Last Updated Mar 14, 2023, 8:06 AM
Big Ten Championship Game Preview: Purdue vs. Penn State
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Big Ten Tournament Betting Trends & Action Report
If the Purdue Boilermakers knock off the Penn State Nittany Lions in the Big Ten Championship Game on Sunday, Purdue will likely earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. UCLA fell to the Arizona Wildcats in the Pac 12 Championship Game with two of its starters out, and most observers now believe that the Bruins will be on the No. 2 line as long as Purdue wins this game. As for Penn State, the Nittany Lions have played their way into the NCAA Tournament with victories over Illinois, Northwestern, and Indiana in the Big Ten Tournament, and they can now win the Big Ten Tournament for the first time in program history.
The Big Ten Championship Game will pit the Penn State Nittany Lions against the Purdue Boilermakers. This will be the final game played before the Selection Committee decides on the March Madness field, and it will be played from the United Center in Chicago, Illinois on Sunday, March 12, 2023, at 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS.
Purdue Boilermakers vs. Penn State Nittany Lions Betting Preview
The Purdue Boilermakers dominated their two previous games against the Penn State Nittany Lions. Purdue beat Penn State by 13 points in Philadelphia and hammered the Nittany Lions by 20 points in West Lafayette. Penn State is at a disadvantage here as this is the team's fourth game in four days, while it is just the third game in three days for Purdue. The Nittany Lions' guards are likely to be very gassed, and that will give the Boilermakers an edge here.
Best Bet: Purdue -7.5 (-110)
Score Prediction: Purdue 74, Penn State 64
Purdue Boilermakers vs. Penn State Nittany Lions Betting Odds
Purdue Boilermakers vs. Penn State Nittany Lions Betting Resources
Date: Sunday, Mar. 12, 2023
TV-Time: CBS, 3:30 p.m. ET
Venue: United Center
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Purdue Boilermakers vs. Penn State Nittany Lions Betting Stats
Penn State Nittany Lions
Straight Up (SU), Against the Spread (ATS), Over-Under (O/U)
Points Per Game (PPG), Opponents Points Per Game (OPPG)
Purdue Boilermakers Betting Analysis
Zach Edey has arguably been the most dominant player in the country this season. Edey is likely to be named the Naismith Player of the Year as he is averaging 22.1 PPG and 12.8 RPG for a potential No. 1 seed. The 7'4 center is making over 60% of his field goals and more than 73% of his free throws, and his size is the reason why Purdue ranks third nationally in offensive rebounding percentage. Penn State does not have a lot of size, and that led to Edey grabbing 13 offensive rebounds in his two games against the Nittany Lions.
Mason Gillis has the potential to post big numbers too as a big-bodied forward that has shown he can play in the paint. Gillis is only averaging 19.8 MPG as he is a situational player, but this is a spot for Matt Painter to give him substantial minutes. That's especially the case since Purdue's freshmen guards have struggled over the last month, and the Boilermakers now need a reliable second scorer opposite Edey.
We have seen Fletcher Loyer become a non-factor in recent weeks. Loyer is the second leading scorer on the Boilermakers thanks to his early season numbers, but he has scored a total of 11 points in his last three games. His three-point shooting has fallen off considerably, and that's a problem since he doesn't do much else. Meanwhile, Braden Smith has been hot and cold with his shooting, but at least he leads the team in assists and steals.
Penn State Nittany Lions Betting Analysis
The Penn State Nittany Lions might be the biggest Min-Max team in the country. Penn State ranks ninth in effective field goal percentage and fifth in turnover percentage on offense. The Nittany Lions don't turn the ball over, and they take a lot of great shots. This team has four great three-point shooters that are each making at least 39% of their treys (Jalen Pickett, Seth Lundy, Andrew Funk, and Camren Wynter), and the Nittany Lions are tough to beat when they are knocking down their threes.
However, the Nittany Lions don't get to the free throw line and don't collect a lot of offensive rebounds with their guard-heavy lineup. In fact, they rank second-to-last in the nation in both categories, so this offense really is boom or bust as 47.4% of its field goal attempts are from downtown.
This is going to be one of the worst defenses in the NCAA Tournament. Penn State ranks second-to-last nationally in turnovers forced, and the Nittany Lions don't block a lot of shots since they are undersized. Their interior defense isn't terrible considering the lack of size, but they have a mediocre perimeter defense, and that could be even worse on Sunday given this is the fourth game in four days for Penn State.