A bunch of college basketball heavyweights are in Hawaii.
And it’s a banger of an opener in this afternoon’s quarterfinals as the second-ranked Purdue Boilermakers draw the 11th-seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs at the Maui Invitational.
Both teams are undefeated, but Purdue is pegged as a five-point favorite in the college basketball odds.
Who takes this battle between the Big Ten and West Coast Conference? Check below for my free college basketball picks and best bet for more.
Purdue vs Gonzaga best odds
Purdue vs Gonzaga picks and predictions
The Purdue Boilermakers improved to 3-0 on the season with a win over a legitimate opponent, knocking off the Xavier Musketeers 83-71.
Purdue was powered by 7-foot-4 senior Zach Edey. The Canadian put up a season-high 28 points while matching his season-best 11 rebounds and anchoring the defense with four blocks.
The big man has had some help, with Braden Smith putting up 11.7 points, 8.3 assists, and six boards while shooting 50% from downtown. Purdue has been blistering from 3-point range to start the year, drilling at a 46.3% clip, which puts them fourth in the nation.
The Boilermakers have now reeled off 27 straight non-conference wins — the longest current active streak in the nation.
Defensively, they’re inside KenPom’s Top-25 metric for adjusted defensive efficiency, limiting teams to 57.7 points per game, 18th in the NCAA.
Through three games, the Boilermakers are holding teams to a dismal 34.7% mark from the field, which ranks 16th in the nation.
While always tough, we haven’t yet seen the Gonzaga Bulldogs against notable competition. How they adjust from tune-ups to top-tier opposition will likely determine if they can hang with Purdue.
Gonzaga is coming off a crushing 123-57 win over Eastern Oregon, which followed an 86-71 season-opening win over Yale.
Just two games in, Gonzaga is second in the nation in scoring, putting up 104.5 points per game, and shooting a remarkable 57.5% from the field.
Like Purdue, the Bulldogs have shown they can defend, holding teams to 64 points per game, ranking 69th in the country.
Wyoming transfer Graham Ike put up 25 points and 11 rebounds, both team highs, against Eastern Oregon. Freshman big man Braden Huff came off the bench for 23 points and six rebounds.
At 6-foot-10, Huff and fellow big man Ben Gregg are the likely candidates that will have to contend with Edey, while the 6-foot-9 Ike could have a turn at defending as well. Advantage, Boilermakers.
Continuity-wise, Purdue has the better advantage, and the best player on the floor.
My best bet: Purdue -5 (-110 at DraftKings)
Purdue vs Gonzaga same-game parlay
This will be the second time in two years these teams will meet, with Purdue leading the head-to-head 3-0 all-time and last year’s matchup at the Phil Knight Legacy tournament in Portland ending in a Boilermakers 84-66 victory.
Edey, still relatively unknown at the time, did damage to a team featuring all-American forward Drew Timme, racking up 23 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks.
We’re dealing with small sample sizes here, but both schools have been very strong at defending the three-point line.
Gonzaga is holding teams to 27.8% shooting from beyond the arc, which ranks 83rd in the NCAA. Purdue, meanwhile, is inside the Top 10, limiting the opposition to a 21.8% clip.
Gonzaga head coach Mark Few will likely center the game plan on limiting Edey, and that concentration could take its toll on the offensive end, particularly on Huff and Ike, the team’s top two scorers in the young season.
For that reason, I’m targeting Ike to go Under his 15.5-point total. Having Edey in the paint should sink his shooting splits: Ike has gone 15-for-18 from the field this season, an excellent 83% rate.
Look for a similar type of result in Maui as we saw in Oregon, with the teams getting close, but not topping that 155.5 total.
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Purdue vs Gonzaga spread and Over/Under analysis
This line was as low as 2.5 points on Sunday, but it gradually climbed to a high of 5.5 points.
Depending on how you are deciding to bet this one, there are several numbers inside those two markers to satisfy your wagering needs.
Purdue is 2-1-0 against the spread this year, failing to cover the hefty 17-point spread last time out against Xavier.
Gonzaga didn’t even have a line against Eastern Oregon, and easily covered the spread vs Yale.
As for the total, it took books a while to finally land at 155.5 points. If you were planning on taking the Over, here’s hoping you landed that bet when the line was as low as 152.5.
This is the highest line so far in a Boilermakers game, and they have gone Over the total in two of three games to start the year. Gonzaga hit the Over against Yale.
Purdue vs Gonzaga betting trend to know
Last year, Purdue was 3-1-0 ATS against ranked opponents, while Gonzaga was 5-5-0 ATS. Find more college basketball betting trends for Purdue vs. Gonzaga.
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Purdue vs Gonzaga game info
|Location:||Stan Sheriff Center, Honolulu, HI|
|Date:||Monday, November 20, 2023|
|Tip-off:||5:00 p.m. ET|
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