Get ready for the championship game of the Big Ten Conference Tournament, which will showcase the number one seed Purdue Boilermakers (28-5, 15-5 Big Ten) and the unlikely 10th-seed Penn State Nittany Lions (22-10, 10-10 Big Ten).
Purdue earned their spot in the final by defeating Rutgers and Ohio State, while the Nittany Lions secured their place with do-or-die victories over Illinois, Northwestern, and Indiana.
The championship match is scheduled for Sunday at 3:30 p.m. EST at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The betting odds favor Purdue by 7.5 points, with the over/under total set at 135.5 points.
Penn State Nittany Lions
Penn State’s impressive performance in the Big Ten Tournament would most likely secure their spot in The Big Dance as a 10-seed, but they have to defeat Purdue in order to eliminate any uncertainty. Despite ranking seventh in the conference for scoring offense, Penn State shoots efficiently from the field and beyond the arc, making them a threat during a close game to either take a lead or stay within reach towards the end.
Defensively, they hold opponents to 68.4 ppg and have a solid 20-13-1 ATS record. However, they have struggled in their previous six games against Purdue, going 2-4 ATS. While they do have some momentum on their side, they will need to figure out their scoring troubles and capitalize on turnovers if they want to succeed.
Purdue seeks to clinch both regular season and tournament titles, having won the latter only once in 2009. A win with the Conference title would secure them as one of the top seeds in the NCAA Tournament and likely a favorite to be the next NCAAM champions.
Offensively, they rank fourth in the league with 73.3 ppg on 46.2% shooting and 33.1% from beyond the arc. On defense, they are third in the Big Ten, with opponents averaging 62.7 ppg on 41.7% shooting and 31.4% from three. Purdue has not done well in spreads, as they are 13-19-1 ATS this season but 5-2 on neutral courts.
However, they’ve only covered the spread once in their last five games, making this matchup a little difficult to predict. This could be a wake-up call for a team that was expected to do big things this season.
Purdue’s conference dominance continued as they easily beat the Buckeyes by 14 points, and we predict their success will carry over to the title game thanks to Big Ten Player of the Year Zach Edey.
With guard-heavy Nittany Lions likely to struggle against him, Purdue should have no problem winning, just as they did by 13 and 20 points in previous matchups.
Expect a tight first half before Purdue pulls ahead and secures another comfortable victory. Take Purdue to win and cover the spread.
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