Boilermakers Bowl Over Villanova; Now Big Ten Favorite

Purdue With NCAA Basketball Background

  • Purdue takes over as Big Ten favorite on most odds boards
  • Michigan’s two-loss week pushes Wolverines backward
  • Illinois, Ohio State and Michigan State have Big Ten title potential

Experience and talent play a major role in who advances in the vaunted throes of March Madness, and the Purdue Boilermakers showed those over the weekend in taking down No. 5 Villanova and No. 18 North Carolina in winning the Hall of Fame Tip-Off in Uncasville, Conn.

Couple that with then-No. 4 Michigan’s 80-62 loss to Arizona in Las Vegas on Sunday night, and the Boilermakers (+240) are now the Big Ten favorite as they shade Michigan (+250) in odds to win the Big Ten title.

Purdue and the Wolverines were neck-and-neck as they both shared (+330) odds to win the Big Ten.

Coach Matt Painter has a huge front-line with 7-4 Zach Edey, who led the way with 21 points and six boards in the 80-74 win over Villanova.

He joins 6-10 Trevion Williams on that front line as he led Purdue over North Carolina with 20 points and four boards one day earlier.

Some oddsmakers have Purdue tied with Kansas, Michigan, UCLA, and Villanova with (+1200) odds as Gonzaga has the nod with (+600) as the Bulldogs battle UCLA on Tuesday evening in Las Vegas.

Others have Purdue, Duke and Villanova at (+260) with Gonzaga at (+155).

The Boilermakers have also been posted at (+1500) in the preseason as analysts noted that Purdue had a 3.15 percent probability to win the national championship.

Purdue’s Jaden Ivey is spotted with (+1200) odds to win the Wooden Award which is fourth behind Andrew Timme of Gonzaga (+450), Duke’s Paolo Banchero (+750), and UCLA guard Johnny Juzang (+850).

Wolverines Walloped by Arizona

Michigan started last week at No. 4 and took a 67-65 home loss to Seton Hall before a trip to Las Vegas and the 80-62 loss to Arizona last night in the championship of the Roman Main Event.

Christian Koloko had Hunter Dickinson’s number as he controlled the paint for Arizona with a 22-point, 7-rebound performance where the sophomore from the Cameroon also blocked four shots.

Dickinson made only 4-of-10 shots and scored 11 points as the Wolverines were also only 1-for-14 from three. His odds to win the Wooden Award are fifth with (+1400) as of now.

Michigan faded back to (+1500) and as low as (+1800) with the two losses this past week.

Depth in Numbers

Even with the loss of dynamic point guard Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois was casting odds at (+550) to win the Big Ten, but the Illini dropped it’s second game of the season on Monday night as Illinois took a 71-51 loss to Cincinnati in Kansas City.

The biggest number right now for Illinois is the 25.1 percent turnover percentage with is 336th in the nation out of the 358 D-1 teams.

Illinois had fallen back to (+600) on some odds boards with the Illini posting anywhere from (+2000) to (+2500) to win the national championship.

The Illini brought back Kofi Cockburn on Monday night as he had been suspended for three games by the NCAA for some rules violation scored 18 points and graved seven boards.

Guard Trent Frazier, who came into the game leading the Illini in scoring at 17.5 points per game, went 0-for-9 from the field and didn’t score in 33 minutes.

Ohio State bounced back with an impressive 79-76 win over Seton Hall in the Fort Myers Tip-Off after losing their first game of the season to Xavier, 71-65, last week.

Ohio State is anywhere around (+600) to (+900) on odds boards to win the Big Ten championship. They started the season catching a (+425) figure from different online sportsbooks.

The Buckeyes got 28 points from E.J. Liddell, and he ranks No. 1 on’s current composite Player of the Year standings.

OSU is currently a long shot at (+4000) to win the national championships, but when you look at the potential of Liddell as well as the point guard play of Meechie Johnson and then 6-5 swingman Malaki Barnham.

Michigan State has the fifth best odds to win the Big Ten as of now as the Spartans sit with odds at (+850) as they open play in the Battle For Atlantis on Wednesday against Loyola Chicago.

The Spartans, who currently have odds as low as (+750) and then as high as (+1000) to win the league, lost their opener to Kansas but have won three in a row since as nine players average double figures in minutes.

Gabe Brown leads in scoring at 14.0 points and has gotten to the line well so far in making 15-of-18. Coach Tom Izzo has a solid inside player in 7-0, 230-pound Marcus Bingham, Jr. (12.8 ppg, 8.3 rpg), who is shooting 58.2 percent from the field and has 14 blocked shots in those four games.

Michigan State is (+5500) to win the national championship as of now, although this team has an adjusted defenvis efficiency mark of 87.8, fourth in the nation.

The rest of the early Big Ten odds to win the league are as follows: Maryland (+1100), Indiana (+1400), Wisconsin (+2500), Iowa (+4000), Northwestern (+9000), Penn State (+9000), Nebraska (+14000) and Minnesota (+30000).

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Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.

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