Purdue Notre Dame Basketball Odds
The second game in the Crossroads Classic features two more solid basketball programs from the state of Indiana. The (4-5) Purdue Boilermakers face off against #22 ranked (8-1) Notre Dame. Tip off is set for 4:30PM EST at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. The odds makers have set Notre Dame as a 6.5 point favorite and a total of 124.5 points.
Why Purdue Covers
The Boilermakers may be 4-5 on the season, but they have been improving quickly. They are 3-2 in their last five games with those losses coming to Xavier by 6 points in a game that was much closer than the final score, and a 3 point loss to Eastern Michigan. Xavier is 7-2 on the season and Eastern Michigan is 6-2 so they are certainly not cupcake teams. The Achilles heel for the Boilermakers has been their poor shooting. I expect those numbers to improve as they come off a week of rest before facing the Fighting Irish. The last time the Boilermakers were given seven days of rest they traveled to Clemson and handed them their second loss of the season. Purdue is led by Terone Johnson, scoring 13 points per game and he will need to step up that level of production to have a chance in this game. As a team, Purdue does extremely well getting rebounds and they will need to maintain those solid numbers on the boards.
Why Notre Dame Covers
Notre Dame is stacked this year. Their only loss on the season was an overtime loss to St Joseph’s back on November 16th. Since that time they have gone on a six game win streak and have looked extremely good on all benchmarks. Their closest game in those last six games was a 10 point win over now 6-3 BYU. Other impressive wins include a 14 point beat down over Kentucky and 17 point win over George Washington. Guard Jerian Grant has looked extremely impressive lately, averaging 15.7 points in his last three games and 8 assists in his last four. Notre Dame is outscoring Purdue by 7.2 points per game and their defenses have been very comparable. The biggest advantage for Notre Dame comes in shooting percentages. Field Goal shooting percentages favor Notre Dame by 7.4% and they carry a 12% margin from beyond the three point line.
My Pick: As far as talent goes, Notre Dame has far more than Purdue. I already feel bad for the Boilermakers and the embarrassing loss they are going to suffer today. Their inability to shoot at a higher percentage will be the cause of another loss. Notre Dame takes this game 72-56 in a game that is only close in the first few minutes.