Rutgers vs. Purdue Odds & Predictions 2/20/22
Rutgers Scarlet Knights (16-9 SU, 12-12-1 ATS) vs. Purdue Boilermakers (23-4, 13-13-1 ATS)
When: Sunday, February 20, 5:30 p.m.
Where: Mackey Arena, West Lafayette, Ind.
Point Spread: RUT +12.5/PUR -12.5 (BetOnline - Fastest Bitcoin payouts on the web! Less than 30 minutes most times!)
Moneyline: RUT +600/PUR -900
Last Time Out:
Rutgers handled Illinois 70-59; Purdue beat Northwestern 70-64.
About the Matchup:
Perhaps the hottest team in the country runs into the most talented, but Purdue certainly isn’t playing like the most talented team in the nation at the moment. The Boilermakers are looking like a team that’s been beaten down by the weight of expectations and the competitive buzzsaw that is the Big Ten, and they’re not playing anywhere near as well as their talent level suggests at the moment.
But that might change against Rutgers, given what the Scarlet Knights did to Purdue when the teams faced off in New Jersey. At the time, Rutgers looked like it was headed toward a lost season but used that win over Purdue to turn its season around, as the Scarlet Knights have gone 11-5 SU and 10-6 ATS since that game and have charged onto the bubble. Rutgers would likely be an NCAA tournament team already if it could avoid the head-scratching loss; as it is, this is a team that’s found ways to lose to Northwestern, Maryland, Minnesota, Penn State, Lafayette, and Massachusetts. The Scarlet Knights have shown they have the ability to take down tough teams, and they seem to play up to their level of competition.
Scouting the Scarlet Knights:
When Rutgers’ back is to the wall, the Scarlet Knights are at their best. Rutgers started February at 12-9, looking more like it was going to struggle to reach the NIT than it was to make a serious run at another NCAA appearance. But since then, the Scarlet Knights have ripped off four straight wins, beating the likes of Illinois, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin, with the last one coming on the road.
The one worry here for the Scarlet Knights is that they might have to play this game without leading scorer Ron Harper Jr., who suffered a hand injury in the win over Illinois. Not only did Harper come up with 16 points against the Illini, but he also chipped in eight rebounds and helped the Knights shut down the Illini guards. If he isn’t able to go, Rutgers really has to scramble. The Scarlet Knights have some other decent pieces in Paul Mulcahy and Geo Baker, but they are not deep and cannot go deep into their bench without some slippage. If they have to rotate more against Purdue, they might be in trouble.
MORE SUNDAY COLLEGE HOOPS: WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS VS. USC TROJANS PICK
Scouting the Boilermakers:
Purdue losing to Michigan was shocking, not so much in the fact that they lost but the way that they lost. The Boilermakers nearly losing to Maryland was perhaps even worse because Purdue had no right to win the game and simply relied on getting lucky to survive against the Terrapins.
This is a team that clearly wants to get February over with and get itself in championship mode. Purdue lost in the first round a year ago as a No. 4 seed and has its mind on the national championship this season, and fortunately for those hopes, the Boilers have yet to take a bad loss. But Purdue is not playing as a unit unless they happen to see the orange and blue of Illinois right now, and that isn’t going to happen again until Indianapolis, if at all. Jaden Ivey and Zach Edey have to find some other way to get themselves going through the grind of February.
Rutgers will Cover If: The Scarlet Knights can use their guard play to make life difficult for Purdue. The Scarlet Knights won the first game because they forced the Boilermakers into several rushed shots, leading to Purdue shooting 41% from the floor. That’s not easy to do, but Rutgers does have the talent to do it a second time.
Purdue will Cover If: The Boilers can keep Rutgers from taking the game over in the backcourt. Last time the teams played, Harper outscored Ivey and Sasha Stefanovic by himself, scoring 30 to their 24 points. Assuming Harper plays, Purdue either has to do a better job on him on defense or find a way to free its own shooters for better looks.
Dan’s Best Prop Bets
The teams hit 138 points when they played in Piscataway, but that could be tough here with Purdue not really scoring the ball very well right now and Harper a question mark. The “under” looks promising.
Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread
Purdue is the more talented team but is so hard to trust right now. You have the Boilers playing at home, but they’ve allowed three of their past four guests to Mackey to stay within six points of them. Unless they’re facing Illinois, Purdue just doesn’t seem to get up for opponents at the moment.
Rutgers might change that, but I don’t want to trust the Boilers to do that. However, with Harper a question mark, I’d wait to bet until you know he’s playing. If he is on the floor, I take Rutgers and the points. Bet your NCAA basketball picks for FREE this week by taking advantage of a 100% REAL CASH bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $1000 at Betnow Sportsbook!
College Basketball Picks
Get $60 of FREE member picks & predictions
(NO commitments. NO Credit Card. NO Salesman.)
$100% Cash up to $500