2022 College Basketball Betting Preview: Iowa Could Give No. 4 Purdue a Major Challenge

Purdue rose to No. 1 in the AP Top 25 after a 77-70 home victory over Iowa in the first meeting Dec. 3, a win that pushed the Boilermakers to 8-0 and snapped the Hawkeyes’ season-opening seven-game winning streak. Iowa played without an injured Keegan Murray, a decided disadvantage.  

No. 4 Purdue at Iowa 

Thursday, 9 pm ET

TV: FS1

Record: Purdue 16-3, 5-3 Big Ten; Iowa 14-5, 4-4 Big Ten

Spread: Purdue -2.5

Over/Under: 155

Moneyline: Purdue -135; Iowa +115

Injuries: Purdue G Jaden Ivey (hip flexor) missed the Northwestern game last Sunday and is questionable.

Series history: Purdue leads the series 24-16 since the 1998-99 season and is 8-11 in Iowa City.

A look at Purdue

The Boilermakers have so many weapons that they could be accused of hoarding.

The talent overload starts with aggressive two-way sophomore guard Jaden Ivey, who is averaging a team-high 16.7 points per game and is projected to be a lottery pick in the 2022 NBA draft, one site listing him at No. 3.

Ivey is +2500 on DraftKings’ board to win the Wooden Award, odds that high only because he shares the wealth here. Yet without him, Purdue handled Northwestern by 20 its last time out Sunday.

Then there is the low post. Coach Matt Painter can go very big with 7-foot-4 Zach Edey or just normal-big with 6-10 Trevion Williams, without any noticeable dropoff.

Edey starts, and his offensive emergence has led to the two alternating time, even though Williams averaged 15.5 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists last season and was a finalist for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award.

Catch-and-shoot guard Sasha Stefanovic can seem like an afterthought, but he is second in the Big Ten with 52 three-pointers and is shooting 41.6 percent from distance. Ivey has 36 threes and is shooting 42.4 percent behind the line.

Sophomore forward Mason Gillis has averaged 9.2 points and 4.4 rebounds while shooting 60.7 percent since joining the starting lineup five games ago.

A look at Iowa

Because Iowa lost national player of the year Luka Garza and Joe Wieskamp to the NBA draft, and two other 2020-21 rotation members transferred last summer, some anticipated the Hawks would be down.

Not so much.

Athletic sophomore forward Keegan Murray stepped into the spotlight and is DraftKings’ ninth favorite to win the Wooden Award at +1800. He is projected as an NBA lottery pick after being a three-star prospect out of the DME Academy in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Murray is a more versatile threat than Garza, as good as he was in setting the Hawks’ career scoring record, and a case can be made that this year’s team could go further in the NCAA tournament than the 2020-21 group that was eliminated by Oregon in the second round.

Murray, 6-8, has tripled his scoring average this season. from 7.2 points per game to 22.8. He is third in Division I in scoring and is shooting 57.3 percent while also averaging 8.4 rebounds per game, the same as Purdue’s Williams.

Distance shooter Jordan Bohannon set the Big Ten for career 3-point makes (407) earlier this season, his sixth in the program. Complementary pieces Bohannon, Murray’s identical twin brother Kris and Patrick McCaffery, son of long-time coach Fran, are averaging about 10 points a game.

Facts to know

  • Purdue has won five of the last six and two of the last three in Iowa City.
  • Four of Iowa’s losses have come to AP Top 25 teams Purdue, Wisconsin, Iowa State and Illinois. 
  • Purdue (84.7) and Iowa (83.1) are 1-2 in the Big Ten in scoring.

Numbers to know

  • 1 — Purdue’s offensive efficiency rating by analytics guru KenPom
  • 8.9 — Iowa’s turnovers per game, third-fewest in NCAA Division I.
  • 12.2 — The Boilermakers’ rebound margin per game, second in Division I

The pick: Iowa 78, Purdue 72

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