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No. 7 Minnesota takes on No. 2 Purdue at 7pmET from Chicago in the Big 10 quarterfinals. In their last meeting on March 3, Minnesota shocked the Boilermakers, 73-69 at home getting five points. No. 12 Purdue won the first game, 73-63 at home on Feb. 3. The Golden Gophers are coming off a 77-72 overtime win over Penn State on Thursday.
Do the Gophers have a chance?
Minnesota is 20-12 overall and 10-11 in the Big 10 after the win over Penn State. The win over Purdue last week gave them hope that a bid could be close. The win over Penn State could put them even closer. Jerry Palm has them as his eighth seed before the win over PSU on Thursday night. In that game, Amir Coffey scored 23 points and dished out five assists in the win. Dupree McBrayer added 18 points, while senior Jordan Murphy powered through 15 points and 14 boards.
Coffey has been sensational as of late, averaging 27 points and 6.5 rebounds in his last four outings. He leads the Gophers with 16.2 points and 3.2 assists, while Murphy averages 11.8 rebounds to rank fifth in the nation. Minnesota averages a pedestrian 71.3 points per game on 43.6 percent shooting (32.3% 3pt). They allow 68.8 points per game on 43.1 percent shooting (34% 3pt).
Does Purdue get enough respect?
Purdue tied Michigan State for the best record in the conference at 16-4. They won 17 of their last 20 games after starting the season at 6-5, so maybe people didn’t see the Boilermakers being this good. Now they are looking at a No. 3 seed and could move up if they win the Big Ten tournament. Thanks to a double-bye, Purdue has not played since a March 9 win over Northwestern, 70-57 at home. They’ve lost just twice in their last 10 games and one of them came at Minnesota (the other at Maryland).
If Purdue has a weakness, it’s playing away from home. That’s why they are a likely No. 3 seed in the Big Dance, because while they are 15-0 at home in West Lafayette, they are 6-6 on the road and 2-2 in neutral sites. Carsen Edwards leads the Boilermakers with 23.4 points per game and 1.5 steals. On the season, Purdue averages 76.3 points per game on 44.7 percent shooting (36.7% 3pt). They allow 66.5 points per game on 41.8 percent shooting (34.4% 3pt).
- 1-4 ATS last 5 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- 19-7 Under last 26 in series.
- Underdog is 9-2 ATS last 11 in series.
- 8-3 Under last 11 vs. Big 10.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Purdue is a legit No. 3 and a loss here won’t matter. They should be rusty after having not played in nearly a week. The Gophers have the size to hang with the Boilermakers thanks to Murphy. The Coffey/Edwards matchup should be fantastic but will cancel each other out. The Golden Gophers have more motivation and that will get them through against a team they match up well against.
Prediction: Minnesota +10
Full-Game Total Pick
The last game went over by two points after the previous three went under. Minnesota is going to need to play with a slower pace, especially after playing a tough overtime game against Penn State the night before. They have gone under in 8 of their last 11 and they are 16-7-1 Under their last 24 after a SU win.
Prediction: Under 139.5
Half-Time Side Pick
Going to take Minnesota to cover the game, but Purdue should be ready to play. They are the better team and will be tough to stop early on. Richard Pitino and company will make adjustments in the second half.
Prediction: Purdue -5 first half
Half-Time Total Bet
These are two talented offenses. I just don’t see them not scoring at least 30 points in the first half, with a decent paced-game in the first half. Minnesota slows it down more in the second half.
Prediction: Over 63.5 first half