Tennessee vs. Purdue Clash: Elite Betting Insights & Top Pick

by | Last updated Mar 31, 2024 | cbb

Tennessee Volunteers (26-8 SU, 18-17-1 ATS) vs. Purdue Boilermakers (32-4 SU, 19-16-2 ATS)
Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI
When: Sunday, March 31st, 2:20 PM ET
Watch: CBS

Betting Odds:

Point Spread: TENN +3. / PUR -3.5
Total Points: 147.5
Money Line: Tennessee Volunteers +132 / -160

Season Snapshot:

Tennessee: With a solid 26-8 straight-up record and an 18-17-1 ATS, the Volunteers have shown resilience, especially on the road with a 9-5 record away from home. Their performance as the underdog has been mixed, going 2-3 in such scenarios this season. Despite the challenges, Tennessee’s offense and defense have remained competitive, averaging 79.5 points per game while holding opponents to 67.4 points per game.

Purdue: The Boilermakers have been dominant, boasting a 32-4 SU record and a 19-16-2 ATS. Their home record is nearly flawless at 24-1, demonstrating significant home-court advantage, although this game is at a neutral site. Purdue has excelled as the favorite this season, going 31-4 in those games, with their offense and defense ranking among the top, averaging 83.8 points per game and allowing 69.2 points per game.

Recent Form:

Tennessee comes into this matchup on a three-game winning streak, with a notable performance against Creighton where they scored 82 points. Their defense, ranked 61st nationally, allows an average of 67.4 points per game. The Volunteers have been effective on the road and as underdogs, showing they can perform under pressure.

Purdue is also on a three-game winning streak, with a recent 80-point outing against Gonzaga. The Boilermakers’ offense has been efficient, and their defense, ranked 101st, allows 69.2 points per game. Purdue has shown consistent performance as the favorite, both SU and ATS.

Injury Report:

Tennessee may be without Santiago Vescovi, due to illness, but he’s listed as probable making him likely to be on the court. Purdue enters the game without notable injuries for a team that has a lot of potentail support scoring throughout the lineup.

Top Five Reasons Purdue Covers

Here are the top reasons why I believe that the Boilermakers are the prudent point spread bet in this match.

  1. Superior Scoring Offense: Purdue averages 83.8 points per game, ranking 8th nationally, compared to Tennessee’s 79.1 points per game. Purdue’s high-scoring offense is a significant advantage, especially in high-pressure games, indicating their ability to cover the spread through consistent offensive production.
  2. Dominance in Assists: With 19.0 assists per game, Purdue leads the nation in this category. This high level of ball movement suggests a team that creates scoring opportunities efficiently, which can be crucial in breaking down Tennessee’s defense. The ability to facilitate scoring opportunities is a key indicator of a team that can cover spreads by maximizing offensive possessions.
  3. Rebounding Strength: Purdue also excels in rebounding, with 40.6 rebounds per game, ranking 6th nationally. Their ability to control the boards on both ends of the court limits second-chance points for opponents and increases their own. This dominance in rebounding is crucial in maintaining control of the game’s pace and securing possession, factors that contribute to covering spreads.
  4. Three-Point Shooting: Purdue’s three-point shooting percentage stands at an impressive 41.0%, the best in the country. This proficiency from beyond the arc can be a game-changer, especially in close matchups. The ability to score from long range adds a dimension to Purdue’s offense that Tennessee may struggle to counter, providing Purdue with a clear path to not just win but also cover the spread.
  5. Defensive Efficiency: While both teams are defensively strong, Purdue’s edge in shooting efficiency defense, where they hold opponents to a shooting efficiency of 0.995 (ranked 8th), against Tennessee’s defensive efficiency, shows their capability to restrict the scoring opportunities of Tennessee’s offense. Effective defense will be key in keeping the game in their favor and covering the spread.

Rich Crew’s Point Spread Pick

Purdue’s statistical advantages in critical areas like scoring offense, assists, rebounding, three-point shooting, and defensive efficiency make the Boilemakers the logical choice. Having the best player in the game in Zach Edey who has stepped up his game as the season has progressed scoring 25 or more points in nine of his past ten games also helps. The lone game that he didn’t was a 23 point performance agaisnt USU when he was shut down early in a 106-67 blowout win. Purdue is incredible from behind the arc ranking 2nd in 3-point shooting percentage, but I think this game gets decided on the boards and in the paint. Take Purdue -3.5

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