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Penn State and Purdue will meet in Chicago for the Big 10 Championship! Handicapper WeBeatTheSpread is here to share his best bet ahead of the Penn State vs. Purdue matchup.
ANALYSIS

Penn State vs. Purdue Prediction: Best Bet for Big 10 Championship

The Big Ten Tournament Championship takes place today at 3:30 PM EST at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, where the Penn State Nittany Lions will face the Purdue Boilermakers. The 10-seed Penn State is playing in their fourth game in four days and their third straight upset win in the conference tournament, coming out victorious against Illinois, Northwestern, and Indiana. The boys are surely tired, and this could be a factor against a rested Purdue team.

Penn State vs. Purdue Start Time, Where to Watch, Odds

  • Date: March 12, 2023
  • Start Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where to Watch: CBS Sports/Paramount+

Click here for PSU vs. Purdue odds

Penn State vs. Purdue Prediction

Penn State has been playing physically, as they have been to the line more than their opponent in all three conference tournament games. Against Indiana, they shot 88% from the free-throw line on 26 attempts, which was a big factor in their win. Jalen Pickett led the team with 28 points and eight rebounds, while Seth Lundy and Andrew Funk contributed 16 and 12 points, respectively. However, Penn State's success could be limited in the championship game, as they will face the nation's top rebounder, 7' 4" Zach Edey of Purdue.

Edey is nearly impossible to stop down low and has been dominant throughout the season, shooting 60% from the field. Edey also ranks first in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage, and this could be a huge factor against Penn State. Purdue is playing with confidence, coming off a convincing win against Ohio State, in which Edey led the team with 32 points and 14 rebounds. Freshman guard Braden Smith also played an excellent game, contributing 14 points and four assists.

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Purdue has won both of their regular-season meetings with Penn State, winning by 13 points on the road and 20 points at home. Penn State is playing well in the tournament, but Purdue is a tough team to beat. Purdue is ranked fifth overall by KenPom, and they have the highest ranking in the Big Ten. Joe Lunardi recently moved Purdue up from a 2-seed to a 1-seed in his Bracketology, and a win here would just about guarantee that spot.

Penn State is currently projected to be a ten-seed by Joe Lunardi in his Bracketology. The Nittany Lions shoot the three at one of the highest rates in the nation, and they are averaging 39.4% from behind the arc in conference play, but they will need to play solid defense to have a chance against Purdue. Penn State has shown they can play well in close games, winning three straight games in the tournament by four points or less.

Penn State is playing with a lot of heart and has played well in the tournament, but their tiredness could be a factor against a rested Purdue team. Not only is this the fourth game in four days for Penn State, but they went to overtime two days ago and have played down-to-the-wire games in all three. Zach Edey is a dominant force down low, and his offensive rebounding could be the difference-maker in this game. Purdue is the favorite to win, but Penn State could keep it close in the first half, and I expect them to cover the spread in the first half. Penn State's physicality and solid defense should keep them in the game early, but Purdue's depth and size could eventually wear them down. Penn State's legs will be freshest in the first half, but the second half could get ugly. We saw the same thing yesterday with Ohio State, as they came out firing in the first half but eventually broke down and lost by 14 in the end.

Penn State vs. Purdue Pick

Article Author

NCAABBoxing/MMAMLBNHL

Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.

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