Purdue Boilermakers vs. Indiana Hoosiers Preview and Pick

Purdue Boilermakers (21-5) +4.5, 131.5 O/U at Indiana Hoosiers
(3-6) -4.5, 131.5 O/U, Assembly Hall, Bloomington, Indiana, 7 PM
Eastern, Tuesday

by Badger of Predictem.com

When the 14th-ranked Purdue Boilermakers travel to Assembly Hall on
Tuesday to take on their in-state Big 10 rival 15th-ranked Indiana
Hoosiers, there are going to be so many story lines surrounding the
game its going to be hard to keep track of all of them.

First off, you got the ongoing soap opera surrounding Indiana coach
Kelvin Sampson still percolating. Will this be his last game as the
Hoosiers coach? Will the players continue to respond well to the
turmoil surrounding them and the situation at Indiana?

Add into the mix that one of the Hoosiers best players, Big 10 player
of the year candidate D.J. White, is nursing a sprained/hyperextended
knee and you have even more drama coming out of the Indiana camp.
White is listed as doubtful, but the doctors have cleared him to play
so I would expect him to play. But how well he will play is the
bigger question.

Then you finish things off by adding the Big 10s feel-good story of
the year to the mix, the Purdue Boilermakers. Purdue, not expect to
be much of a threat this season due to its young lineup of freshmen
and sophomores, have surprised everyone by sitting at the top of the
conference standings at 12-1 (21-5 overall). The Boilermakers have
answered challenge after challenge all year long, so why not one more
big one, in their only meeting with their intrastate rivals this
season, on the national stage on ESPN tonight?

Most Las Vegas and online sportsbooks originally circled the game due
to the injury status of Indianas White. BetCRIS.com is the only
outlet that has released a spread so far, with the host Indiana
Hoosiers as a 4.5-point favorite with a 131.5 total. Expect more
books to put out a number as game time approaches.

Last time out the Hoosiers rallied around the fallen coach with one
of their best offensive outputs of the season. After an ice-cold
start, the Hoosiers went on to shoot 46.7 percent from the floor and
50 percent from 3-point land to destroy Michigan State, 80-61.

The problem is they did most of it without power forward White.
White, the Big 10s leading rebounder and second-leading scorer
(behind fellow Hoosier Eric Gordon) will need to be back to give the
Hoosiers the inside presence they will need to topple the red-hot
Boilermakers. Gordon (28 points on 9-of-15 shooting vs. Michigan
State) and fellow guards Jamarcus Ellis (12 pts.) and Jordan Crawford
(12 pts.) all picked up the slack after White went down, but it will
be a different challenge if White cant go tonight.

You dont win 11 games in a row, which is what Purdue has done,
without a strong and efficient offense. Freshman forward Robbie
Hummel (avg. 20.7 points in the last three games) gets a lot of the
headlines, and with good reason, but its fellow freshman ETwaun
Moore that is the Boilermakers best offensive threat.

Moore drilled Northwestern for 28 points in the Boilers last game,
and he leads a very balanced offense with 11.9 points per game. Moore
and Hummel have fueled Purdues winning streak, both shooting lights
out (Moore 58.1 percent, 8 straight games in double figures; Hummel
63.9 percent in last three overall).

Purdue will be trying to win at Assembly Hall for the first time
since 1998-99. They have won six straight road games this season, but
this one will have added pressure. If the Boilermakers can win it
would put them in solid position to win the Big 10 title, as they
would gain the tiebreaker advantage over both the Hoosiers and the
Wisconsin Badgers, the two teams behind them in the standings.

Not only has the Boilermakers been a surprise in the win-loss column,
the also sport an excellent 14-9 ATS record as well. Purdue has
covered the spread in five straight, and 11 of the last 12 overall.
They are also 13-3 ATS in their last 16 on the road. But they havent
been too good head-to-head versus the Hoosiers, going just 2-6 in the
last eight games against the school down the road.

Indiana covered in their last game versus Michigan State (as 4-point
favorites), and in three of their last four overall, but they are
just 11-10-1 ATS on the season. The Hoosiers have been just 5-7-1 ATS
on the Assembly Hall floor this season.

Badgers Pick: I was completely wrong about the Hoosiers last time
out, thinking that their young team would get caught up in the circus
atmosphere surrounding Sampson. They proved to me in that game that
they are more focused then I thought (and Dick Vitale harped about it
about 50 times too). But the status of D.J. White takes this game off
the board in my opinion. If you want a bet in this game, take the
over of 131.5. Young legs (almost everyone on the floor will be
Freshmen or sophomores) that dont know enough to be nervous will
rule this game. Go with the over in what should be a fun game to watch.