Purdue was fortunate to not miss its second-leading rebounder and shot-blocking leader in that kind of game. But it speaks to how far the gap between Purdue is from some of these teams. Coming back home to face Nebraska, which has given up 78.4 points per game and has lost four in a row.
Nebraska has lost all six conference games this season with the last three coming by double digits. The Huskers couldn’t stop Kofi Cockburn (16 points, 13 rebounds), which really doesn’t bode well in trying to slow down the frontcourt of Purdue. To be fair, no one’s been able to neutralize Cockburn, so expecting Nebraska to do that is not fair.
I’m teetering on whether the 20-point spread is a little unfair, but in the end, Nebraska’s offense is going to get manhandled by Purdue’s swarming defense and will get swallowed in the post. Purdue gets the win and I’ll say they get the narrow cover. Purdue by 21
Nebraska is 3-10 ATS when the total is 150 - 150.9 over the past three seasons.
Nebraska is 6-48 straight up as an underdog over the past three seasons.
Purdue is 7-8 ATS as a favorite this season.
Purdue is 2-11 ATS the past three seasons after winning six or seven of their past eight.
Projected starting lineup
PG: Keisei Tominanga
SG: Alonzo Verge Jr.
SF: Bryce McGowens
PF: Derrick Walker
C: Lat Mayen
PG: Isaiah Thompson
SG: Sasha Stefanovic
SF: Jaden Ivey
PF: Mason Gillis
C: Zach Edey
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