Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#807 Purdue vs.
#808 Gonzaga
Saturday, November 26, 2022 at 2:30am EST
Written by Mark Ruelle

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Two of college basketball's elite programs will clash in the second round of the Phil Knight Legacy Tournament when the undefeated and 24th ranked Purdue Boilermakers square off against the 6th ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs. Purdue comes in fresh off of an 80-68 win over a tenacious West Virginia team. Gonzaga, meanwhile, gets set to play the Boilermakers after dismantling Portland State 102-78. The opening tap for this clash of the titans is set for 2:30am EST.

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Tall Order

The Purdue Boilermakers warmed up for their date with Gonzaga with an impressive win over West Virginia on Thanksgiving night. Big man Zach Edey had 24 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Boilermakers to the double-digit win over the Mountaineer, 80-68. Purdue overcame some sloppy play offensively, committing 18 turnovers, and withstood a few Mountaineer runs to pull away for their fourth-straight win to start the season. Mason Gillis added 14 points to support Edey and Brandon Newman chipped in with eight points as well.

“I thought he had an average game,” Purdue head coach Matt Painter said of Edey. “He’s a really good player. One of the best players in the country. When you get 24 and 12 and you had an ‘average’ game, that’s pretty cool.”

The Boilermakers, coming into the tournament, have shot the ball at 44% from the floor overall this season but just 29% from the 3pt stripe. On Thursday, Purdue shot 47% from 3pt range to take down the Mountaineers. Edey will be put to the test against a Gonzaga team that has the kind of size to go right at the big man and draw fouls. Purdue owns a +11 rebound differential on the season but only had a slight edge over West Virginia. They have also held the opposition under 40% shooting from the floor, but that will be challenged by a Gonzaga team that is one of the best shooting teams in the country and highly efficient.

 

Zags Zooming

An unsuspecting Portland State team got run over by a Gonzaga team on Thursday night that looks to be hitting its stride after an uneven start. The Zags loss at Texas last week seems to have lit a fire under them and the team has dominated their last two opponents, Kentucky and then the Vikings. Malachi Smith, a transfer from Chattanooga, had his best game with the Zags with a season-high 23 points to lead six players in double digits for Gonzaga. Gonzaga improved to 4-1 on the season after shooting a scintillating 66% in the first half and leading by 27 points to put the game out of reach.

“There’s good teams out here if you’re not quite ready to go or at your best, you can get knocked off. I think that actually helped us firm up our approach,” Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said.

With Smith's coming out party vs. Portland State, Gonzaga now resembles the team that is perennially in the top-five in the country and has one of the most efficient offenses in the country. According to the KenPom rankings, the Zags grade out as the third best team in the country and have the #1 most efficient offense. Defensively, the Bulldogs are strong as well, with the 35th ranked efficient defense. The Zags do all this while moving at a frenetic pace, ranking 19th in the nation in pace of play.

 

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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The Zags have a number of advantages coming into this matchup. First, the game is close to home and gives Gonzaga a decided edge in a game that starts at 2:30am east coast time. Secondly, Gonzaga has a number of bigs to throw at Purdue big man Zac Edey. Gonzaga big man Drew Timme will put the pressure on Edey as will a slew of other Zags players to force the big man to make plays or get in foul trouble. Gonzaga's efficient offense and fast pace will overwhelm a Purdue team that is still finding its identity with a roster that has seen a lot of turnover. Gonzaga will pull away in this one with a lineup that has rounded into shape since the Texas loss.

Take Gonzaga -5.5

Prediction: Gonzaga -5.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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The Zags are shooting the ball at a high rate, rank 19th in pace in the country and are coming off a game in which they shot 60% overall and 50% from the 3pt line. Purdue scored 80 points against a very good West Virginia defense and will do their best to play an inside-outside game by lining up shooters along the arc as they feed the ball into Edey. Purdue knocked down 51% of their shots in the opening round and 47% from three point range. Expect an up-tempo game with quality shooting from two of the country's best teams.

Take the over, 153 points.

Prediction: Over 153
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Written By Mark Ruelle , "Mark Ruelle"

Mark has been a sports fanatic since childhood. He is also an avid follower of sports analytics and has used it in his own betting analysis for over two decades. Now we have Mark on our team here at Stat Salt. He holds degrees in marketing, broadcasting, and English and uses this vast array of assets to dissect and analyze game matchups. Mark will provide you with a wide variety of statistics to consider and a strong opinion in each matchup that he covers. Please follow him daily for an up-to-the-minute analysis of all the important games.