No. 1 Purdue visits Michigan on Thursday: Preview, Pick and Props!

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by Oddscrowd Analysts

The No. 1 Purdue Boilermakers will visit the 11-8 Michigan Wolverines in Ann Arbor on Thursday in  our college game of the night. 

Purdue is led by 7’4” canadian junior center Zach Edey and their lone loss came against Rutgers on Jan. 2. It was a one-point game and Edey led the Boilers with 19 points and 11 rebounds in that one. Edey is dominating college basketball this season, averaging 21.5 points, 13.2 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game while shooting nearly 63 percent from the field. Edey has double-doubled in all but three games this season but Purdue managed to win each one of them. Freshman guard Fletcher Loyer averages 12.8 points, and freshman guard Braden Smith checks in at 9.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists. The two guards complement the big man nicely and Purdue’s defense comes in at No. 21 in the country in team defensive efficiency (.902). And on the offensive side of the ball Purdue is ranked 15th in team offensive efficiency (1.109). 

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The Wolverines have lost to Arizona State, No. 3 Virginia, No. 19 Kentucky, North Carolina, Central Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa and Maryland, as the schedule hasn’t been kind to them. Michigan is led by  junior center Hunter Dickinson, averaging 18.1 points and 8.9 rebounds on 57 percent shooting this season. It should be fun to watch the two junior centers go head-to-head, but Dickinson may not be ready for this version of Edey after dominating Purdue last February 82-58 behind Dickinson’s 22 points. Purdue was No. 3 at the time and it was a big upset for the Wolverines. Purdue beat Michigan six days earlier 82-76 and it will be interesting to see if Juwan Howard can come up with a similar game plan and steal another win. Michigan is No. 120 nationally in defensive efficiency at .974, which is a problem against the Boilermakers. The Wolverines also rank 93rd in team offensive efficiency (1.040). 

While it seems like Purdue is going to dominate this game on paper, playing at Michigan is no easy task and the Wolverines are going to come in confident after last season’s big upset win. But Purdue coach Matt Painter knows he’s got a chance to make history this season and Edey looks like a different player than he did a year ago. It’s just hard to imagine Michigan getting run out of the gym at home. 

Pick: Michigan +5.5

Prop 1: Zach Edey Over 20.5 points

Prop 2: Hunter Dickinson Over 16.5 points

Prop 3: Fletcher Loyer Under 12.5 points (he’s scored 12 or fewer in two straight and six of last nine)

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