Purdue Boilermakers vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers
The Purdue Boilermakers and the Minnesota Golden Gophers close out the Big Ten college basketball regular seasons as they face off on Saturday in West Lafayette. The Golden Gophers are -3.5 point favorites over Boilermakers with an over/under total set 126.
It has been a rebuilding year for the Purdue Boilermakers marked by inconsistent play and growing pains. Purdue is 7-10 in the Big 10, 10-6 at home this season, and they 3-13 against teams with a RPI better than 100. As a team Purdue is averaging 64.8 points, 13.4 assists, and they are shooting 41.7 percent while defensively they are allowing 64.3 points, 12.3 assists, and their opponents are shooting 39.7 percent. Terone Johnson is averaging 13.5 points, A.J. Hammons is averaging 10.5 points and 6.2 rebounds, and D.J. Byrd is averaging 9.7 points. Purdue has played the 44th ranked schedule in the nation this year.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers could be on the bubble of making the NCAA Tournament field but if they can get he win here their strength of schedule and RPI should get them in. Minnesota is 8-9 in the Big Ten, 3-7 on the road this season, and they have played the number two ranked schedule overall. As a team Minnesota is averaging 68.9 points, 14.8 assists, and they are shooting 44.4 percent while defensively they are allowing 61.1 points, 11.8 assists, and their opponents are shooting 39.4 percent. Andre Hollins is averaging 13.6 points, Austin Hollins and Rodney Williams are averaging 10.4 points each, and Trevor Mbakwe is averaging 10.2 points and 8.7 rebounds. Minnesota should make the field for March Madness but nothing is ever a certainty when it comes to the NCAA selection committee.
Purdue is 5-2 against the spread in their last seven home games, 2-6 against the spread against a team with a winning record, and 1-3-1 against the spread following a game which they covered the spread. Minnesota is 2-6-1 against the spread in their last nine games overall, 0-4 against the spread in their last four road games, and 7-2 against the spread against a team with a losing record. The home team is 8-3-1 against the spread in the last 12 meetings of these two.
Minnesota has been winning against the teams they should beat and this one though looks like a close one and a coin flip and I will take the points with the home team.
Purdue Boilermakers +3.5 Minnesota Golden Gophers