Ohio State vs. Purdue Odds & Predictions 1/30/31
Ohio State Buckeyes (13-4 SU, 8-9 ATS) vs. Purdue Boilermakers (17-3, 11-9 ATS)
When: Sunday, January 30, Noon
Where: Mackey Arena, West Lafayette, Ind.
Point Spread: OHST +10/PUR -10 (Bovada)
Moneyline: OHST +350/PUR -475
Last Time Out:
Ohio State beat Minnesota 75-64; Purdue beat Iowa 83-73.
About the Matchup:
This is how loaded the Big Ten is this season: one of these teams might very well be playing on the second day of the conference tournament. Ohio State can create a four-way tie for first place in the league if it gets a win here, while Purdue finds itself a game behind the three league leaders of Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Illinois. Yet the Boilermakers are the team ranked higher in the polls and rated higher in the metrics, which is why they’re sitting on the 2 line, and Ohio State is in the mix for a No. 5 seed.
Part of that is because other than a home win over Wisconsin, Ohio State hasn’t really proven that it can do the job of the contenders. The Buckeyes might sit in fourth, but their league wins have been Penn State twice, Northwestern, Nebraska, Minnesota, and the aforementioned win over the Badgers. Other than Wisconsin, none of those teams are getting into the NCAA tournament without either a ticket or a Big Ten tournament championship. The only quality wins the Buckeyes have are over Duke and Wisconsin. Both of those happened in Columbus.
On the other hand, Purdue comes off a win at Iowa and has already picked up a win at Illinois. Yet the pressure of getting everyone’s best shot might be taking its toll on the Boilers, who have lost to mid-tier sides Rutgers and Indiana along with falling at home to Wisconsin. A leaky defense has been a real problem for Purdue, as the Boilers haven’t figured out how to stop teams most nights. Instead, Purdue usually opts to just boat race their opponent, which has worked for the most part but has made them a tough bet to trust ATS. With the Boilers expected to win big here, the line might turn into a mountain too tough to climb for bettors to see a cash.
Scouting the Buckeyes:
Beating Minnesota by double digits at the Barn was a good thing, but there’s a problem here: it’s probably not something that Ohio State can replicate. The Buckeyes are a decent rebounding team, but the Gophers are just awful on the boards, which allowed Ohio State to crush Minnesota on the boards and get lots of extra possessions.
That’s not going to work against Purdue, which rebounds very well and can frustrate its opponents. Instead, E.J. Liddell has to hit shots, and someone has to help him out. The Buckeyes depend on Liddell for the majority of their scoring, as he scores more than a quarter of their points. Beyond him, nobody else averages more than 10.1 points per game, so if he gets taken out of the game, Ohio State has no backup plan. But he had his problems last year in two meetings with the Boilers, scoring 11 points in Columbus and 17 in Indianapolis at the conference tournament. But here’s the issue with that: last year, Liddell had Duane Washington, who now plays for the Pacers. There’s nobody who can take the pressure off him, a real problem in the face of Purdue’s scoring.
Scouting the Boilermakers:
In stark contrast to Ohio State, Purdue has plenty of scoring options and regularly dominates on the glass, making them a nightmare matchup for just about any team. When they shoot as well as they did at Iowa, they’re almost impossible to defeat, as they never run out of players who can score the ball. Case in point, Jaden Ivey actually came off the bench against Iowa, and his scoring prowess continued, as he scored 15 points in 22 minutes of action.
But the defense is Purdue’s weakness, and it’s proven to be a real problem at times for the Boilers. Purdue gives up too many good shots, and when a team can actually hang with them and their speed, the Boilers have a problem putting teams away. Ohio State has had problems scoring on the road when it isn’t able to dominate the boards as it did in Minneapolis, and Purdue is likely to sprint its way through this one.
Ohio State will Cover If: The Buckeyes can prevent the early kill. Purdue knows that sprinting is its best hope to keep Ohio State from hanging around, and if the Buckeyes can take care of the opportunities presented to them, they have a good chance.
Purdue will Cover If: The Boilers can either lock down Liddell and make someone else beat them or do what Ohio State did to Minnesota and pound the Buckeyes on the glass. Purdue has a significant edge in both scoring options and rebounding, so if the Boilers can take Liddell out of the game, they should have an easy path to a cover.
Dan’s Best Prop Bets
Ohio State’s defense does not seem good enough to hold Purdue under 80 points. The Boilers are too good offensively, and the Buckeyes have allowed far lesser offenses to get close to that number. If Northwestern could get 87, Purdue can get to 80.
Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread
I think Purdue is ascending, and I don’t really buy the rise from the Buckeyes as of late. Ohio State still needs to prove it can get a win away from Columbus, and they haven’t done that yet. I don’t think it’s happening at Mackey. Give me the Boilers.
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