No. 13 Michigan (27-7 SU, 21-11-1 ATS) vs No. 8 Purdue (28-5 SU, 15-16-1 ATS)
Big Ten Championship
Date/Time: Sunday, March 4, 2018, at 4:30 PM ET
Where: Madison Square Garden
by Rich Crew, Expert NCAA Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: MICH +4.5 / PUR -4.5
Over/Under Total: 140.5
The Wolverines and the Boilermakers will go at it for the third time this season in the Big Ten Conference Championship game on Sunday, March 4th, 2018 on the floor of Madison Square Garden. The NCAA board has Purdue as a - 3.5 point spread favorite with the total line offered up at 140.
Michigan goes into this game on an eight-game win streak after beating up a good Michigan State team 75-64 in their latest. The Wolverines came into this tournament flat getting by Iowa in overtime in their tournament opener, but they’ve looked dominant in their last two winning by 11 over the Spartans and 19 over the Cornhuskers.
Purdue shredded their conference rivals in their first 13 games then dropped three straight before getting back in stride to win five consecutive games. The Boilermakers easily dispatched the Nittany Lions yesterday with a big run to go up by 18 in the second half before giving back some points. The eight-point margin was slipped under the -8.5 betting line for back to back losses versus the spread.
Today’s game will be the third meeting between these two clubs this season. Purdue has won both games straight up, but Michigan has gotten the money covering the spread in each of the two matches. The last contest was an easy over with Purdue winning 92-88 crushing the 136 total line. The first game was a different story with just 139 combined points put on the board to miss the OVER by 2.5 points.
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Offensively, Purdue has the better numbers scoring 81.6 points per game overall and 76.9 PPG in Big Ten games compared to Michigan’s 73.6 PP on the season and 71.9 in conference games. Shooting is another metric that the Boilermakers excel at and hold an edge with a 49.8 FG% and 42.4% from behind the arc compared to the Wolverines 46.5 FG% and 36.4 three-point average. On paper, The two squads statistically are close to even in rebounding, and that’s how it unfolded in the two meeting this season with the Wolverines winning the battle 21-18 on the road and the Boilermakers holding a 34-29 in the match in Michigan. Defensively, Michigan holds a 63.5 to 65.4 edge in scoring defense, but Purdue has the advantage in opponents shooting average holding the opposition to 40.8% versus the Wolverines 43.1%.
The Wolverines road to the Big Ten final was a sharp contrast to the Boilermakers. Michigan took down an under-rated Nebraska club in their tournament opener and followed that up with a strong performance in their latest winning by double digits over Michigan State to break off the Spartans 13-game win streak. Purdue beat a very mediocre Rutgers team and a shorthanded Penn State team to get to the title game. The Boilermakers have a scheduling edge, but the Wolverines are on top of their game. The best defense will win this game, and right now Michigan is defending at an elite level.
Rich Crews Pick: Take Michigan +4.5 at a sportsbook that offers 50% deposit bonus and the best in-game betting >>> Bovada