Following a strong start to the season, Nebraska has lost nine of its last 10 games to enter with a 6-11 overall record, including an 0-6 record in Big Ten Conference play. Meanwhile, Purdue enters with a 13-2 overall record in 15 games after improving to 2-2 through four Big Ten contests.
Can the Boilermakers keep their momentum going against a Cornhuskers squad that is still searching for its first Big Ten win?
Cornhuskers still searching for their first Big Ten winNebraska dropped its fourth consecutive game on Tuesday night, falling short 81-71 on the road against Illinois. Bryce McGowens finished with 19 points while Alonzo Verge and Derrick Walker chipped in 14 points apiece for the Cornhuskers, who opened the game on a 16-4 run.
Bryce McGowens with an absolute poster. pic.twitter.com/2mLm2nASz8— Brandon Simberg (@BrandonSimberg) January 12, 2022
Fred Hoiberg’s squad comes into the weekend ranked No. 159 in the latest KenPom rankings following an 0-6 start to the Big Ten season. Nebraska has scored 103.4 points per 100 possessions for the season, 181st in the NCAA, while shooting just 29.0 percent from 3-point range, 326th in the NCAA. The Cornhuskers have been even worse during conference play, scoring a league-low 92.6 points per 100 possessions versus league opponents, which ranks 14th in the Big Ten.
On defense, Nebraska has surrendered 102.9 points per 100 possessions for the season,155th in the NCAA, but that mark has jumped to 116.8 versus Big Ten opponents, 14th in the Big Ten.
Williams leads Boilermakers to bounce-back win vs. Penn StatePurdue took down Penn State 74-67 on Saturday behind a big game from senior big man Trevion Williams. Williams finished with a team-high 21 points and nine rebounds while Mason Gills chipped in 14 points to pace four Boilermakers in double-figures on the night.
“Matt Painter essentially goes with the hot hand… They’ve all agreed to this because it works.”@TheAndyKatz dives into @BoilerBall’s big men Zach Edey and Trevion Williams sharing the same position ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/af8UqbKh2E— FOX College Hoops (@CBBonFOX) January 14, 2022
Matt Painter’s squad comes into the weekend slotted at No. 5 in the latest KenPom rankings following a strong start. The Boilermakers have scored 123.9 points per 100 possessions for the season, first in the NCAA, but that mark has come down to just 106.5 through four conference games, sixth in the Big Ten. Purdue leads the Big Ten in free throw rate at 40.0 percent and it ranks second in the conference with a 33.8 percent offensive rebounding rate. However, the Boilermakers have also turned the ball over on 17.7 percent of their offensive possessions, which ranks 10th in the Big Ten.
On defense, Purdue has surrendered 97.9 points per 100 possessions for the season, 69th in the NCAA, and 103.9 points per 100 possessions during conference play, sixth in the Big Ten.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Given how poorly the Cornhuskers have played on both ends of the floor during Big Ten play, it’s hard not to like Purdue’s chances at home here. The Boilermakers have been the nation’s best offensive team, thanks in large part to big man Trevion Williams, who has become an established bucket-getter in the paint. Purdue also does a ton of damage on the offensive glass, which is another area that Nebraska has struggled this season. Take the Boilermakers to cover the spread at home in this game on Thursday night.
Full-Game Total Pick
Despite Nebraska’s inefficiency on offense, this matchup is still setting up for a high-scoring game. Through six Big Ten games, the Cornhuskers have been the worst defensive team in the conference, which bodes well for the total here. Not only has Purdue been the No. 1 offensive team in the country this season but the Boilermakers will also be in a pace-up spot against the fastest-paced team in the Big Ten. Take this game to go over the projected total with confidence at Mackey Arena on Friday night.