Minnesota, Purdue set for Big Ten betting battle

By: David Schwab | Thursday, January 27, 2011
Ralph Sampson III

Ralph Sampson III was held to six points in the home win over Purdue.

The Big Ten gets things going early this Saturday with a rematch from earlier this month between the Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Purdue Boilermakers at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, IN. The game is set to tip at 10 a.m. (PT) and will be broadcast nationally on CBS.

Minnesota ran its Big Ten winning streak to four on Wednesday night with an 81-70 victory over Northwestern as a five-point home favorite. The streak actually started with a 70-67 win over Purdue as a three-point home underdog on Jan.13. The Gophers are now 16-4 straight-up and 10-10 against the spread. They are 5-3 SU in conference play.

Senior guard Blake Hoffarber leads Minnesota in scoring with 13.7 points per game and assists with 4.4. He is joined by junior forward Trevor Mbakwe and junior forward/center Ralph Sampson III in providing the bulk of the production for the Gophers. Mbakwe leads the team in rebounds with 10.5 a game and is averaging 13.4 points, while Sampson is averaging 10.8 points and 5.8 rebounds as well.

Minnesota is shooting a solid 47 percent from the field, but is converting just 65.4 percent of its attempts from the foul line and 32.9 percent of its shots from three-point range. The Gophers are scoring an average of 73 points and are one of the better rebounding teams in the conference with 40 a game.

Purdue is still trying to get the number of the Buckeye train than ran it over in an 87-64 loss to No.1 Ohio State this past Tuesday night. The Boilermakers came into the game as a 7 ½-point road underdog and the total went ‘over’ the 135-point line. This drubbing was their third loss in their last five games to drop them to 17-4 SU and 11-7 ATS. Two of the losses were in the conference so Purdue now stands at 6-2 SU in the Big 10.

The Boilermakers lost All-American forward Robbie Hummel before the season even started but they still feature two of the best players in college basketball in senior forward-center JaJuan Johnson and senior guard E’Twaun Moore.

Johnson leads the team in scoring (20.6 PPG) and rebounding (7.8). Moore is second on the team in scoring with an average of 18 points per game and adds 5.6 rebounds per contest. Junior guard Lewis Jackson has also played a key role with a team-high 3.8 assists and 6.8 points per game.

Purdue is averaging 74 points a game and shooting 45.9 percent from the field. The Boilermakers are hitting 38.3 percent of their shots from three-point range and have a 70 percent completion percentage from the foul-line. One area where they have especially missed Hummel’s presence is under the boards as they are averaging just 36 rebounds per game.

Minnesota is 2-2 ATS in its last four games on the road and 4-1 ATS in its last five games overall. The total has gone ‘over’ in three of its last four games.

Purdue is 4-1 ATS in its last five home games but just 1-4 ATS in its last five games overall. The total has gone ‘over’ in three of its last five games.

Head-to-head, the Boilermakers have won four of the last six games SU, but have lost the last two including the game earlier this month. The previous loss was an embarrassing 69-42 debacle in last year’s Big Ten Tournament as a 2 ½-point favorite. The total in that game stayed ‘under’ the 125 point line. The series is tied 3-3 ATS in the last six meetings and the total has stayed ‘under’ in four of those games.

Purdue should open as a healthy single-digit favorite.  Given the fact they have already lost to Minnesota this season and is coming off its worst loss of the year, do not be afraid to give the points and stick with the Boilermakers this time around.

 
 
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