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Wisconsin at Purdue
Wisconsin travels to Purdue to take on the Boilermakers tonight with Purdue looking for a little revenge for a loss at Wisconsin earlier in the year. Purdue entered that game 14-0 but ended up on the short end of a 73-66 score. That was also the start of a 3 game slide for Purdue, their only 3 losses of the year, as they dropped games to Ohio State and Northwestern. they have since rebounded with wins over Illinois and Michigan.
So why, after beating Purdue at home by 7, is Wisconsin now as high as a 10 point underdog at some sportsbooks? Well, revenge is one factor, although we aren't much of a believer in college hoops revenge angles. Revenge works well in football. Not so much in hoops. Perhaps the biggest reason for this line is that Wisconsin lost it's 2nd leading scorer Jon Leuer, who at 6'10'' was good for 16 points and 6 rebounds per game. Another reason might be Purdue's record of 35-2 against Wisconsin at Mackey Arena. Perhaps the cherry on top would be that coach Matt Painter is one win away from 100 wins.
All of that bodes well for Purdue winning the game straight up but it also contributes to an inflated line. Purdue opened up as an 8 point favorite but bettors have pushed money thru the windows on Purdue making the line climb as high as -10, creating some added value to a side we were already leaning towards.
Wisconsin is 4-1 without Leuer. During that time their only loss is to Ohio State. They knocked off a Northwestern team by 10 on the road that managed to beat Purdue by 8 in the same building. They also managed a 6 point win over Michigan at home, who Purdue just beat by 10, also at home. So, the assumption can be made that these two are still fairly even teams.
Also note that Leuer was held to just 4 points the first time they played Purdue. This game will be a matchup of the #1 offensive team in the Big 10 taking on the #1 defensive team. Wisconsin has kept 11 of their past 12 opponents under 66 points with many of those under 50 points. They are also 4-1 against top 25 teams. The loss of Leuer hurts in this spot but we think there's enough wiggle room here for the cover.
Coach Painter gets win #100 but this one comes in under the number. Purdue 65-58
Hoops Plays coming soon!