Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Purdue Boilermakers Prediction 12/3/21
Iowa Hawkeyes (7-0 SU, 5-2 ATS) vs. Purdue Boilermakers (7-0 SU, 6-1 ATS) When: Friday, December 3, 9 p.m. Where: Mackey Arena, West Lafayette, Ind. TV: BTN Point Spread: IOWA +11.5/PUR -11.5 (MyBookie) Moneyline: IOWA +475/PUR -700 Total: 161
Last Time Out:Iowa edged Virginia 75-74; Purdue hammered Florida State 93-65.
About the Matchup:Speed’s not really Purdue’s preferred way to play, but when it works this well, there really isn’t a lot Matt Painter can do other than let his Boilermakers run. Purdue has appeared to be on another level in this young season, more than justifying the hype around this team from both inside and outside the state of Indiana. Iowa didn’t have much in the way of hype after finally graduating Luka Garza, but the Hawkeyes appear to have adjusted well to life without him by keeping the pedal to the floor. Defense remains somewhat optional for Fran McCaffery’s team, which is why this total looks more like an NBA number. These teams are statistically the best (Purdue) and third-best (Iowa, No. 2 is Gonzaga) offenses in the nation, and if either one can even slow down the other, that team’s likely to remain undefeated and get a big win in Big Ten play.
Scouting the Hawkeyes:Any time you can score 75 on Virginia without needing overtime to do it, your offense is for real. The Hawkeyes did it on the road against the pack-line defense, and that’s the only time all season they’ve been held under 85 points. What makes Iowa so devastating is the fact that the Hawkeyes don’t really have any weaknesses shooting the ball. They can score inside with Keegan Murray, they can go outside to Jordan Bohannon, they rebound the basketball well for putbacks, and you can’t send them to the foul line; Iowa shoots 81 percent from the stripe. On top of that, the Hawkeyes take incredible care of the ball while going as fast as they do; their assist to turnover ratio ranks first in the nation. But the Hawkeyes do have weaknesses, and they’re on the defensive side of the ball as usual. Iowa doesn’t contest the ball very well, doesn’t get a lot of steals, and genuinely doesn’t make life very uncomfortable for its opponents. The Hawkeyes’ game plan seems to be to get as many shots as possible and figure out the rest as it comes, which has served them well in the regular season but tends not to work against the best of the best.
Scouting the Boilermakers:The Boilermakers at Mackey has lately been just unfair, as Purdue has won its past five home games by an average of 37 points. This team jumps on you before you have a chance to breathe, as Florida State learned the hard way in its recent trip to western Indiana. Virginia has long been the gold standard for defense in the ACC, but Florida State usually isn’t far behind, and the Seminoles got annihilated in trying to slow down Purdue’s attack.Like Iowa, the Boilers are good shooters who get contributions from everywhere in the lineup. Zach Edey, Jaden Ivey, and Sasha Stefanovic do most of the damage, but if an opponent actually is able to stick with Purdue, the Boilers can just wear them down with depth as they go ten deep with zero issues. If there is a problem here, it’s that Purdue could be susceptible to a team that shoots it well from deep. The Boilers don’t cause many turnovers; their defense relies on forcing teams into bad looks and getting them to miss. Iowa doesn’t miss many, though, which could present a new challenge. More Picks: Kansas at St. Johns Friday Hopps Spread Winner >>> Iowa will Cover If: The Hawkeyes can find the shots when they come and take them. Purdue has won three straight against Iowa at Mackey by forcing the Hawkeyes to go through the meat grinder when they have the ball and forcing Iowa into bad looks. If the Hawkeyes can find their chances when they come, they’ll hang around. Purdue will Cover If: The Boilers win the battle on the glass and limit Iowa to one shot per trip. The Boilers have owned the glass all season long, and there are likely to be a fair amount of boards in this game if Purdue gets it going the way it wants. The Boilers have to keep Iowa from getting multiple looks.
Dan’s Best Prop BetsHere’s something you should know: Iowa really hates going to West Lafayette. The Hawkeyes haven’t just dropped three straight at Mackey; they’ve done so because Purdue has forced their offense to grind through the defense and kept Iowa from running. The Hawkeyes have failed to hit 75 points on their past 12 trips to Mackey, and this team total has them at 75.5, which says that this is one to jump on before people figure out what’s going on here.
Dan’s Pick to Cover the SpreadIowa has played well so far, but the Hawkeyes have really struggled in this matchup and haven’t seen a team like Purdue all season long. The Boilers will run against Iowa’s shoddy defense but gum up the Hawkeyes when they try to run at their preferred speed. It doesn’t add up to a good combination for the visitors. Give me Purdue.
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