Now that the dust has settled on the big win over Ohio State the Badgers can relax and take a nice road trip to Purdue, yippee. This game at Purdue is arguably the toughest game on the schedule as it is always a hornets nest at the Boilermakers home. The Badgers beat Purdue two weeks ago in Madison 66-59. In that game the Badgers were actually out-shot by the Boilermakers in effective field goal percentage 53.1 to 48.2. Some of that was due to the very hot start to the second half Purdue had where it seemed like they were never going to miss a shot. It was only the second game this season where the Badgers have been out-shot and won, the first coming against Marquette.
The Badgers were able to win because even though they were not shooting as well as Purdue they won the turnover battle, beat them on the boards and got to the free throw line more often. It was a good all around floor game for the Badgers and they needed every bit of it to get the win.
These teams are very evenly matched and we should be in for another great game. Of the Four Factors to winning in basketball(Effective Field Goal %, Turnover%, Offensive Rebound% and Free Throw Rate%) the only tangible differences between the teams are the Badgers turning it over 13.6% to Purdue’s 16.5%, but Purdue turns over its opponent 22.5% to Wisconsin’s 17.8%. Basically, the Badgers turn it over very seldom while Purdue turns over its opponents more often. The Badgers have a slight rebounding edge which should offset any possessions lost due to a turnover or more above the norm. One area Purdue has an advantage is they get to the free throw line more often than Wisconsin and allow their opponents to shoot free throws less often than Wisconsin. Both teams are very good at shooting free throws and very close in three point shooting.
Currently Purdue is favored by four points with the over/under set at 125.5. So far Purdue has lost to both Wisconsin and Ohio State so I feel they need this game more than Wisconsin as they are missing an elite win with their best win likely being the win at Illinois this past weekend. Add in the fact that Purdue is very tough to beat at home and this is quite the test for Wisconsin. I would bet Purdue to win on the money-line but not against the points. Wisconsin is built to keep games like this close. They minimize possessions which prevents big runs that can take a road team out of games like these. With the way these teams shoot threes and free throws I would also go with the Over.
Preview From VegasInsider
Wisconsin will be in a classic letdown situation tonight when it travels to West Lafayette to face Purdue. The Badgers are coming off Saturday’s come-from-behind win over previously-unbeaten and top-ranked Ohio St.
With that said, however, we would like to point out that FSU, the last team to beat the nation’s No. 1 team (Duke at that time), did not fall victim to the flat spot its next time out in a blowout win over North Carolina St.
Purdue (20-5 straight up, 14-8 against the spread) has won three of its last four games both SU and ATS, including Sunday’s 81-70 win at Illinois as a 2 ½-point underdog. JaJuan Johnson was the catalyst for the Boilermakers, scoring 24 points to go with nine rebounds, two steals and a pair of blocked shots.
Matt Painter’s team has been a serious money maker at home, winning all 13 of its games while compiling an 8-2 spread record.
Bo Ryan’s squad rallied past the Buckeyes thanks to a tremendous performance from junior guard Jordan Taylor, who scored 21 of his 27 points in the second half.
When these Big Ten rivals met in Madison on Feb. 1, Purdue had a 59-58 lead at the 1:00 mark. But the Badgers put together an 8-0 run in the final 50 seconds to not only take down the Boilers, but to also hook up their backers as five-point home favorites in a 66-59 victory.
As of early this morning, most betting shops had the Boilers installed as four-point favorites with a total of 125 1/2. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Eastern on the Big Ten Network.